Josef Hanula is best known for his works in the folk genre, which brought him wider recognition in his time. The best of these works date from 1900-1918 and were created as a result of definitive settling down in the home country after studying abroad. Hanula put a lot of effort into the precise depiction of contemporary folk costumes and into the details of hands and faces of his figures. The painting called To Boyfriend was a great success at the 1902 exposition of Slovak and Moravian artists in Hodonín, where it became a sort of symbol for the Slovak participation. The painting shows a young girl in a female folk costume, with a prayer-book in one hand and a field flower in the other. The contemporary critics praised the baladic and nostalgic feeling and noted that, under the surface of the motif, there is an alegory of Slovakia suffering under the Ugrian governance.
Text: Helena Priesolová, Ružena Kormošová
Literature: Jozef Hanula. Liptovské Sliače : Obec Liptovské Sliače ; Mesto Spišská Nová Ves (2013)