The legend of Veronika of Desinić in word and image
The legend of Veronika Desinićka, well known throughout Hrvatsko Zagorje, is based partly on true historical events and persons who lived in the first half of the 15th century and partly on folk imagination that was shaped through history, particularly the 19th and the 20th centuries. The historical events that took place in the first half of the 15th century, recorded in historical sources, were an inspiration to poets, writers, and artists. Numerous works were created based on the story about star-crossed lovers Veronika Desinićka and Count Fridrik II of Celje.
This exhibition presents the works of Croatian writers, painters, theatrical figures, and journalists, inspired by the story about the love between Veronika, a noblewoman from Desinić, and Count Fridrik of Celje.
It is assumed that Count Fridrik II of Celje himself was the first to encourage the artists to create their work in mid-15th century, when he initiated and commissioned the construction and painting of the interior of the Late Gothic chapel of St. John's in Ivanić Miljanski in the vicinity of Vinagrad, which came to be known as Veliki Tabor.
The first literary works based on this theme dates back to the time of the Croatian National Revival, when many authors drew their inspiration from national history.
The history of Croatian theatre also records a performance of a play entitled, Veronika Desinić, at Markov Trg Square in Zagreb in 1876. The playwright was Franjo Žigrović, a politician prominent in the Croatian revival movement. The main role of Veronika Desinićka was played by Marija Ružička Strozzi, a well-known Zagreb actress.
In the late 19th century, Hinko Davila wrote the first novel about the tragic love between Veronika Desinićka and Fridrik of Celje, entitled Zagorska Ruža [The Rose of Zagorje].
The legend of Veronika Desinićka also captivated the imagination of Oton Iveković, the well-known Croatian painter.
Presented here is only a selection of works based on the story of Veronika Desinićka