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Franciscan Gallery in Široki Brijeg

Franciscan Gallery in Široki Brijeg

The construction of the church and the monastery in Široki Brijeg in the nineteenth century created the basic conditions for the procurement of paintings and sculptures. The painting called “Arrival of the Friars”, which was painted in the late summer of 1975 for the monastery dining room by Bruno Bulić, was the first step towards the realization of the idea of the gallery opening. 

A substantial part of the exhibited works were gifts of the artist themselves, while others were compensated financially. The permanent collection of paintings and sculptures went on public display in July 25th, 1990 in the new building. The gallery's holdings consisted of approximately 1,000 works of art created in every painting and sculpting techniques, mostly oil on canvas. Around 500 works art were processed and cataloged, while 280 were displayed as the part of the permanent collection. 

The first part is formed of old masters paintings exhibited in the treasury of the monastery near the vestry, eighteen of which are oil paintings, two tempera on panel, then two cherub sculptures and a fragment of a Roman floor mosaic from fourth century. The second and largest part is located in the ground floor of the gallery building. It consists of local painters and sculptors of modern and contemporary Croatian art, but of naive and self-taught artists, too. In this part of the gallery exhibition, particularly valuable painting was displayed – “Le Genie et la Raison”, oil on canvas done in mid-nineteenth century by Eugène Delacroix. The separate thematic and spatial compartment, located on the first floor, is the art by the group formed by the contemporary artistic expression named Fra-yu-cult (short for Fraction of the Yugoslav culture).

Gallery, alone or in cooperation with other institutions, has prepared several exhibitions with charity auctions, and there were three exhibitions across the Croatia. Annually, more than ten exhibitions are displayed in the Franciscan Gallery.

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