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Sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austrohungarian rule 1878-1918


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Baotić-Rustanbegović, Andrea. (2018). Sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austrohungarian rule 1878-1918. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Art History.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij povijesti umjetnosti) [mentor Kraševac, Irena].

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This thesis deals with the topic of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1878 and 1918. In the abovementioned period, the country was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and experienced significant political and social changes. An abrupt penetration of aquis and thus also of visual arts from the Western European civilisation circle was enabled in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Ottoman province. Namely, sculpture as an artistic form almost became extinct during the centuries-long rule of the Ottomans in Bosnia and Herzegovina and gained new significance and usage with the arrival of the new administration. The topic of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule has not been scientifically elaborated so far. Sculpture was only casually mentioned in art historiography and that in the context of architecture (i.e. architectural decorative sculpture) and the apprearance of modern art. Sacral sculpture as well as monumental sculpture remained almost entirely unexplored. One of the reasons due to which art historians did not engage in exploring sculpture of the Austro-Hungarian period in Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the fact that it is until today preserved only scarcely as a result of political circumstances, natural disasters and war. Apart from that, the profession mainly focused on affirming autochthonous and modern art and neglected historicism, which was preserved for the longest period of time in art and architecture of the aforementioned period. In the context of the situation in B&H, the opinion that fine arts from the period of the Austro-Hungarian rule represents a foreign import that did not suit the spirit of the area was present and thus does not deserve scientific valorization. This kind of attitude contributed to additional destruction of sculptural artistic legacy, which was significantly rarefied until today. The fact that the topic of sculpture in Bosnia an Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule was not treated adequately is what caused the need for its thorough scientific examination to arise. Revalorization of the artistic and architectural aquis of historicism which emerged in the regional and European context during the last few decades, created an additional need for questioning the former stances and the aquisition of overall and comprehensive aknowledgements regarding sculpture from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The aim of this work is, thus, to provide a systematic overview of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule. By means of this work, an insight into the conditions, the flow and the size of the distribution of sculpture should be given. Also, it is attempted to unveil and present the separate names of workshops, masters and artists who created sculptural pieces. Apart from that, it is intended to define typological, stylistic and iconographic features of sculpture. The goal, in the end, is to valorize the quality of sculpture in the context of local, regional and European artistic movements. Due to the fact that sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the end of the 19th century appeared in an area where there was no tradition i.e. no continuity in the creation of this artistic form and that in a time when significant changes appeared in a wider WesternEuropean context in terms of the perception of form and function of the tool itself, this work discusses several important questions. First, which elements contributed to the appearance of sculpture, and which hindered it? Secondly, was sculpture a form in which religious, national and civic identities were to be distinguished exclusively of the migrated population or was it a tool that the local population accepted equally regardless of their confession? Third, to which degree was the sculpture that was imported to Bosnia and Herzegovina close to the sculpture of the artistic centres which it emerged from? And finally, fourth, whether real foundations for the development of sculpture as an artistic discipline were laid in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian rule form 1878 to 1918. In the context of the questions listed above, the hypothesis of this paper would be that sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule gradually gained importance and that its appearance was mainly connected to political and material situations of the country. Different identities are recognised when it comes to sculpture that is placed in public space. Although it was mainly imported, sculpture was not always a work of “serial production“ and in several cases presented individual works of art, some of which were created on “domestic soil“. The need for sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared in the period between 1878 and 1918, but because of the lack of organised institutional and wider socio-economic structure, no foundations were laid for its development. Sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be divided into sacral, architectural, monumental and sculpture shown in exhibitions. This kind of division is based on typological features of sculpture, and the order of the listed unities is conditioned by its scope and preservation of sculptural works. Within the unities that were categorized this way, the research of sculpture was conducted and its examination carried out. Also, the chapters in the dissertation were named in accordance with the listed units. Each of the chapters presents a chronological structure, and for the purpose of achieving a better overview, it was further classified into subgroups, depending on the characteristics that were crucial for each of the sculptural units. Chapters are structured in a manner to initially show an insight into the outcome and the norms of the formation of every type of sculpture that was mentioned and then the circumstances that contributed to the appearance of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina or that hindered it. In that way, a clearer comparison of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the one that was created in the artistic centers of the Monarchy was enabled and consequently the possibility of an adequate valorization provided. The first chapter deals with the question of sacral sculpture of the Catholic provenance. It relates mainly to the statues and reliefs that are found on altars and other sacral equipment that decorated the interiors of churches in Bosnia and Herzegvina. These were mainly works of woodcarving workshops in Tyrol, which was the center of sacral art at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. To a lesser degree, the sculptures in Catholic churches were imported from Croatia and form today's Germany and Slovenia (Bavaria, Styria and Carniola). Field work for the research of this type of sculpture included the parishes Archdiocese Vrhbosna, i.e., the Arcdiakonatus of Fojnica, Guča Gora, Sutjeska, Kreševo and Tolisa, since these are the places where most of the sculptures from the marked period were preserved. Protocol books and registries from the Archive of the Archdiocese Vrhbosna were used as archive sources (period 1881 – 1918), as well as chronicles, testimorials and account books from the archive of particular monasteries and parishes. An important source were archival data taken from protocol books and diaries (Journal and Hauptbuch, 1881 – 1918) of the workshop of sculptor and altar maker Ferdinand Stuflesser in St. Ulrich, Tyrol. As a secondary source, periodicals were used, primarily newspapers Vrhbosna and Glasnik bosansko-hercegovačkih franjevaca, in which data about the construction of churches and their equipment was published. Based on the existing and researched matter the authorship of sacral sculptures was confirmed and these were presented within the frames of workshops and the sculptors who created them. So, this chapter presents statues and reliefs of wood-cravers from Tyrol (Ferdinand Stuflesser, Franz and Josef Schmalzl, Josef Obletter as well as Klarenz Hemmelmayr), the Bavarian workshop for sacral art (“Mayer'sche Kunstanstalt“ from Munich) and Croatian sculptors (Dragutin Morak and Josip Barišković). The chapter establishes a connection between the source of sacral art in the Monarchy and its reach into Bosnia and Herzegovina. The role of ordinariates of the Archdiocese Vrhbosna as an institution which was responsible for passing regulations during the construction and equipment of churches throughout the country and which also intermediated in the delivery of sacral sculptures, is explained. The contribution of Josip pl. Vancaš as an architect who developed entire projects of churches and who gave plans for sacral quipment that also implied the creation of sculptural art work was also confirmed. It is shown in the chapter that sacral sculpture of the Catholic provenance in Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed in accordance with the principles of church art and academic thought of the time of historicism and which presented a segment in the creation of the total work of art (the so called Gesamtkunstwerk). Considering that it was imported from the center of church art and that prominent sculptors and woodcarvers worked on it, formally and stylisticly it does not fall behind other, more representative examples of sacral sculpture in Catholic churches in the Monarchy. The second chapter refers to architectural sculpture, i.e. figural sculpture that decorates facades of buildings with administrative, cultural, business and residential use. It refers mainly to works that were constructed in “artificial stone“, created by foreign authors and construction firms. For this part, field work included research in Sarajevo due to the fact that Sarajevo, as the administrative and cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the only place where more representative buildings decorated with figural sculpture were raised. The primary source for research were archival documents secured in the Archive of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Museum of History, the Institute for development planning of the Sarajevo Canton, as well as in the Federal Institute for the preservation of monuments (Sarajevo). It is primarily related to architectural plans and architectural project costs and, to a lesser degree, it gives information about authors and contractors of sculptural decoration for some buildings. Such data was mainly found in secondary sources, i.e. in periodicals and mainly so in Sarajevo newspapers such as Bosnische Post and Sarajevski list, and then also in Viennesse architectural magazines Der Bautechniker and Wienerbauindustrie Zeitung. The attribution of sculptural works for which no data was available was conducted through comparative analysis, i.e. the comparison of Sarajevoan examples of architectural statuary with similar constructions in other places of the Monarchy. Considering the issues that appear as a crucial factor when it comes to architectural sculpture, the matter in this chapter is initially divided into sacral and profane sculpture and then further categorized according to formal-stylistic and typological categories of buildings that are decorated by the sculpture. The chapter first discusses the relation of decorative sculpture and its architectural background and then the question of the appearance of figural sculpture and its siginificance in public space is raised. It is shown how sculpture is subordinated to the architectural frame accordingly to principles of strict historicism and how it exclusively presents topics of Christian iconography in terms of content. As opposed to this, sculpture that decorates buildings with the characteristics of late historicism and secession is formed more freely in opposition to its architectural background and in a iconographic sense encompasses a wider spectrum of content. It is also shown how these contents were conditioned not only by the purpose of the buildings, but by the political frames, because architectural sculpture starts serving the purpose of expressing national ideas after the Annexation in 1908. In the chapter, it is aimed also at questioning the relation between architects, sculptors and sculpture studios in the process of making sculptures, i.e. at confirming their individual contribution in shaping building facades. Among the architects who gave an important place to sculpture in their construction projects, Josip Vancaš, Karlo Paržik, Rudolf Tönnies and Josip Rekvenyi are singled out. Among those who have one significant architectural achievement with figural decoration, Miloš Miladinović and Dioniz Sunko are mentioned. Through an insight into the archive and with the help of comparative analysis, the authors of several sculptures were discovered. Those were Johann Novotny, Friedrich Christoph Hausmann, Dragutin Morak, Robert Jean Ivanović and István Tóth, alongside with the previously known Frangeš Mihanović, Franjo Rebhan and Mišo Stević. The names of a couple of construction firms and sculpture studios which created sculptures for the buildings of Sarajevo were confirmed, the most productive of which were “Horvath & Scheidig“, “Jung & Russ“, as well as the firm “Wienerberger Ziegelfabriks“, which was not known until now. It is shown in the chapter that instances of this type of sculpture vary in terms of quality and are thus hard to be characterized unambiguously, exactly because they were produced by individuals of different skills, affiliations and education. The major part of sculptural achievements, however, indicates that their origin lied in artistic thought that marked the cultural milieu of the Monarchy from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The third chapter of the dissertation deals with the topic of monumental sculpture. It includes sculpture that was placed in public space and mainly served the purpose of commemorating the Habsburgs, and then the significant individuals and fallen soldiers. Considering the fact that this type of sculpture remained in situ only in several cases, filed work was brought down to Sarajevo. Monuments with figural sculpture which remind of deserving persons are preserved in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina only in sepulcral space while sculptures which adorned monuments that were of dynastic character were partly preserved and stored in the depots of the Art Gallery of B&H and the Museum of Sarajevo. The image of monumental sculpture and its scope is therefore reconstructed in this chapter. Published and unpublished archival content from the Archive of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the documentation from the Art Gallery of B&H was used for this purpose. Periodicals from the period between 1878 and 1918 were also largely used and mostly so the newspapers Bosnische Post, Sarajevski list and Hrvatski dnevnik published in Sarajevo, as well as Österreichisch Illustrierte Zeitung and Der Bautechniker published in Vienna. Sculpture is presented in the cahpter in the frame of typological division to dynastic monuments, war monuments and monuments of significant persons. The relation between figural sculpture and public space is discussed, i.e. the meanings of monumental sculpture in the context of the question of national identity and complex social circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is shown that figural plastic art was directly conditioned by the political situation in the country. It is explained how sculpture almost entirely referred to the glorification of emperor Franz Joseph I and the dynasty, and it appeared more in public space only after the Annexation in 1908. It is also shown how monumental sculpture started gaining new contents and new meanings with the outbreak of World War I. Moreover, it is made evident that sculpture in the civic type monuments was rare and that it was kept within sepulchral space. Considering that the data that was processed during this research was unknown until today, names of artists who created sculpture for Bosnia and Herzegovina were discovered and the preserved works of art from the Art Gallery of B&H were attributed. Sculptors such as Anton Brenek, Robert Frangeš Mihanović, Josef Wilk, Theodor Franz Marie Khuen, Franz Zelezny and István Tóth are mentioned in the chapter, apart from Rudolf Valdec, Eugen Bory and Rudolf and Ludviga Valić, who were previously known. Their sculptures are brought into connection with those situated on monuments in other cities of the Monarchy and it is shown that the sculptures from dynastic monuments were reproductions of already existing works of art, while sculptures from civic monuments were unique sculptures. The fourth and also the last chapter of the dissertation deals with the topic of statuary in exhibitions. These mainly assume expositions of regional i.e. “country“, international and world format in which Bosnia and Herzegovina took part. These are followed also by exhibitions that were held in Sarajevo as the capital of the country and those were local in character. The latter included the most significant art exhibitions and the sculpture at these exhibitions were only exhibited by Croatian artists Branislav Dešković, Rudolf and Ludviga Valić, as well as the sculptor Robert Jean Ivanović. Due to the fact that sculpture was a rare phenomenon at exhibitions and that it was only scarcely preserved, the focus of research was directed at the aspects of content and meaning of sculpture, as well as its general appearance as an artistic form in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from artifacts stored in the glyptotheque HAZU in Zagreb and the Gallery Bol in Brač, exhibition catalogues and periodicals from the period 1896-1917 were explored and consulted for this chapter. Articles from the hemeroteque, i.e. from B&H newspapers such as Bosnische Post, Sarajevski list, Hrvatski dnevnik Srpska riječ and Nada, of the Art Gallery of B&H in Sarajevo were elaborated. The aim was to gain an insight into the social meaning of exhibitions, what role sculpture had in them and how was it perceived in art ctiticism. The analysed works refer to those exhibited in B&H pavillions at the International exposition in Brussels in 1897 and the World exhibition in Paris 1900, in the production of which the artists Alfons Mucha, Auguste Seysses and Herman Kautsch took part. Sculptures displayed at the solo exhibition of Branislav Dešković in 1910 were also thoroughly analysed, followed by the exhibitions of the art couple Valić from 1912, as well as works of Robert Jean Ivanović, who was the only sculptor who participated at the First exhibition of B&H artists in Sarajevo in 1917. Exhibitions were observed also in the context of cultural politics of the Austro-Hungarian rule and the organisation of artistic life in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were likewise observed in the context of dominant artistic movements in the Monarchy, i.e. the region. In the chapter, it is shown how sculptural works in the sense of form, style and content were conditioned by the character of exhibitions and the time frame within which they ensued. In this manner, sculptures displayed on international exhibitions abroad, were shaped in the spirit of historicism and partly of secession, while they carried elements of symbolism, secession, Rodin's sculpture and impressionism at the art exhibitions in Sarajevo. Based on the explored, analysed and displayed matter, the conclusion is reached in the dissertation that the appearance and the diffusion of sculpture in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule was directly conditioned by political, cultural and material factors. Sculpture gradually gained importance, initially appearing in sacral buildings of the Catholic provenance and on the facades of architectural facilities for different purposes, then on monuments in public space and eventually also in art exhibitions. Its function was therefore first directed at serving the religious cult, the ornamentation of buildings and the expression of their purpose. Later, after the annexation in 1908, sculpture served the purpose of expressing national ideas, glorifying emperor Franz Joseph and the Habsburg dynasty, as well as the commemoration of prominent persons and the deceased soldiers in the war. Once it was placed on monuments in public space, sculpture served also as the means of displaying certain identities that were loyal to the regime. With art exhibitions, sculpture became also a medium through which sculptors expressed their own ideas and personal aritstic possibilities. When it comes to formal-stylistic features of sculpture, it is concluded that it is marked to a larger degree with the characteristics of historicism and academism and to a lesser degree with symbolism, secession and impressionist sculpture. The reason for this sort of manifestation lay in the requests of the customer and the capabilities and affiliations of those involved in its production. For sacral sculpture, which was most represented in scope in Bosnia and Herzegovina, respecting the rules of church art and the favorisation of works trom Tyrol workshops partly contributed to it being marked by historicism for the longest period of time. For architectural sculpture, the lapse from historicism was present only then when its production was entrusted to strong authors. Historicism with academicism was dominant in commemorative sculpture since it was made by the authors affirmed in court and political circles, and those were responsible for the delivery of the listed sculptures to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Only at art exhibitions in Sarajevo, sculptural works departed largely from historicism because they were shaped by young and talented sculptors who were familiar with modern artistic ideas. When it comes to the valorization of sculpture, it is concluded that it had sources in cultural centers of the Monarchy and that it clearly testified about the artistic movements that seized Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian rule. Its value lies also in the fact that it strongly reflected complexity and the problems of presentation within the mentioned spatial and temporal context.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: sculpture, sacral sculpture, architectural sculpture, commemorative sculpture, figural sculpture, sculpture in public space, sculpture on exhibitions, historicism, sacral art, altarmaking, woodcarving, secession, cultural policy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, AustroHungarian Monarchy
Subjects: History of art
Departments: Department of Art History
Supervisor: Kraševac, Irena
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij povijesti umjetnosti
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 08:59
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 23:15

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