Lviv. St. Mary’s Square

Odo Dobrowolski

  • Lviv. St. Mary’s Square 2
Basic information
Odo Dobrowolski
Lviv. St. Mary’s Square
Date of creation
cardboard watercolor Indian ink
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
65.5 x 49.5
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 watercolor work was performed before the artist's second trip to Paris, in the winter of 1911. One can see St. Mary’s Square in Lviv with the Adam Mickiewicz Monument in the center. The column, which is freshly decorated with a linear basement, is depicted as a monumental dominant of the square. Against its background there is the house No. 9 that doesn’t exist now; and the house № 8, in place of which now there is the Sprecher Building/Jonasz Sprecher skyscraper (a historical name). The towers of the Latin Cathedral and City Hall are rising above the roofs of the buildings. The Adam Mickiewicz Monument was opened in Lviv in 1904. The area around the monument was soon modernly redesigned.
In the lower left part of the work there is the author’s inscription “Odo Dobrowolski/ 911 Lwów” written in italics.