Odo Dobrowolski

  • Comedie-Francaise 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Date of creation
paper Indian ink colored pencil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
24 x 33.5
graphic art
Information about author
Odo Dobrowolski
Artist's lifetime
Odo (Otton) Dobrowolski (1883, Chernivtsi – 1917, Kyiv) was a Lviv artist of Polish-German origin. He is mainly known as a graphic artist, in particular a watercolorist, a master of pastels and lithographs. His parents were Jozef Dobrowolski, the Austrian governor of Galicia-Lodomeria, and Eugenia Wittich. Apparently, the artist was named after Otto the Great, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He graduated from the gymnasium in Lviv. In the mid-1900s, Dobrowolski was in Krakow as a non-degree student of the Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1908 and 1909, thanks to the support of the artist Jan Styka, he was in Paris and then in Munich for a short while. After returning to Lviv between 1909 and 1910, the artist made an oil decorative panel for the confectionery of Gabriela Zapolska, a famous playwright, actress, and a bright representative of the Lviv elite. In 1911 and 1912, he was in Paris again. Then he was in Lviv, where during the Russian occupation he created a series of 10 lithographs, which were very popular. In June 1915, during the retreat of the Russians, the artist went to Kyiv, where he died under uncertain circumstances at the age of 34 in 1917. The artistic heritage of Odo Dobrowolski includes numerous cityscapes, particularly views of Lviv and Paris, as well as portraits, interior sketches, and images of nature. The works are stored in Borys Voznytskyi Lviv National Art Gallery, as well as in the National Museum in Krakow, the National Library in Warsaw, the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and in private collections.
Object description
The work was created during the artist's second stay in Paris between 1911 and 1912. One can see a fragment of Paris on a rainy evening. The corner of the Comedie-Francaise building with a sculpture on a pedestal is depicted in the foreground. Many ceremoniously dressed men in black trench coats, white scarves, and with top hats on their heads, as well as a few women gathered near the theater, probably for the premiere. The silhouettes of houses are barely visible in the fog in the background. The composition is performed in dimmed gray tones. The artist focused on the orange lanterns near the sculpture and light vertical stripes glistening on the top hats. The Comedie-Francaise emerged in the 17th century. At the end of the 18th century, it was located in the building attached to the Royal Palace (Palais Royal). It is the only state-funded theater in Paris.
In the lower left corner there is a place of creation of the work and the author's signature “Odo Dobrowolski / 911 Paryż Komedya francuzka” in italics.