Two most significant collections from the Art Collections of Mali Lošinj have been displayed in the Fritzy Palace – The Piperata Collection of Old Masters in the Great Hall on the first floor and the Collection of Croatian Masters of Andro Vid Mihičić on the third floor. Both collections bear the strong stamp of their creators, yet the circumstances these collections grew out of are very different.
The Piperata Collection of Old Masters contains 27 paintings by mostly Italian masters, made in the period from the end of the 16th century (Bassano workshop) to the beginning of the 20th century (Filippo de Pisis) and predominantly from the Baroque period, i.e. 17th and 18th century (Girolamo Forabosco, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri – Il Guercino, Antonio Carneo, Alessandro Magnasco, Francesco Solimena, Francesco Fontebasso). Beside paintings, the collection also consists of three chests and one chest of drawers from the Renaissance and Baroque period.
The collection was acquired by Giuseppe Piperata (Mali Lošinj, 1883 – Sondrio, Valtellina, 1976), a devoted doctor and a passionate art lover. Although he started to collect works of art already as a student of medicine in Naples and Vienna, Piperata acquired the largest part of his collection during his service as a physician in Tarvisio in 1930’s, wandering all over expertly through antique shops, cellars and attics in Furlania and Veneto regions.
Political situation after the Second World War sets apart Giuseppe Piperata from his collection – he continues working in Italy while his collection remains in Mali Lošinj. After decades of negotiation, the authorities repurchased the collection in 1971. In years all paintings have been restored to be permanently displayed in the Great Hall of Fritzy Palace in December 1998, after 45 years-long “Odyssey”.
Collection of Croatian Masters of Andro Vid Mihičić contains 360 works of art. Only a small, yet the most representative part of the collection is on display (about 50 paintings, drawings and sculptures). These are the works which Andro Vid Mihičić (Beli, 1896 – Mali Lošinj/Beli, 1992) acquired during his lifetime and donated to his native land in 1988. He was an art historian and long-time lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, an art critic and a poet. The collection predominantly consists of the gifts by artists themselves – his friends and colleagues. It is an intimate collection, one could say – a collection “with dedication”. These are small size works with modest titles; still the authors’ names are very representative: Emanuel Vidović, Antun Motika, Stojan Aralica, Vjekoslav Parać, Vladimir Filakovac, Ivan Meštrović, Frane Kršinić, Antun Augustinčić, Vanja Radauš, Dujam Penić, Ivo Kerdić and others. What give a special value to the collection are sculptures, usually not very often presented in other Croatian collections of similar character. The collection was displayed on the ground floor of the Fritzy Palace from 1993 to 2005 (author of the first permanent exhibition – Đuro Vanđura, author of the second permanent exhibition – Miroslav Gašparović), to be moved to a newly restored hall on the third floor after the building reconstruction in 2006.
Photo: Francesco Fontebasso (Venice, 1709.-1769.), “Portrait of a woman in black”, oil on canvas
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