March 3, 1907
January 23, 1949|
|Known for||Painting, drawing, writing|
Zef Kolombi, an Albanian painter, was born on March 3, 1907, in Sarajevo. His father, John, who was the owner of a hotel in Sarajevo, died in 1910 and a year later, his mother died. Kolombi, along with his sister Vera, moved back to Shkodra to live with their grandmother. After the death of his grandmother, the two children were in the care of their godfather, Sokrat Shkreli.
In Shkodra, he finished elementary school-orphanage opened by the Austrians, and spent three years in the Jesuit school. He found a devotion to painting, his passion, but with difficulty. He went to Italy and visited museums, art galleries and exhibitions of painting. At the age of 18, Kolombi returned to Shkodër and worked as a clerk in the Hotel Grand.
In 1929, after receiving a state scholarship from Hile Mosi, Kolombi departed again for Italy, where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Upon completion, he returned to Albania and was appointed drawing teacher in Elbasan, where he spent the next ten years. In 1936, he married and had one son, Julian, and by a second marriage had another son Gjovalinin, while continuing to paint and carry out the tasks of a teacher.
Kolombi painted with materials such as cloth, canvas, cardboard and plywood, while most of his work is in oil, using more red, brown, green and white. Kolombi's work Columbus is in the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana. His portfolio consists of 50 paintings and drawings containing realist landscapes (A Harvest, 1947), still-life (Grapes and Pears, 1940) and portraits (Julian, 1946). These paintings were often executed en plein air which are distinguished with a balance of composition and a plethora of colours and tones.
He suffered from asthma and tuberculosis in the last two years of his life and died on January 23, 1949.
- Robert Elsie, "Zef Kolombi" in Historical Dictionary of Albania, (Scarecrow Press, 2010), 237.
- Sulejman Dashi, "Zef Kolombi" in The Dictionary of Art, Vol.18, ed. Jane Turner, (Macmillan Publishers, 1996), 207.