SLOVENIA / ARTS& CULTURE
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
As with all cultural divisions within Slovenia, they have been influenced by the multitude of people and nationalities that have crossed through the country. Italian baroque architecture, for example is common particularly among churches and government buildings, the best example being the cathedral in Ljubl jana . One of the most famous Slovenes is Joze Plečnik who is the architect responsible for designing the “new” Ljubl jana after the devastating 1895 earthquake. Joze Plečnik is commemorated on the 500 Tolar note.
Gothic frescoes are particularly common, the best examples being in the Church of Saint John at Lake Bohinj . Famous Slovenian painters of this time were Johannes de Laibaco, Johannes Aquila and Jernej of Loka. The most important Slovenian painters were the Impressionist who exhibited in Ljubl jana in 1990. These were Ivan Grohar, Matej Sternen and Rihard Jakopič. More recently Lojze Doliner was popular during the Tito regime and modern day painters include Rudi Spanzel (who designed the new tolar notes) and a group of painters called Neue Slowenische Kunst who mainly exhibit in multi-media form.
Particularly interesting examples of Baroque sculpture are Jozef Straub's plague pillar in Maribour or Francessco Roba's Fountain of the Carniolan Rivers in Ljubl jana .
Music and Dance
Slovenian folk music has mainly developed from songs that were sung at ceremonies or rituals. The most popular Slovene folk group are the trio Trutamora Slovenica, who play on original folk instruments such as the cymbalom (a stringed instrument played with sticks), zvegla (a wooden cross flute) and even a rattle made from dried pumpkin.
Classical music started from the conversion of Slovenes to Christianity, the oldest of these songs date from 1440. The most important composer of this form was Izak Pos. The first Slovenian opera was composed in 1780 by Jakob Zupan. However the most famous person connected with the opera is Mar jana Lipovšek, who is the country's foremost mezzo-soprano.
Ljubljana has it's own ballet school as part of the national theatre. However the first ballet was performed in 1918. Contemporary dance is best exemplified by the group Betontanc that perform rock operas.
It is though that it was the Irish monks that introduced the Latin alphabet to Slovenia around the 8 th century. The oldest example of any Slovene language dates from 970. The romantic period produced the Slovene's greatest poet and hero France Peršeren (born near Bled). Peršeren was rather vain and arrogant as he refused to have any likeness of himself painted or published, so the one on the 1000 tolar note had to be done from memory after his death.