The Central Slovakian Gallery cooperates with the Slovak National Gallery, conservator–restorer Mgr. art. Miroslav Slúka, chemist Ing. Stanislava Trginová and the curator of the 19th century art collection of the Slovak National Gallery Mgr. Katarína Beňová, PhD. on restoration and exploration of the paintings of Dominik Skutezky.
The first to unveil is going be the most famous work „Market in Banská Bystrica“. The painting will be presented in its restored form and we will introduce its captivating story, history of its creation and migration within collections as well as interpretation and identification of the main characters of the painting theme.
Restoration and exploration has been supported by the Slovak Arts Council. Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region has also financially supported restoration of the works. The project is a part of the preparation of a new reinstallation of the Villa and the permanent exhibition of Dominik Skutezky.
The exposition of painter Dominik Skutezky (1849-1921) is situated in an authentic setting of the artist’s villa, in which he settled at the end of the 19th century after living outside of Slovakia, mostly in Vienna and Venice. The villa was obtained for reconstruction in order to create Skutezky’s permanent exposition in 1994.
Current exposition is divided into four sections and offers an original look into the painter’s work. Introductory section brings us closer to the selected artist’s formation periods – including genre paintings depicting epic scenes from Venice and later period paintings capturing the life in Banská Bystrica as well as rare plein air paintings. Among the collection of sophisticated portrait paintings, including representative works, there are informal portraits of Banská Bystrica’s personalities and intimate portraits of the artist’s family. Various other works are exhibited in freestyle installation, ranging from studies of the painter’s techniques to complete genre works and portraits, and can be found on the first floor within the area of the painter’s original atelier. Within a separate painting series, Dominik Skutezky documented traditional working methods of boiler smiths and environment of local copper mills, capturing the light effects of glowing furnaces. Skutezky’s artistic disposition and development was remarkable for his mastery of traditional Italian painting and later, for his specific approach to light – luminist (impressionist) painting at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The exposition is supplemented with virtual presentation mapping the fate of the artist and his family.
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.