Zvonimir Mihanovic's Revised Book - "Serenity in Croatia"

If we try to compare photography motifs with a Mihanović painting, we can see the significant differences in the content. Photography remains just a perfect documentation of one moment, just an extract from the passage of time. But Mihanović’s painting is time stopped in one moment that synthesizes the whole motif. It is a memory of that motif, not a real picture; it is the idealized, poetic or romantic picture of that motif. It is an illusion of the idea of reality and not just the illusion of reality. Perfect calmness, peace, and silence emanate from those coastal motifs: a metaphysical peace achieved with the extraordinary, almost Dali-esque plasticity of the objects, such as the boats on the mirror of the silent water, free of human beings. This perfectly peaceful sea surface on Mihanović’s paintings is a poetical and metaphysically expressive element. This complete stillness with no whiff of wind seldom occurs in summer, except early in the morning or before autumn when the sea is disturbed by the recurrent maestral wind. And this silent mirror-like sea surface which reflects almost unreal little boats and stones of the moors is the principal expressive element of Mihanović’s views. This is time stopped in duration like rare moments that are fixed from childhood, from the homeland; moments that reflect, but also symbolize past happiness, tranquility, a different world and life without modern, hectic, and chaotic technical development. Peace and harmony emanate from Mihanovic’s paintings, and this gives them value in spite of all the historical-artistic movements and definitions.

Duško Kečkemet
Art Historian, Director of Museum of the City of Split, Croatia
Family Fishing Village
Oil on Linen
38 1/4" X 51 1/4 "
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