RESTORED – Permanent exposition of Dominik Skutezky

In connection with the anniversaries of the painter Dominik Skutecký (February 14th, 1849 Gajary – March 13th, 1921 Banská Bystrica), the Central Slovak Gallery, which manages the artist's exposition in Banská Bystrica, initiated two larger projects. Since last year, there has been a project focused on deeper research of the work of the artist and restoration of paintings from the gallery collection. From March 2019 until early 2020, the restored paintings and the results of analyzes of selected paintings will be gradually revealed and presented in premises of the Villa of Dominik Skutecký.
18. May 2019 – 31. October 2019
Author Curator
Katarína Baraníková

The exhibition of restored paintings by Skutecký from the permanent exposition of the artist is presented as part of the gallery exhibition series “Restored Works”. Restoration of works was carried out in cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery, all works were professionally cleaned and treated by D. A. Miroslav Slúka. The exhibition includes altogether 14 restored paintings from the gallery collection, which are labeled RESTORED, being part of the permanent exposition. Initially, the most famous work of Skutecký made in 1889, “Market in Banská Bystrica”, was unveiled this March. The artist’s iconic painting draws attention of the people because of its engaging story, history, interpretation of the subject, and the identification of central characters, but mainly by its brilliant rendering. Nowadays it is possible to introduce this 120 year old painting after cleaning and professional treatment in its almost original color. Skutecký’s paintings in a restored form come to life in their colorful variety, freshness and details, which have been so far distorted by the longtime layers of dust and yellowish topcoats developed over time.

In connection with the research and restoration of works, a second project is underway aimed at the reconstruction of the villa and the re-installation of a permanent artist’s exposition using the potential of the painter’s villa as an authentic environment of his work and family life. In addition to the complementing process of exposition of paintings, we also plan to put the finishing touches to the premises by adding contemporary furniture and documentation. Thanks to the financial support of the Banská Bystrica self-governing region, floors in the exposition were already renovated in 2019.

Projects of restoration, research and reinstallation of the Permanent Exposition of Dominik Skutecký were supported from public sources by the Slovak Arts Council. The projects in Villa of Dominik Skutecký are realized thanks to the financial support of the Banská Bystrica self-governing region.

Dominik Skutezky (1849-1921) came from a family of Jewish origin who moved from his native Záhorie region to Vienna for better living conditions, in the centre of the Austrian monarchy. In the years 1865 – 1869 he graduated from Historical painting at the Vienna Academy and thanks to a 3-year scholarship, he also studied in Venice at the Reale Accademia di Belle Arti. After a half-year study in Munich, then being the centre of Central European art, he finally departed from conservative academic historical painting. The development of Skutezky’s style was fundamentally influenced by contact with the Venetian environment, where genre painting was developed, and fashionable urban genre formed.

After his temporary stay in Vienna (1871 – 1875), where he mainly devoted his time to portrait painting by order, he returned to Venice. During his “Venetian period” (1876-1889), he managed to receive more important contracts from foreign art dealers and began to present his work at international exhibitions. In particular, he achieved success by genre painting of popular sentimental and anecdotal themes from the local environment and temple interiors.

Later, the painter with his growing family settled definitively in more peaceful surroundings of Banská Bystrica (1889 – 1921). The local conditions and stimuli marked significantly the character of the artist’s work, in which he made a shift to the tendencies of realism, and developed light motifs in the current Central European trend – luminism in civilian paintings of genre scenes, plein air and portraits.

Katarína Baraníková