Slava Raskaj (Ozalj, 2 January 1877 - Stenjevac,
Zagreb, 29 March
Slava was born in the family of the local
administrator Vjekoslav Raskaj and his wife Olga,
and her name Slava means Glory in Croatian. Until
the age of seven she lived with her family.
Being deaf ever since her birth, due to the
difficulties in communication, she gradually
withdrew from people, but not before her talent was
noticed. Until the age of fifteen, (1885 - 1893),
she lived in an institution for deaf children in
Vienna, Austria. Under the influence of an art
instructor she kept developing in the area of
painting and drawing.
Back home, in 1895, persuaded by the local teacher
in Ozalj Ivana Otoic-Muha, she left for
to attend the art school. In 1896 her instructor was
painter Bela Cikos-Sesija.
Slava's repertoire was peculiar - dark shades of
still life, watercolor paintings containing strange
objects as the starfish, silver jewelry chest, and
even more interesting, the pairs of objects as a red
rose and an owl, or a lobster and a fan.
Mrs. Otoic helped her to open her own atelier. It
was the small, white painted room, once the
mortuary. Her first aquarel was done there and most
probably today's famous self-portrait from the year
1898. Next year, the actress spent at home in Ozalj,
wandering in the nature, drawing the landscapes,
perfecting her favoured medium technique, enriching
them with her already unique and distinguished style
Her works have been exhibited since 1898 in art
pavilions of Zagreb, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It
was the best part of her short career when most
valuable works were done, especially those painteid
in this very Garden, by the ponds. A series of
paintings of water lilies (‘Lopoci’) are considered
as a sort of a hallmark of this great artist.