The city of poets, writers and scientists
Many forms of artistic expression flourished during the long and rich history of Dubrovnik. The Dubrovnik literature experienced its renaissance "rebirth" in the 15th and 16th century, when many immortal works of literature were created. Emerging from life in Dubrovnik and created to amuse, provoke, cry and laugh, Dubrovnik literature developed from the people. The Dubrovnik Rectors, regarded as the best-educated citizens of Dubrovnik of that time (Dinko Ranjina, Dominiko Zlatarić, Ivan Gundulić and others), created immortal poems about their beloved city of Dubrovnik.
Ivan Gundulić, the greatest Croatian 17th century writer, predicted the downfall of the great Turkish Empire in his great poem Osman. As freedom was regarded as the greatest value to Dubrovnik, he wrote these immortal verses that are performed till today on every opening of the world famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival:
" O you beautiful, o you dear, o you sweet freedom… all the silver, all the gold, all human lives, can not pay for your pure beauty…".
Many other poets and writers, among them Marin Držić and Ivo Vojnović created numerous works about the glory and everyday life of Dubrovnik. Their literature still lives and is very relevant even today. Don't miss to experience the plays; many of them are performed during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
Other famous citizens of Dubrovnik include the painter Vlaho Bukovac, the mathematician and astronomer Marin Getaldić , the composer and author of the Croatian first symphony Luka Sorkočević and the scientist Ruđer Bošković.
Dubrovnik Painting School
Through centuries Dubrovnik was the cradle of many famous painters. Little of the riches, created in both the famous and unknown paint shops, beginning with the frescos in the pre-romanic churches in the 11th and 12th century, to the greatest pieces of art by Ivan Ugrinović, Blaž Jurijev, Lovro and Vicko Dobričević, Nikola Božidarević and Mihailo Hamzić in the 15th and 16th century, is preserved. Many great works of art disappeared or were plundered during the centuries in fires, earthquakes and other disasters. From the remaining works it is obvious that Dubrovnik had great painters, artists with immense talent and skill that rightfully established them in the painting history of Europe under the name of The Dubrovnik Painting School.
The most recognized representatives of the Dubrovnik Painting School were Lovro Dobričević and his son Vicko Dobričević (Vicko Lovrin), Nikola Božidarević (the son of the painter Božidar Vlatković) and Mihajlo Hamzić.
From Lovro Dobričević, 15th century, three works are preserved: the Poliptih in the Dominican Monastery, Poliptih in the St. Mary church on Danče and parts of the Poliptih (St. Blaise portrait) in the Franciscan monastery, all in Dubrovnik.
From Blaž Jurjev Trogiranin, 15th century, there is the painting of Madonna in the St. Durđa church on Boninovo and a painted crucifixion in the Franciscan monastery in Ston.
From Ivan Ugrinović, 15th century, only the Poliptih in St. Antun church on island Koločep is preserved.
From Vicko Dobričević, 16th century, only the Poliptih in the Franciscan monastery in Cavtat is preserved.
From Mihajlo Hamzić, 16th century, who was educated by Andrea Mantegne in Italy, only two pieces of art are preserved; The baptism of Christ in Rectors Palace and the Triptih Lukarević in the Dominican monastery in Dubrovnik.
From Nikola Božidarević, regarded by many as the greatest talent among these painters, only four pieces of art are preserved; the Triptih Bundić, the paintings Navještenje and Sacra conversacione ( all three located in the Dominican monastery), and the Poliptih in St. Mary church on Danče, his last and, by many, most beautiful work. (Danče is the name for a small part of Dubrovnik located just outside the city walls where the church is located)
The sudden death of these painters, that happened from 1517 till 1520 marks the drastic end of a great era of the Dubrovnik painting school, an era that enriched the cultural heritage of the world.
Dubrovnik, as one the centers of art on the Mediterranean, had already in the 14th century many foreign masters working in it, mainly from Italy. They were all invited by the government of Dubrovnik to paint on the churches and other monuments in Dubrovnik.