The Art Pavilion, Zagreb, Croatia
The Art Pavilion
See also: FAM (Familiarization) tour of Croatia
Imagine an entire building being shifted from one city to another, sounds strange! The Art Pavilion, Zagreb (Umjetnički Paviljon u Zagrebu) was once shifted from Budapest, Hungary to Zagreb, Croatia.
The Art Pavilion in Zagreb, the first custom built art pavilion in south – eastern Europe, is located on the northern end of the King Tomislav Square, the South – Eastern square of the famous Lenuci Horseshoe (Lenucijeva potkova).
As a visitor, visiting Zagreb by rail, steps out of the Main Station (Galvni Kolodvor) he is greeted by the horse mounted statue of King Tomislav, which marks the southern end of the King Tomislav Square.
On the northern end of the King Tomislav Square, stands the Art Pavilion with its massive glass dome.
The space in between the statue of King Tomislav Statue and the Art Gallery, is the King Tomislav Square, with its lush green lawns.
Lined with trees on either side, the lush green lawns of the King Tomislav Square is dotted with multi colored flower beds and fountains.
The Art Pavilion, with its bright yellow faced, has striking similarities with the nearby Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb (Hrvatsko Narodno Kazalište), which is located at the Marshal Tito Square (Trg Maršala Tita).
The Art Pavilion, Zagreb, with its massive glass dome, has a unique architectural history, in fact, the massive building was moved piece by piece from Budapest, Hungary and reconstructed at the heart of Zagreb.
The history of the Art Pavilion in Zagreb dates back to 1896. In May 1896 Budapest celebrated the Millennium Festival marking the 1000 years of the Hungarian statehood. Artists from the then neighboring Kingdom of Croatia – Slavonia were also invited to participate in the Millennium Festival.
Led by the famous Croatian artist Vlaho Bukovac, the Croatian artist displayed their art work in the Croatian Pavilion of the Millennium Festival.
After the end of the Millennium Festival in Budapest, the skeleton of the Croatian Pavilion was dismantled and send to Zagreb by train.
It was the time Zagreb was recovering from the catastrophe of the Great Zagreb Earthquake of 1880 and the city was being reconstructed. It was also the time when the city of Zagreb was extending beyond its traditional limits of the twin hills.
The city extended to the plains on the south of the hills and led to the foundation of the Lenuci Horseshoe. The city planners decided to set up the Art Gallery at the King Tomislav Square, located at the South – Eastern corner of the Lenuci Horseshoe.
The famous Austrian architect Fellner & Helmer took up the task of fixing the skeleton in Zagreb while Hönigsberg & Deutsch Building Company did the actual construction.
The construction took two years (1897 – 98) and the Art Pavilion was opened to public on 15 December 1998, and showcased the works of local artist under the banner of Croatian Salon.
The Art Pavilion, with a display area of 600 square meter, does not have any permanent display. It specializes in showcasing the art works of a single or a group of artist representing a particular period, style or theme.
The outside walls of the Art Gallery are decorated with beautiful sculptures and stucco works. The entrance is flaked with two semi nude female figures, one of which holds a sculpture’s mallet while the other holds a painter’s pallet.
The eastern and the western side exhibits the bust of famous artist. The eastern faced contains the busts of three famous Croatian artist, while the western side houses the bust of legendary artist Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.
Till date 700+ exhibitions have been held at the Art Pavilion, Zagreb has exhibited works of leading artists from around the world. In 2006, the building underwent a major renovation, with the glass dome being renovated. In 2010, a thin wire netting was put around the sculptures preventing it from being eroded and damaged.
- The Art Pavilion, Zagreb (Official Website)