Bukovac, Vlaho (Vlaho Fagioni) (1855-1922) by Scholes, Robert

Bukovac, Vlaho (Vlaho Fagioni) (1855 – 1922)

The following information came from a Croatian Website attributed to Mr Vjekoslav Pavic of Zagreb : http://www.hr/darko/etf/vlaho.html

He was born in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik on July 4, 1855. His real name was Vlaho Fagioni. His father was of the Italian origin and mother was Croat from Dubrovnik. He showed inclination to drawing in his early childhood but because of the poor material condition of his family – he also had two sisters and a brother – he could not continue his education. At the age of eleven his uncle took him to the United States where he spent four hard years as his uncle soon died. In 1871 he came back to Dubrovnik and embarked as a cadet on a sailing-ship that sailed on regular line Istanbul- Odessa- Liverpool. In 1873 he came to Latin America where he worked as a letter drawer in a coach factory in Peru. In 1876 he returned to Cavtat. He found a sponsor in the person of Medo Pucic, a poet who recommended him to the archbishop Strossmayer, a very famous and influential Croatian at that time. In 1877 he presented Strossmayer with the painting “Turkinja u haremu” (Turkish woman in harem) where he used the surname Bukovac for the first time. Thanks to Strossmayer’s material support and his own savings he came to Paris in 1877, where he entered the École des Beaux Arts. He finished his education in 1880. His teacher was A. Cabal. In 1888 and 1891 he spent time in England working as a portrait painter.

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