Jožef Petkovšek’s work is characterized by genre and landscape theme in which he
is looking for his expressiveness. He is also known for obvious incompleteness
of paintings – in his most famous painting At Home, for instance, he
portrayed the mother with an unfinished hand.
Petkovšek was born in Verd and attended school in Vrhnika, Idrija and Ljubljana. In 1882, his colleague, Simon Ogrin, directed
him towards Venice. From there he went to study at the academy in Munich and later in Paris. In 1885 he returned, first to Munich and then back home to Vrhnika, where
he married young Marija Filipesco. On their honeymoon the artist experienced his
first attack of mental illness. From then on he lived between their home and the mental
hospital. Throughout the years considerable debts occurred and he
had to sell some of his property and estates. The artistic value of his paintings on sale was estimated as worthless
and many of his works were lost. Only after his death he was recognized as a ‘predecessor’ of Expressionists and
especially as the pioneer of the Dark Modernism.