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Bits and Pieces of Slovak Culture

The Slovak National Theater



We introduce: Martin Benka
Martin Benka - Portrait from the book Odev mojho ludu

Martin Benka (1888 - 1971) is one of founders of the Slovak modern painting art. He was trained in post-Impressionist landscape painting but tended to the principles of decorativism and symbolism of Secession painting, he drew some inspiration also from the Expressionist principles.

Since the late 1920s he had focused almost exclusively on representation of the rural Slovakia and its mountainous landscape, by the 1930s he developed his signature and original monumental style but also created small-size intimate cabinet paintings, drawings, graphic art (graphic designs for postal stamps, banknotes, diplomas), book designs and illustrations. In addition, he wrote and published his memoirs, played several musical instruments and composed music.

We introduce: Albin Brunovsky
Albin Brunovsky - portrait from the book Albin Brunovsky and his School

Albin Brunovsky (1935 - 1997) was painter and graphic artist. Each area of his creation - painting, illustration, graphics - became the jewel of the Slovak, as well as the world culture. Many awards at home and abroad testify this fact. Thanks to him, "Slovak Graphic School" started to be spoken of. He was one of the designers of Czechoslovak banknotes and stamps. His illustrations were primarily for children's books.

Brunovsky lectured at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava from 1966 to 1990. In 1981 he was appointed a professor, creating his own engraving school several years later. Brunovsky's work often mirrored that of the modern movement, citation art.

Slovak Sculptor Tibor Bartfay

We introduce: Tibor Bartfay

Tibor Bartfay (1922) is known as a bard of Slovak monumental sculpture. He has created more than 2000 sculptures, the last one is a sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen. You can see it at the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest (1939-1942), under the guidance of professor Sidlo and at the Academy of Creative Arts in Prague (1945-1949) under professor Karel Pokorny.

We Introduce: Ignac Bizmayer (Slovak Ceramic Artist)
Portrait of Ignac Bizmayer - Photography from the book  Ignac Bizmayer
Ignac Bizmayer - Cover Page
We introduce: Fero Guldan.
Fero Guldan

His paintings seem to resist any serious reflection and refuse to be bridled by aesthetic categories, judgements or evaluations. Guldan appears to be constantly playing in his pictures, particularly those dated from the patinated assemblage period (the technique he developed), curious to find what will come out from under his hands...

We introduce: Peter Klucik
Peter Klucik

He takes new things into his hands with a surprised laugh, he turns them around, plays with them, combines shapes, he takes them to pieces and forms new ones...

We introduce: Martin Jonas
Photography of Martin Jonas

"Who is Martin Jonas? To those who took at least a fleeting glimpse into even the briefest encyclopaedia of naiv art, this name should be well known. The name belongs to a man whose wealth of talent and aesthetic imagination ranks him among the most amazing personalities in the world of current naive art. He contributed significantly to the forming of the notable Kovacica naivist group," writes one of the authors monograph about Martin Jonas Ivan Melichercik.

Peter Dvorsky (Publication about  Famous Slovak Tenor) - Cover Page

The famous Slovakian tenor Peter Dvorsky

The starry career of Slovakian tenor Peter Dvorsky has begun in 1972 in Slovak National Theater Bratislava in the role of Lenskij in Tchaikovski´s Eugen Onegin. Since then, he has performed on more that sixty operatic stages of twenty-five countries all over the world. He is considered one of the five world’s best tenors; Mario Morini, Italian critic and musicologist acclaimed him as "the last successor of the traditional Italian school" and Leo Nucci – famous baritone titled him as "a literary Italian tenor". Due to his „Italian-tutored voice of an exceptionally beautiful velvet color and master cantilena he is usually cast in roles of French and Italian romantic and veristic era.

Monument of Milan Rastislav Stefanik - Bradlo


Pavol Barabas

We introduce: Pavol Barabas

Pavol Barabas makes films about his friends who has experienced something special. He is interested in the stories of people in an extreme environment which, as he put it, "shows what kind of person he really is," writes bulletin of the 7th International Film Festival Bratislava. His film received the attention of the audience not only at home, but primarily at numerous film festivals around the world.

We introduce: Fero Fenic
Fero Fenic

His short films I've Crossed the Big, Wide World, Batromij's House and, in particular, There and Back (awarded in 1990 as the best Czechoslovak documentary film from the period 1969-1989), were exceptional films for their time. He worked with Slovak Television where he directed several feature and documentary films (e.g. Shores of Grace, Village Dream or Jozef Kroner's Life Railroad). In 1984 he made his first writer-director feature-length film Juice Novel, the public screening of which was banned.

He made his second feature-length film in Prague in 1989, Strange Beings, which prophesied the fall of Communism. His third feature film came in 1998 - a compilation film based on the popular TV show Czech Soda. For Kratky film Praha he made the internationally acclaimed short film Train to Maturity (1989).

At the end of 1991 he established the independent film and television company FEBIO in Prague. FEBIO has been organising the FEBIOFEST international festival of film, television and video since 1993.

We introduce: Elo Havetta (1938-1975)
Elo Havetta - portait from the Book Film Profiles

Elo Havetta made no more than two films (Celebration in the Botanical garden, Wild Lilies). However, both of them belong to the golden fund of Slovak cinematography. Havetta was a prose writer, photographer, worked as an editor in visual arts magazine, as a graphic designer, etc. Since the beginning of his studies at FAMU (Film Academy of Musical Arts in Prague) in 1961, cinema became his major interest...

Film Profiles (Slovak Feature Film Directors)

Encyclopedia contains complex information about 68 Slovak film directors who worked in the period of 1921 - 2005. In Slovak and English languages.


Church and Monastery of the Sisters of the Order of St Clare


Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox.



Ministry of Education of the SR.

Slovak Academy of Sciences.

Photography of the SLUK Performance

Slovak folklore is rich and various. Folk customs and traditions vary among themselves according to geographic region. An important part of the folk culture is folklore that is retained in spoken, musical, dramatic and dance forms as well as in traditional architecture and handicrafts.

Most famous folk ensembles are SLUK and Lucnica that present Slovak folklore also abroad. Every year, several folklore festivals take place, the biggest (except 2006) being in town Vychodna.

The Slovak Folk Art Ensemble - SLUK, performs Slovak music and dance. Folk traditions from all over Slovakia are represented in unique arrangements. SLUK has performed around the world.

The Slovak National Folklore Ballet – Lucnica spreads its art for more than 58 years in countries all around the world. The dance ensemble is accompanied with an orchestra which is a small professional group of excellent musicians named Golden Violin. The Lucnica Chorus is known for its advanced singing technique as well as for the vocal culture.

"Song maintains the language," says Slovak ethnomusicologist Ondrej Demo More...

Slovak folklore music in our store.

A list of folklore stories in - mainly in Slovak.

Shrovetide - antrophomorphic masks

For those who are interesting in traditional habits and customs in Slovakia we recommend Slovak Folk Customs and Traditions. For an ethnographer may be useful Ethnographic Atlas of Slovakia.

You can find more books like this in Slovak language here.


Published: December 11, 2002
Updated: December 11, 2002
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