Bratislava City Gallery ­– Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic

Martin Benka (1888 - 1971) | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


Explore the archive of exhibitions


Before 1975, the City Gallery of Bratislava had its seat in the premises of the Primatial Palace.


Martin Benka (1888 - 1971)

Mirbach Palace (show Contact)
8. 9. 2006 - 12. 11. 2006

                              Martin Benka (1888 – 1971)BZozatvy.jpg.jpg
            Martin Benka (1888 – 1971) is one of the establishers of the Slovak modern art of the first half of the 20th century. The City Gallery of Bratislava in cooperation with the Slovak National Museum in Martin, by the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the artist’s death introduce from the collections fund of the Museum of Martin Benka in Martin an exceptional choice from the artistic creation of this important Slovak painter and illustrator. A representative choice of more than 110 Benka’s artworks is compiled from his publicly well known style of painting, which creates a general picture about his focus on painting. The presented collection is a certain cross-section through Benka’s art-creation, the painters’ handwriting stages of development as well as the representation of individual themes and localities which regularly appear in his fine art. Most of them capture Slovak nature, monumental natural sceneries, high clouds and wide horizons, flat lands and undulating crop fields in a precious harmony with man. Onto the beginnings of his artistic attempt – Among corn (1915), On the Flat Land by Bratislava (1917), Song of the Flat Land (1919) when his painting style shaped and at the same time proved, binds the creation from the 20ies and 30ies of the 20th century. This culminating Benka’s work introduces mainly the mountain nature of Slovakia to which he artistically kept returning – On the Liptov’s Grassy Uplands (1925), In the Valley (1927), Across the Swollen River (1927), Two Women (1933), Mountain Women from Liptov (1936). Even though he lived for 39 years in Prague, all presented artworks have themes close to Slovakia. The youngest of the exhibited works of art are the not well known creations from the 40ies and 50ies of the 20th century (True to the Ancestry (1940 - 1943), Before Wedding (1944), Traces of Cultures (1947), Mother’s Tenderness (1955 – 1960) and Old Castle (1960). It is the exhibition premiere for some artworks from the first beginnings of his creation. The complete picture about the artist’s focus on painting is accomplished with minute paintings – studies of Slovak landscape which aptly introduce his feelings and experiences from jaunting across Slovakia. The most represented are studies from Orava, Liptov and Spiš. These regions were a big source of knowledge and of artistic inspiration. Admirable is the sincerity of the artistic recording, influenced with the artist’s strong experiences straight in the plain air of various regions of Slovakia and they served him as the base for large – spaced picture compositions. Right these minute artworks are a proof that his attempt was not to recall an impression of the Slovak countryside, capture its moods, but mainly spontaneously capture the specific part of the nature which artistically became a world of symbols and also internal meanings. A part of them are costume studies from some regions of Slovakia which were created besides them.
            After five years Martin Benka is again in Bratislava. The introduced artworks, their exceptionality dwelling not only in the thematic choice itself but also in the inimitable rhythm of shapes and colours maybe will awake in the public the desire to uncover and get to know him again.

Anna Oláhová




Do you want to know what´s new at the City Gallery of Bratislava?

Other exhibitions/actions

Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Curator: Vladimír Kordoš, Marián Meško
21. 4. 2020 - 30. 8. 2020
Mirbach Palace / Exhibition
Author: Albín Brunovský
Curator: Ivan Jančár
12. 3. 2020 - 30. 8. 2020
Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Authors: Matej Krén / Juraj Krén
Curators: Kristína Zaťko Jarošová, Ivan Jančár
26. 9. 2019 - 31. 5. 2020

Františkánke nám. 11, 815 35 Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Panská 19, Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
The photographs of works of art, promoting the exhibitions held at the City Gallery of Bratislava, published on the website, are subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act. The City Gallery of Bratislava is not a copyright holder; it is the artist, or his/her heirs. The work of art becomes free more than 70 years after author´s death. The photographs of works of art published on the website can only be used with the prior written consent of the artist, his/her heir, or institution representing artist´s rights, otherwise it shall be regarded as copyright infringement.