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Who is Stojan Aralica?

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By Gwylym Owen

Stojan Aralica (b. Škare, Lika, 24 December 1883 – d. Belgrade, Serbia, 4 February 1980) was a Serbian Impressionist painter and academic.

The sparkle of Stojan Aralica can be followed through his studies in Munich (1909–1914), a brief stay in Prague, advanced studies in École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, then mature in Zagreb and his total move to Belgrade in 1941. He remained in Belgrade for the burning of his life, with the exception of his stay in Stockholm from 1946 to 1948. In the thesame way, as we can differentiate with the stages of his life, we can distinguish four clearly clear periods in his painting opus: the Munich, Prague, Paris, Zagreb, and Belgrade periods. During his education in Munich portraits and nudes prevailed thematically, and were in a form close to academism and the late echoes of the Secession. The brief domination of form beyond color (1922–1925) was replaced by a epoch of artistic maturing, beginning like his initiation in Paris (1926). Joining the sprightly local artistic mainstream, he turned away from the decorative and towards pursuing a purely visual interest. His formerly emphasized full-volume form was slowly disintegrating into colored surfaces. This significant turning reduction began with small nudes and still-lifes painted in the studio of André Lhote, and the coloristic dispensation of his paintings was developed upon the landscapes almost the countryside Malakoff, Casisse and especially St. Tropez. The valuable refinement over and the end with in the next, the Zagreb period (1933–1941) when Aralica rejoined the current trends in his house country. His technique, which was near to that of fauvists, is particularly prominent in his seaside landscapes from Dubrovnik, Orebić, Korčula. Finally, the Belgrade period, especially along with 1951 and 1959, can be considered as his creative zenith. By painting lyrical atmospheres with broad and layered impastos on a series of landscapes from Rovinj, Belgrade and more often Lika, he departed from the confines of intimistic painting, only to build it to a monumental mass of universal significance. Although Aralica’s function was always in adjoin with current trends of European art, in a narrower desirability it still belonged to the thesame climes as that of domestic coloristic painters, whose art drew its strength and inspiration from their own, native soil. He contributed to the new development of contemporary art in the second half of the twentieth century similar to a series of significant works painted in the years after World War II.

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