Zvonimir Mihanović was born in 1946 in Sitno Donje in Poljica near Split, Croatia, to father Srećko and mother Darinka, and had two brothers (Marin and Vjekoslav) and three sisters (Nedjeljka, Slavica and Davorka). Mihanović’s exceptional talent as an artist was recognized at an early age. This was later confirmed in 1962 when he won first prize for his portrait painting of his mother at the age of sixteen, which was exhibited in the Salon of Young Artists. In 1965, at the age of eighteen, he had his first one-man show in Split, followed by another in Zagreb, which qualified him for entrance into the Academy of Fine Arts located in Zagreb. He then completed his studies at Pedagogical Academy in Split in 1969 and studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, Italy.
Mihanović traveled to Paris in 1971, where he began his painting studies at the l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts at the studio of the French painter Albert Zavaro which he completed in 1976. While Mihanović studied classical painting, he carried out various jobs and painted portraits of tourists to support himself and finance his education. To learn the craft of classical painting, he explored museums and galleries in Western Europe and the United States and perfected his skill by making sanctioned copies of paintings by the old masters. Due to his adept ability and natural talent, it was to no one’s surprise that Mihanović’s paintings quickly gained interest in Paris. In 1978 one of Mihanović’s paintings was exhibited in Paris at the Salon d’Automne at the Grand Palais. He received great reception and recognition, and his painting won the “Best of Show” honor for the “realism” division. It was here that major art dealers recognized his work and introduced him to the international art scene. Mihanović then signed an exclusive contract and began working with the prestigious Wally Findlay Galleries.
Many Croatian art historians, such as Igor Zidić, Joško Belamarić, Duško Kečkemet and others, have praised Mihanović’s painting opus. In 1996 his work was exhibited in the Croatian Pavilion at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. The following year he was honored by UNESCO in Paris with an exhibition of his work as part of a celebration of the cultural history of his beloved city, Split. That same year Mihanović was awarded the highest cultural honor his country can bestow: The Order of the Morning Star. In further recognition of his talent, his native country, Croatia, issued postage stamps, which carry his beautiful images throughout the world.
Zvonimir Mihanović’s work is collected and exhibited internationally. The Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, and other European museums avidly collect his work, as do collectors from Europe, Latin America and the United States. He has had numerous one-man exhibitions at Findlay Galleries in Chicago, Palm Beach, New York and Beverly Hills.