Nikola Martinoski, sometimes spelled Martinovski (Macedonian: Никола Мартиноски), (August 18, 1903 - February 7, 1973) was a Yugoslavian and Macedonian painter who is now generally considered a founder of contemporary Macedonian art. He is best known for his Mother with Child painting which, although first created in the 1930s, was not completed until the 1960s.
The Early Days
Martinoski was born as Nikolache Martin in 1903 to an Aromanian family in Kuruşova (which, at that time, was part of the Ottoman Empire). He developed an interest in painting at a young age and attended art classes at the workshop of Dimitar Andonov-Papradinski, an iconic painter in Skopje. He moved constantly but by 1920 he'd settled down in Bucharest, Romania, where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts (now known as the Bucharest National University of Arts) and graduated in 1927.
Years in Paris
Martinoski spent two years (1927–1928) in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière (famous for former students Amedeo Modigliani and Boris Anrep) and the Académie Ranson with artists like the Polish painter Moise Kisling and Roger Bissiere who acted as mentors. This period would affect his way of life and subsequently his style of painting.
Life in Skopje
Martinoski came back to Skopje with the air of a Parisian gentleman and brimming with avant-garde ideas about art. He developed a very specific expressionistic style and started dealing with social themes rather than portraits. He soon became a member of the Belgrade group Oblik.
His first individual exhibition was in 1929 in Skopje and he continued exhibiting in Belgrade, Zagreb, Paris, and in other cities. While he continued drawing, painting, and exhibiting, Martinoski also began creating large wall paintings. Later, he established the Artistic Gallery located in Skjope (now known as the National Gallery of Macedonia) and won numerous awards.
Martinoski died on February 7, 1973 at the age of sixty-nine and gave sixty-two of his paintings to Kruševo as a gift. His home in Kruševo is now a gallery, where a small number of his works are exhibited.
100 Years of Martinoski's Birth
In 2003, the National Gallery of Macedonia completed the project "100 years from Martinoski's birth". The exhibition featured paintings never shown publicly before because Martinoski had left 116 of his paintings to his family in a nondescript box. His devotees after seeing those paintings were surprised to find a new, previously-unexplored side of Martinoski. These paintings were never before seen or discussed.
Many of Martinoski's works were greatly influenced by medieval fresco art and modern Parisian school crisscross. However, his strongest artistic creations were portraits.
- "Life". Nikola Martinoski. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Nikola Martinovski Biography". GRAL Gallery. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Destination Avdela 2012, Or Back to the Future a Travelogue, Paul Beza, Fast-Print Publishing, 2013, ISBN 1780356285, p. 37.
- "Exhibition of Previously Unseen Works by Nikola Martinoski". Culture: Republic of Macedonia. Retrieved 3 July 2013.