Bernardine Church in Lviv

Odo Dobrowolski

  • Bernardine Church in Lviv 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Bernardine Church in Lviv
Date of creation
colour autolithography
imprint on paper
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
29.6 x 41
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
This is one of ten works from the series of lithographs with the views of Lviv during the Russian occupation in the winter of 1915. The Bernardine Church with a bell tower is depicted from the west, from Halytska Square, where the ensemble is best viewed. However, the author chose such a perspective in which the main compositional element is the bell tower, while the column of St. Jan from Dukla is not visible at all. The square in front of the church is empty; the block of the church is accentuated only by the orange light of a street lantern in front of the facade. The light in the windows of the houses adjacent to the bell tower accentuates its volume. The work is performed in dimmed gray tones. Both the snow and the sky are depicted blackened.
In the lower left corner there is the author's signature and date “Оdo Dobrowolski / 915” written in italics.