Permanent collection

The permanent collection is made up of Bukovac’s works from all the phases of his oevre. Portraits and paintings of an intimate nature are exhibited in the tinel (salon) on the first floor. The artist’s development and changes in style can be followed in the self-portraits from 1877 to one painted in 1921, only five months before his death. In the atelier, all of his important artistic phases are exhibited: Paris, Zagreb, Cavtat and finally Prague. A selection of furniture and personal objects are dispersed throughout the other spaces of the house with an eye toward optimal viewing of the newly-discovered wall paintings.

The remains of the wall paintings came to light during the course of the initial restoration work on the Bukovac House. In 1998, exploratory tests were carried out which confirmed the existence of tempera painting on the wall of the east wing of the house.
The cleaning of the additional simply painted walls began in 2003, as did the restoration of the original paintings, which was finished in August of 2004.

Bukovac painted the walls of the east wing of the house when he was quite young, most likely after his return from America and certainly before leaving for his training in Paris; this is indicated by the absence of wall paintings in the large spaces of the western portion of the house (the ground floor, the tinel, and atelier) which was neither joined nor built in its current form at the time. In his autobiography, Bukovac himself states:

“I told my father that I would decorate the house with paintings and decorations like I had seen at the house of the painter Zabedeo in Dubrovnik. And I did. Those were my first works of painting.”

On the ground floor of the house, in the room to the left of the front entrance, Bukovac painted his self-portrait and what are most likely the portraits of the other members of the family.

The wall paintings in the rooms, corridors and stairwells are schematic: the lower portions are decorative friezes while the upper portions are predominantly monochromatic.
The friezes are made up of framed fields in which painted floral motifs, landscapes and animals – some of them “exotic” such as crocodiles, anteaters, tigers, and rhinoceros that Bukovac might have seen on his journeys – are painted.

The room on the first floor, whose walls are painted with classical motifs, is somewhat different. The frieze that runs around the lower portion of the room’s walls is decorated with a balustrade and birds. The upper portion is filled with columns wound with plant tendrils between which women in classical poses on pedestals make appearances. The ceiling, decorated with botanical motifs, is dominated by a central medallion that depicts women and a flower garland.