Slovakia – The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 17: Eugene Andrew Cernan

Slovakia - The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 17: Eugene Andrew Cernan

The painter Peter Michal Bohúň, whose 200th anniversary of birthday we commemorate this year together with other important personalities of Ľudovít Štúr generation, played an important part in the fine-art scene that was associated with our artistic milieu around 1850. Together with Josef Božetech Klemens was highly interested in the national question and also participated in the revolution of 1848. Although most of Bohúň’s works that are known today are portraits of the Upper Hungarian intelligentsia, burghers and nobility, during his career he also accepted commissions from the church figures. These often formed a crucial part of his income as he needed to support his large family. His early paintings of religious notables come from the 1850s, but he also produced similar works later. Christological motives are quite commonly found in Bohúň’s works, for example, in the altarpieces in Bátovce, Dovalov, Lovinobaňa, Mengusovce, Ružomberok and in other places. 

Within the collection of the Ethnographic Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Martin, is an altarpiece from the 1850s with the motif of the Queen of Heaven. The picture was probably intended for the chapel in Krivá na Orave. It depicts an iconographic topic of the Virgin Mary, standing on a globe, clothed by the Sun. There is a sickle and a slithering snake beneath her feet. It is these two attributes, that refer to the iconographic theme, the Queen of Heaven. She holds the Baby Jesus in her arms and is wearing the traditional type of clothes that are associated with depictions of her: a red dress and typical blue cloak. She is surrounded by three angels in long frilled robes with wreaths on their heads. The angel on the left holds a ribbon which bears the text: “Gloria in excelsis Deo”, on the other side, the angel holds a ribbon with the word “Resurexit”. The third angel kneels at the feet of the Virgin Mary. A small crucifix can be seen in his lap on the white drapery of his robe. Bohúň searched for inspiration in the graphic works of the old masters, which was a common practice for works with sacral topics.