Yugoslav painter, illustrator and theatrical designer. Born in Petrinja (Croatia), but grew up in Hlebine. Studied at the Academy in Zagreb 1920-6, then was awarded a French government scholarship and spent 1926-8 in Paris. First one-man exhibition with Juraj Plancic at the Galerija Edo Ulrich, Zagreb, 1926. Began to paint scenes of Yugoslav peasant life in a style related to Breughel, but attacking the persecution and exploitation of the peasantry. Founded in 1929 the group Zemlja (Earth), the first association of artists in Croatia with outspoken Marxist tendencies, and was the group's ideologist and most faithful adherent; also founded in 1930 a school for peasant painters in the village of Hlebine, whose most famous pupil was Ivan Generalic. Taught from 1936 at the Zagreb Academy. Arrested a number of times 1931-41 for his left-wing activities and was interned during the German Occupation. In 1945 appointed professor at the Zagreb Academy, where he directed the 'master's studio' from 1950. Illustrated various books, and designed for the ballet and the theatre. Died in Zagreb.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.358