It’s hard to describe Ivan Večenaj’s color palette as anything other than alarming. But to the self-taught painter, bold color illustrated the pragmatic idea that traditional religious scenes could be placed in the snowy woods of his home in the Podravina river basin in Croatia.
Ivan described Jesus in Podravina in his autobiographical monograph:
“The crucified Christ is in fact hung, not on the cross, but on a tree, below him there is a landscape of our region, cows grazing, washerwomen doing their laundry in the river. A little further, there is our village, what I wanted to mean is that life goes on: people work, they have a lot of worries, they are absorbed by their personal difficulties and do not pay attention to no one, especially not to the sufferings of Christ (...) Under him, there is a head, that of Adam.There is a container which one has drunk the gall and, a little further, a rooster perched on a dead tree. “
Reed Enger, "Jesus in Podravina," in Obelisk Art History, Published February 19, 2019; last modified May 19, 2021, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/ivan-vecenaj/jesus-in-podravina/.