This collection of Medieval Art focusses upon copies of important frescoes from some of the surrounding churches, particularly as their Gothic wall paintings belong amongst the most significant Slovenian medieval cultural memorials. The centre piece is the copy of the fresco of Holy Sunday in the succursal church of St. Mary's Annunciation in Crngrob. The original fresco is the work of masters of exceptionally influence and from one of the most important medieval workshops in our area, Janez Ljubljanski from the period 1455-1460. This fresco, which stands as one of the most important Slovenian medieval wall paintings and it is to be found on the exterior of the western façade of the church, is severely faded by now, so the copy made by Marjan Tršar after 1955, is even more precious. With its rich iconography describing the everyday life of a medieval man, the documentary nature of the copy also contains links with the other collections of Loka Museum.
Copies of frescoes from the parish church of St. John the Baptist in Suha where Suški mojster and renowned gothic fresco painter Jernej iz Loke worked, and copies of frescoes from the presbytery of the succursal church of the Holy Cross at Križna Gora also feature in this collection. The presbytery was painted in 1502 and it is a work of a master from the circle of the Bavarian painter Jan Polack, who’s frescoes represent the most consistent presence of Gothic Realism in Slovenia. The medieval collection is rounded off by the precious wooden gothic statue of St. Florian of Sopotnica from around the middle of the 15th. century, which is supposedly the work of the ‘Gorenjski rezbar’.
Four large golden altars from the parish church of St. Lucy in Dražgoše, which was burnt down in 1942, represent one of the richest examples of Slovenian golden altars, a type of baroque richly carved wooden and gilded altar, typical for 17th. century Slovenia. The altars show the development of the carving trade in 17th. century Loka territory, from the St. Ann lateral altar, Jamšek Loka’s workshop from 1628, with signs of the Italian renaissance, across the already utterly baroque Altar of St. Ingenuin of 1660 with Nordic influences, to the main Altar of St. Lucy, the southern type which was made by Master Jakob Korneli from Ljubljana in 1658, and to the Altar of St. Antony of 1689 which is already a mixture of Nordic and southern types, and is the work of the master who also made the Altar of St. Ingenuin.
PAINTING FROM THE 17th. to the 19th. CENTURY
The painting heritage, which includes the period from the 17th. to the 19th. century, on the ground floor, is above all marked by portrait painting, images of saints, and votive pictures. Amongst the featured painters, kept in the department are also some works apparently by famous authors from the baroque period.
LOKA’S PAINTERS, 19th. AND 20th. CENTURIES
As a special segment of the collection there are first the works of individual representatives of the Šubic family from Poljane, from whom, besides some popular picture-makers who strongly featured in Loka territory in the past, derive some equally remarkable Slovenian painters, on view at one end of the corridor. Amongst these are the particularly important brothers Janez Jr. Šubic and Jurij Šubic, who painted in the second half of the 19th. century and are valued as pioneers of realism in Slovenian painting, besides which Jurij Šubic passes as the first Slovenian plein-air representative. In the second half of the 20th. century, Ive Šubic is particularly important with his distinctive painting style mixing elements of realism, expressionism, cubism and primitivism, and amongst others is recognized also for known National Liberation War themes, and as such he stands as the most important author of Slovenian war paintings motifs.
The period from the end of the 19th. and the beginning of the 20th. centuries is also represented by the work of Ivan Franke from the generation of Slovenian realists, and Ivan Grohar from the circle of the Impressionists. The time of Impressionism, which stands as one of the key periods in the history of Slovenian fine art, strongly marked Škofja Loka. The native Ivan Grohar who has visibly influenced the development of Slovenian painting with his artistic style, was an important member of the famous four Slovenian Impressionists and co-created the path to Slovenian modern art, and belongs at the top of Slovenian Fine Art of the 20th. century. Together with other Impressionists, he broke in an avant-garde way with the tradition of realism of that time, which derived from the previous century. Despite the fact that he left a few remarkable and truly uppermost works directly connected with Škofja Loka, the museum keeps only his portraits and lesser known works, and these feature in the collection. Škofja Loka is, thanks to Ivan Grohar, nowadays still often known as the ‘Slovenian Barbizon’.
The third segment of the collection contains the work of some notable Slovenian painters of the 20th. century who were born, worked or were otherwise connected with Škofja Loka. Amongst others there are works from Gvidon Birolla, one of the representatives of the Vesnani, a group of Slovenian painters, graphic artists and illustrators who were occupied with a programme for the preservation of disappearing graphic art, illustration and Slovenian folk art in the first half of the 20th. century. The collection also keeps some work of Slovenian post-war modernism, amongst which work of the authors Maksim Sedej and Gojmir Anton Kos. Altogether this is rounded off in the spirit of a tradition of popular local landscape painting by the work of Loka’s landscape painter France Košir.