Thanks to Sina Kreković, the widow of Kristijan Kreković, and art historian Ljerka Galic of the CHF, as of this spring the town of Perušić will be home to a permanent gallery exhibition of thirty-three works of art by this world-renowned painter.
Thanks to Sina Kreković, the widow of Kristijan Kreković, and art historian Ljerka Galic of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, as of this spring the town of Perušić will be home to a permanent gallery exhibition of thirty-three works of art by this world-renowned painter, whose roots are also in Perušić.
Kristijan Kreković (1901–1985) spent most of his life in Peru, having left his homeland in the wake of the Second World War. Although he spent his life abroad, many of the motifs of his work are dedicated to Croatia and its Like region.
Kreković was born in the village of Kopriva near Gradačac in Bosnia-Herzegovina. His father, forest ranger Roko Kreković, was born in Perušić and worked there in the forestry department. Kristijan passed away in Palma de Mallorca in 1985, now the home of the Kreković Museum.
He is considered by art critics to be one of the greatest portraitists of the 20th century. In 1928 the city of Paris issued a series of postcards featuring his work. He painted portraits of Mahatma Gandhi (1931), with whom he was a personal friend, of the British queen mother (1938) at her request, of the Swedish king Gustaf V (1948) and of many others. Palma de Mallorca, home to the museum gallery featuring 150 of his works, has a Pare de Kristian Kreković. Tuzla, where he attended secondary school, has a street named after him.
Following her late husband’s wishes Sina Kreković on two occasions, in 1991 and 1994, donated his work to Croatia. The second round of eighty oils on canvas has yet to be exhibited, and Perušić is to be home to this very valuable donation.
Last week Ljerka Galic and Darko Ivić of the Croatian Conservation Institute presented thirty-three oils on canvas to the Museum of Lika in the town of Gospić, where the works are to be stored until the spring, when Kreković will make his posthumous return to Perušić. The work constitutes a priceless culture treasure, created by an artist who spent his life abroad, dreaming of a return to the homeland he never, unfortunately, awaited.