Two Men at the Bar

Odo Dobrowolski

  • Two Men at the Bar 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Two Men at the Bar
Date of creation
cardboard watercolor Indian ink
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
39 x 26
graphic art
genre 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 date of the work coincides in time with the author resorting to the theme of the self-portrait with a skull. In this composition, one can see the skull instead of the main character’s face; on the skull there is the same wide cap as on the artist's self-portrait dated 1908. There are two people standing behind the bar and drinking beer from the glasses. The character standing to the right is dressed in an elegant light suit and a long cloak; he has a skull instead of a head; there is a cap on his head and a cigarette in his teeth. The second character to the left is standing with his back to the viewer; he is dressed in a long cloak with a fur collar; he also has a skull instead of a head; there is a top hat on his head. There is a wall clock and bottles on the bar shelves. The composition is performed in a contrasting color scheme.