Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

Slovak room as seen by Martin Benka

COLOURFUL, pleasing and simple, Martin Benka’s paintings have always been extremely popular in Slovakia. In fact, they have made him one of the bestselling, as well as one of the most expensive, local artists.

COLOURFUL, pleasing and simple, Martin Benka’s paintings have always been extremely popular in Slovakia. In fact, they have made him one of the bestselling, as well as one of the most expensive, local artists.

The principal subject of Benka’s paintings was the life of Slovak villagers and highlanders, which he often idealised as a result of patriotic ideas originating in the middle of the 19th century.

This replica of a Benka painting from the 1930s depicts furnishings typical in Slovakia at that time. Although the artist remains faithful to his own style and romanticises the interior a great deal, the painting still gives us a more or less clear idea of how Slovaks used to furnish their homes from the late 1800s to the period between the world wars.

Almost everything was made of wood – the ceiling, floors, walls, different pieces of simple furniture and a box, which was virtually the only place where valuable items could be stored.


Crucifixes and icons hanging on the walls were almost obligatory. Benka’s Slovak Room is also adorned with a wooden dove symbolising the Holy Spirit.

The Sunday bests, tablecloths and duvets were added by the painter; Slovak houses were actually less decorated.


The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

How rock music helped bring down the totalitarian regime Video

A new film shows that Rock & Roll, forbidden in the Soviet Union, helped to end the Cold War.

Illustrative Stock Photo

Movies under an open sky feel differently than in an air-conditioned cinema Photo

The popularity of outdoor cinemas is increasing in Bratislava

Bažant Kinematograf on the Magio Pláž beach

Peter Sagan announces split with his wife Katarína

The Slovak cycling star who has a young son said “It will be much better this way”.

Peter Sagan marries Katarína, November 2015.

Top 3 news from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Slovakia to buy 14 American fighter jets.

This archive picture from 2014 shows an older model of the F-16 fighter jets.