Imprints. Nikola Popov (1968 - 1954)
Who is Nikola Popov - the first Bulgarian graphic artist who received academic training after the Liberation? What part of his work as a winner of the highest honor of the Vienna Academy of Arts - the golden Füger medal has reached us today? Why is the name of the only representative of Bulgaria in the "Engraving and Lithography" section of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 sinking into oblivion while he was still alive?
The exhibition Imprints. Nikola Popov (1868 - 1954)" with curator Elisaveta Stancheva, is looking for answers to these questions and will be presented by Gallery Loran at the end of October this year.
In the salon of Gallery Contrast, host of the exhibition, engravings by Nikola Popov will be shown, some of them in various states, the only portrait we know so far, painted by him with charcoal, kindly provided by the collection of the collector Alexander Kerezov, as well as two prints with the image of Tsar (then Prince) Ferdinand, one of which with the author's dedication - part of the collection of the GalleryDjurkovi.
In addition to the richly illustrated information boards tracing the life and work of the Bulgarian engraver, visitors will also be able to familiarize themselves with a graphic print, the work of his teacher at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts - Prof. Johannes Zonenleiter (1825 – 1907).
This print is part of a series recreating panels from the comic opera curtain of the Imperial and Royal Palace Theater, today's Vienna State Opera. It is based on a drawing by Ferdinand Laufberger (1829 – 1881), who was extremely popular in the 19th century, who designed the curtain by emphasizing the joy that music brings.
Nikola Popov also worked on a plot from Laufberger's curtain - without repeating the work of his teacher, he chose the panel "Hunting Fanfare" and created the engravings in Vienna known today as "Hunting Scene" and "Eros", which will be told more within the exhibition.
After his return to Bulgaria in 1895, Nikola Popov devoted himself to a long-term teaching activity, and so in 1925 in the First Men's High School he supervised the drawing training of the artist and future art critic Asen Vasiliev. The would-be teacher would later recall this "too short man" who "always maintained his authority in drawing classes" and though he had once in his youth had "certain impulses" as an engraver, "these childhood manifestations ” are “lost in long-term teaching”.
In his face, Vasiliev sympathizes with the fate of the artist-teacher, from whose "cruel pincers" only "a few have the strength and opportunity to break free." It seems that Nikola Popov does not manage to rank among them.
The exhibition will last until October 31 and is supported by the National Fund "Culture" under the "Program for the Restoration and Development of Private Cultural Organizations".
October 24 /Tuesday/ 2023, 18:30
Sofia, 49 "Tsar Samuil" St.