The Dominik Skutecký Villa with garden is a unique family villa built in Banská Bystrica at the request of painter Dominik Skutecký according to his artistic taste and admiration of Italian culture. The Villa houses a unique permanent exhibition of Dominik Skutecký, provides information to tourists about the dramatic history of Skutecky and Karvaš family as well as offers relaxation in the former city garden park.
The exhibition shows the painter’s work influenced by many years of experience in Vienna and Venice. Skutecký’s work is characterised by his mastery of qualities of Old Italian painting and later, by his approach to light in luminist (impressionist) paintings of the late 19th century. The exhibition tour includes his well-known genre paintings depicting epic scenes from the famous Venetian temples and corners, scenes from Banská Bystrica city life from the end of the Habsburg Monarchy, cultivated portraits and series of exceptional paintings of boilermakers documenting traditional work in local copper forge. In addition, the exhibition is supplemented by a virtual presentation mapping the fate of the artist and his family.
Tragic events of the Second World War, when the Skutecký and Karvaš families were being persecuted for Jewish descent (project Holocaust and the fate of D. Skutecký’s children) affected the genius loci (spirit of the place) in the family villa. At the same time the villa remind the place of exciting childhood and youth of a prominent Slovak writer and dramaturge Peter Karvaš, who captured his memories in the book V hniezde (In the Nest). Besides hosting permanent exhibition of the artist’s work, the villa lends its premises also to other kind of cultural events such as staged readings, summer film screenings, performances and other accompanying and educational activities. In the years 2008-2010, there was a special place reserved in the villa for presentation of visual art of the youngest generation entitled Room 19_21.
The construction of the villa in Neo-Renaissance style was realised around 1896 by builder and artist‘s friend Adolf Holesch. The original architecture sketches and visual shape design of the building and sgraffito decoration on the façade, which were most likely made by Skutecký himself, were not preserved, as well as the artist’s estate that had dissipated during the Second World War when the villa was temporarily occupied by the Gestapo. After several alterations and modifications of the building in the second half of the 20th century, the façade was restored to its original appearance in 1994, when the building was adapted to the needs of permanent exhibition. The garden, which was in 2011 declared as part of National Cultural Heritage Monument under the name Villa with the surrounding, represents a unique area of city garden park as well as the last city garden on the street Horná ulica in the centre of Banská Bystrica and in a wide surrounding.
Works of Dominik Skutecký from the collection of Central Slovak Gallery you can see also online.