Lviv. Cityscape

Odo Dobrowolski

  • Lviv. Cityscape 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Lviv. Cityscape
Date of creation
paper on cardboard watercolor Indian ink
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
34.5 x 27
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
This image might be from a series of early artist’s works, performed before his trips to Paris. In the inventory book the work is registered under the title “Piskova Street in Lviv”. The objects that are represented in the work by O. Dobrowolski don’t exist in this street, so this veduta isn’t topographically specified. The image represents a part of the street; it goes down along the brick pillars of the fence and the expressive villa-type house depicted below; it is decorated with a plastic relief between the windows and the pediment. The color scheme is represented in warm tones, in particular the red color depicts the roof of the villa and the fence in front of it; in the pillars’ brickwork red elements are combined with ocher and beige ones. The plastered facade of the villa is depicted in the same colors. Green leaves of trees emerge from under the green bars of the fence. The composition is vertically crossed by a street lamp; it is tilted to the left and installed on a cobbled and grassy sidewalk.
In the lower right part of the work there is the author’s signature “Odo Dobrowolski” written in italics.