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)
13.8 x 9.6
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 is one of the artist's earliest works that was performed before his trips to Paris. The image presents a fragment of the central part of Lviv, namely a view from the George Hotel and the beginning of Henryk Sienkiewicz Street (now Mykola Voronyi Street) at the intersection of the squares of St. Mary’s Square (now Adam Mickiewicz Square) and Halytska Square. The defining feature of the composition is a house with a present-day address – Valova Street, №№ 2-4 – that is depicted in depth and in the background. On the right there is a shop window with a sign “Ubrania męskie” (men's clothing) on the ground floor of the George Hotel. The glass of the shop window reflects the outline of the house that is located vis-à-vis. Near the shop window and in the background there are figures of people that are performed in black Indian ink. In the color scheme the artist skilfully uses contrasts of different tones.
In the lower right part of the work there is an inscription “Odo Dobr” written in italics.