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Hanibal Lucić’s Summer Residence


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Hanibal Lucić’s Summer Residence (around 1530) is a lovely example of the Renaissance architecture of country houses. It consists of two buildings and a large fenced garden in the Renaissance style, but with clearly visible Late Gothic features. The complex is located in the fields, outside the town walls.

The summer residence is typical of the Dalmatian Renaissance architecture, which is not surprising since local masters took part in its building. They worked with builders and stonemasons from Korčula and Brač and it is likely that the builders and the masters supplied the stonework from their native islands. The summer residence can be accessed via the main town square.

Hanibal Lucić’s Reception Room

The memorial room dedicated to Hanibal Lucić was adapted in 1999 on the upper floor of the east building of the summer residence. Hanibal himself designed a spacious studio for his leisure activities in summer. The spacious room has four large windows which, when open, transform it into a nice, airy loggia. Items from the Museum holdings, paintings, furnishings, a collection of medals and Hanibal Lucić’s portrait are displayed in the reception room. The bedroom probably used to be downstairs, where the Museum archive storage area is now.

Hanibal Lucić (1485 – 1553)

Hanibal Lucić was born in 1485 in Hvar, where he also died in 1553. He was the greatest versificator of the Croatian Renaissance literature, the author of a smaller collection of love poems (Pisni ljuvene - Love Poems or Skladanja izvarsnih - Excellent Versification), numerous epistles, the first European romance, and a play (Robinja - The Slave), written half a century before Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as well as the translator of Ovid’s verses. His play Robinja was an indirect predecessor of an avalanche of romances and adventure mauresques, very fashionable at the time, which dominated the dramatic production of his age. It could be argued that in his no less popular collection of love poems Lucić was greatly inspired by the poets of the late Italian Petrarchism, especially Pietro Bembo, but the clarity of his expression and his versification frequently surpass the skills of his role models. His son Antun printed his father’s works in Venice in 1556, several years after Hanibal’s death and the play Robinja was published some decades later. As a typical member of Croatian aristocracy, Lucić took up the highest offices in the commune of Hvar and helped the adaptation of the cathedral of Hvar and the construction of the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Grace. Hanibal Lucić spent the last days of his poetic and spiritual life in his summer residence on the outskirts of the town, which had been built in a sophisticated Renaissance style and thus stood out among other constructions of the time on Hvar. He was buried in the Franciscan monastery, cared for by his family for generations. His verses, poetic translations, epistles, and especially his play Robinja make up a small but indispensable portion of European Renaissance heritage.