Foundation "Support for the Art in Bulgaria" Virtual Museum Boris Denev and Slavka Deneva

The project is with the financial support of Department “Culture” of Municipality Sofia

More about the project




This project of a virtual museum with works of Boris Denev and SlavkaDeneva is realized by "Support for the Art in Bulgaria" Foundation in 2017 with the financial support of Program „Culture“ of Sofia Municipality. It is a continuation of the long standing work of a team from the Union of Bulgarian Artists and the foundation occupied with the preservation, systematization and popularization of the art of the both artists through exhibitions and issues in which the accent is put on the paintings and drawingsthat are a testament to the UBA. 

Remarkable artist, intellectual and citizen, Boris Denev (1883 – 1969) is high appreciated and respected for the contribution to our national culture. His daughter Slavka Deneva (1929 – 1984) is a character with very rich culture and all-round artistry, astonishingly honest and open person.

After the jubilee exhibition of Boris Denev in 1893 in UBA Slavka Deneva donate all the amount from the sold paintings to help artists and their families – despite the poverty in which she lives and soon after that she makes a testament and donate to the UBA the family apartment at Shipka 18 Str. in Sofia with all the paintings in it – more than 8000 works of her and her father. This is a priceless wealth made as a considered sign of high moral and education, as a lesson of dignity, as a memory of the Denevi’s family. These art works are preserved and studied for two decades and a part of them are shown in a few exhibition of the two artists in Sofia and other cities in the country, and also the Foundation „Supporting Arts in Bulgaria” issues a luxury catalogs for their jubilee retrospective exhibitions.

Boris Denev, during his life, organized 25 solo exhibitions in Bulgaria. He creates hundreds of landscapes, portraits and compositions, bible and military matters. He study painting in the Munich Art Academy; participate in the Balkan war as a volunteer medical orderly; for 10 years was military artist in the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army; he was a school teacher and systematized his ideas about education in visual arts; his childhood dream being to fly, he fulfilled it using a self-manufactured „glider”; he constructed a vertical sundial to be hung on a wall; played several musical instruments and manufactured these; he was a bohemian and a leading figure in the popular Brambazatsi orchestra; he was an active member of the „Native Art” society and took part in the organizing of several Bulgarian exhibitions abroad, including his service as a commissioner of the Bulgarian pavilion at the Venice biennale in 1942; he illustrated the poem „Children of the Balkan“ by Cyril Christov and „A History of Music“ by Stoyan Brashovanov; he often contributed articles and illustrations to several newspapers; served 10 months in prison and in labor camp after 9th of September 1944; was expelled from the Union of Bulgarian Artists and forbidden to paint in the open until his rehabilitation in 1956; his name was in the World Biography edition of 1949; he wrote books about practical, structural and visual perspective; he was awarded the Cyril and Methodius prize by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, in 1931 and the honorary title of Honored Artist, in 1967.

Slavka Deneva with her first works shown in common art exhibitions in 1957, 1959 and 1962 demonstrates in one categorical way her individuality and she isn’t unnoticed by the critics and the museum specialists. She didn’t want to organize a solo exhibition. In 1990 her art is shown in two big expositions in UBA and City Art Gallery in Sofia. She says that she’s a naturalist that draws with colors and didn’t use for herself the notions „art“ and „painting“. She works often simultaneously on a few paintings which subjects are interesting for her at this time. She didn’t sign or date the works, she didn’t name them. Yet, the painter never closed her art in automatic topicality or notional images. For her the experiment in the widest sense is a creative motivation, but not an activity as an end in itself and continues logically and enriches the path that she had walked. Her portraits are always set in a specific environment, which is as expressive as the human image itself; her still-lives are rather parts of a specific interior, than a cluster of objects of varied material quality; and in her interior paintings, the perception of human presence is strong.

Vesela Hristova-Radoeva


The realization of the project „Virtual museum „Boris Denev and Slavka Deneva“ is the next stage of the successive program of Foundation "Support for the Art in Bulgaria" in UBA for popularization and socialization of the art of one of the biggest names in the contemporary Bulgarian art – Boris Denev (1883 – 1969) and Slavka Deneva (1929 – 1984). In one contemporary shape, getting over the restriction of the exhibition space, through the new media and digital technologies he presents a collection with an exceptional artistic value composed of more than 900 paintings, 7000 drawings and sketches, documents and personal archive of the two artists.