Slava Raškaj Biography
Birthday: January 2, 1877 (Capricorn)
Born In: Ozalj
Considered to be the greatest watercolorist to come out of Croatia in the early 19th century, Friderika Slavomira Olga Raškaj, better known as Slava Raškaj, led a short but prolific career and is widely studied by modern artists. Born deaf, her painting allowed certain levels of communication with her family through her younger years. Later in life, she did learn to speak but only at a basic level with difficulty. While many were unwilling to train her, Raškaj eventually studied under the famous artist Bela Čikoš Sesija, a founder of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She also studied in Vienna where, in addition to art lessons, she learned to read French and German. After her schooling, she traveled throughout Europe exhibiting her paintings at a variety of exhibitions. At the time, her paintings were unique in their subjects, often featuring popular still lifestyles but with odd combinations of objects. These included things like two chickens tied down in a basket next to their eggs. They also exhibited darker shades than were popular among artists of the time. Later in life, she began painting outdoor scenery that would become her most famous works. Though she lived for only 29 years, her paintings are highly regarded today and garnish record prices at auctions.