Lojze Spacal was born in Trieste on 15 June 1907. His parents were Slovenians, Karst locals, who in the period of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy moved to the centre of Trieste (Italy). After his father died, young Lojze grew up in the suburbs of Trieste, where he attended a Slovenian school. His adolescence was marked by the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the rise of fascism in his home environment. His socialising with friends in Slovenian cultural societies caught the attention of the fascist authorities, so he ended up in prison and later even in exile. “As an artist I was born in the Regina Coeli prisons in Rome. I was born as a painter and graphic artist.” (Lojze Spacal, 1997)
Lojze Spacal entered the world of fine arts in the period between the World Wars with his first exhibitions in Trieste. He captured the interest of many with his creativity that ranked him alongside the greatest artists of the then time and space.
In 1969 he bought an abandoned homestead in the village of Škrbina and renovated it with great attention to simplicity of the Karst architecture. In 1988 the Lojze Spacal Gallery was opened in the Štanjel Castle. Spacal passed away on 6 May 2000. His wish was to be buried in his homestead in Škrbina, where he lived the last period of his life.
Lojze Spacal is considered one of the most prominent fine artists in post-war Slovenia and Italy, and he also received global recognition. Although he tried various techniques throughout his creative periods, he achieved his creative peak in graphic techniques, particularly linocut and woodcut. He is known as an artist of Istria and the Karst, as he was inspired by motifs from both regions, transforming them into his own artistic language. His works, exhibited as a permanent collection in the Štanjel Castle, reflect six decades of the history of the Karst and Primorska.
“I painted landscapes, that’s true, but I have always had in mind the human being who actually created them. When I created my works of art I was actually thinking about a human figure. However, I didn’t portray it because I thought it was redundant in an artistic sense. This figure can be felt. It is not there, yet it is present.” (Lojze Spacal, 1998)