A friend visiting Zagreb, Croatia, sent me a postcard with this painting of Basilica di San Marco on it. I love it! The card is from The Croatia Museum of Naive Art which has a number of paintings in its collection by the artist, Emerik Fejes. This painting was done in 1957.
Emerik Fejes (1904-1969), like many naive or folk artists, didn't start painting until late in life. He was a comb and button-maker who also collected postcards which became the inspiration for his paintings, most of which depict great buildings and cityscapes from around the world. According to Wikipedia, his painting technique was unusual in that he used matchsticks instead of brushes. And of course, I was charmed by this little detail:
"He also preferred painting with his cat under his arm." Wikipedia has a sweet photo of him with his tuxedo cat.
He looks like a nice guy. I love these self-taught artists who make art just because of some inner inspiration, not because it's their career or because they hope to make money on it. Many folk artists aren't discovered until after they've died, but Fejes had several exhibitions and some success and acclaim while he was still alive. Good for him. I'd love to see some of his work in person.
A few other works below:
The Capitol in Washington DC
A drawing of the Duomo in Florence
The Duomo in Milan (I love the colors in this one)