Bernardine Church Depicted From the East

Odo Dobrowolski

  • Bernardine Church Depicted From the East 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Bernardine Church Depicted From the East
Date of creation
paper on cardboard pastel
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
52 x 48
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 performed in the winter of 1914. The artist presented a view of the ancient monastery complex shown to the west from the beginning of Lychakivska Street. The artist depicted the city architectural view in the late evening. The upper part of the former monastery building and the roof of the apse of the Bernardine Church open above the jagged wall of the fire house (later dismantled). Above, against the background of a cloudy sky, which is barely illuminated by the last rays of the setting sun, stand out the eastern pediment of the nave of the church and the high bell tower. On the left, in the foreground there are the walls of the former monastery of the Sisters of the Poor Clares; the light of a lone street lamp draws the viewer’s attention to the walls. The movement of the horse-drawn carriage on the snow-covered street enlivens the landscape. The work is performed in dark and intense tones.
In the lower right corner there is the author's signature, place of creation, and date “O Dobrowolski Lwów/ 914” written in italics.