The palm of stone in the blue crib of the sea, shielded by the magnificent necklace of steadfast walls and fortifications, crowned by the proud Minčeta Fort and the brilliant achievements of man’s togetherness, ideas and wisdom… the pearl in the hand of St. Blaise, The City: Dubrovnik.
Yet, „Dubrovnik“ is not a mere word, or just a name of a town. Dubrovnik denotes the state of the spirit, the idea of harmony, culture and moral integrity, the synonym of exemplary statehood (practicism permeated with philosophical-symbolic threads) and the prosperous millennium-long duration; further on, Dubrovnik is a symbol of libertarian thought, of humanistic principles, of economic, cultural, scientific and artistic prosperity and continuity and, above all, a symbol of the dignity of the universal spirit through which the Croatian quarters grew into the European and world civilization, the latter two reciprocating by contributing complex and continuous complements throughout.
Croatian Athens, Croatian Parnassus, the Parthenon of Croatian culture, the City of Poets, the City of Artists, Croatian Toledo, a chest of stone with the key of light, Croatian window to the world … nicknamed by thousands names, beloved and respected, often pretended to by others, over centuries Dubrovnik has been Croatia’s southernmost political-cultural-civilizational milestone, the ivory tower on the south-eastern borders of the western world from which the light reached (and is still doing so) the remote horizons carrying the message of peace, of noble spirit and the fateful prominence of the arts in theory and in practice.
Alongside with exceptional poets and men of letters, the painters were the most numerous and the most relevant artistic „tribe“ of Dubrovnik throughout its multifaceted and abundant cultural existence – ever since the Renaissance – if one thinks just of the 15. and 16. century true artistic apogee reached by Nikola Božidarević, Mihajlo Hamzić or Vicko Lovrin, to our very day, to the brilliant individuals that have strolled over the figurative stage of Dubrovnik, shining like the fatal „Northern Stars“ not only over the local, but airing the entire Croatian figurative fields with the creative energy and light, and whose effects and importance for a general progress have actually been inestimable. Vlaho Bukovac and Mato Celestin Medović on the turn of the century, Ignjat Job, Ivo Dulčić, Antun Masle and Đuro Pulitika – with many others – since the Twenties up to this day have left indelible traces upon the time.
Their formal togetherness lies in an infatuation with the colour and the poetics of the home land – phenomenology which, warmed up by an expressionistic rapture, from Ignjat Job afterwards, became the basic feature of the Dubrovnik figurative personality, planted intrasigently and decisively deep in the roots of the Croatian modern painting together with the Mediterranean hedonism and the poetic inspiration by the home ambient, all promoted into multifaceted daydreams, into the „picture“.