Emil Trutwin, watercolour paintings

E. Trutwin, 1

Among the soldiers of the various armies who have fought in our territory were many talented artists. During World War I, in 1916 and 1917, a young army lieutenant from Vienna, Emil Trutwin, served in the Podmelec and Klavže area. Painting was his love and his passion that allowed him to escape the emptiness of the long days in the military. He asked the innkeeper Drekonja, from Ilovica, to let him use his wooden shed, where he then set up a painting studio. For several months, he zealously created in watercolour and portrayed many landscapes of the places he lived in. 

When his command was ordered to fall back, Lieutenant Trutwin had to leave as well. He left his paintings in the temporary studio and never returned for them. But even if he had, he would have learned that only two paintings had survived; everything else burned in a fire that started shortly after the army’s departure. In a hurry to retreat, the soldiers forgot to extinguish a fire in one of their barracks. Because of the wind, the fire quickly spread to nearby buildings, including the Drekonja Inn.

Lieutenant Trutwin's only surviving watercolour paintings depict sections of the Tolmin mountains with clearly visible Austrian military positions. They are painted in a special granular technique that creates the impression of a photograph rather than a painting. The paintings were donated to the Tolmin Museum years ago by Marija Humar Solari, a descendant of the Drekonja family. 

E. Trutwin, 2
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