Paintings

Although there are exceptions, many of the Marton Collection paintings are from the first half of the nineteenth century and belong to the Biedermier period. In terms of paintings, the progression towards the Biedermeier style has a number of recognizable characteristics. For example, it brought a change from Neoclassical composition to direct observation, from the heroic gesture to sober objectivity. The "Great gesture" was abandoned in favour of a direct rapport with the subject, whether portrait or landscape. This artistic approach is very logical and understandable if we remember that these paintings were primarily created for the independent middle class.

While late-baroque portraits primarily focused on showing the sitter's status, Biedermeier negated the social distance between artist and sitter. This equal status permitted a more complete psychological contact without flattery. The most common Biedermeier portrait is the frontal bust slightly smaller than life size. Another type of portrait, the miniature, had been popular for a long time and went through its last surge in this period before the advent of photography. Many artists considered to be forerunners of this emerging style came from present day Austria. These artists, and to a lesser extent those from Bohemia, duly influenced Croatia while travelling and working in the region. In that early introductory period, executed portraits made the transition from late-baroque to Biedermeier, a style corresponding to Vienna Biedermier, although limited by the potentials of these aforementioned 'itinerant' artists.

We are proud to confirm that the paintings of the Marton Museum collection maintain a strong link to the country in which the museum is located. Indeed, not only are the paintings a treasure trove of information regarding Croatian nineteenth century painting, but many of the paintings were actually acquired in Croatia itself.

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