Orava is the northernmost and coldest region of the country. Its windswept hills, deep forests and hard-working pious populace inspired writers as well as artists.
Martin Benka was the founder of the nationally oriented painting, also called “the alchemist of Slovak beauty” by his contemporaries. Benka's goal was to provide the unassuming nation with spiritual support through art. His craft invoked many followers, albeit with less utopian and idealistic attitude.
Benka's monumental landscapes are often rythmicised by horizontal stripes of fog and populated by people at work and rest, proudly resisting their destiny. In his building of the "homeland myth", he used aspects of Art Nouveau and Expressionism, but also channelled the pathos and nostalgia of Romanticism.
More information and other artworks by the artist: