Artworks in the Collection

Peasant Woman from Šumadija (1905)

The period between 1905 and 1908, the most prolific creative period in Nadežda’s opus, was marked by the organization of the art colony in Sićevo, her social commitments, trips to Vienna (to the Secession exhibition) and to Munich, also by frequent contacts with her Slovenian friends Jakopič, Grohar and Jama. Although she constantly followed the work of her teacher, Julius Exter, the meeting with him again in Munich in 1905 had a decisive influence on the formation of her artistic poetics. Her first pastose paintings appeared in that year: the accentuated facture was the linguistic code for form, plasticity and rhythm, determining the distance of objects. Branko Popović, painter and art critic, recorded in 1938: “On foot or on horseback, by carriage or by train, she traveled incessantly and spent her days and years outdoors. Wearing a large straw hat and rough clothes made of peasant cloth with only small embroideries of a few dark motifs from southern Serbia, Nadežda gave the impression of an artistic missionary, preacher and fighter, a kind of a Serbian Courbet.” Dressed in this fashion, Nadežda fitted perfectly into the sceneries she painted, barely different from the figures in her paintings – peasants in the field or in the meadow, shepherds, water bearers, Gypsy women. The Peasant Woman From Šumadija was painted during one of her tours of Šumadija. With expressive features, painted pastosely, energetically and in an accentuated manner, dressed in national costume of intense colours, with the shoulder-pole almost etched into the layers of paint, the Peasant Woman shows that the colours have priority over the psychological factors and the artist’s endeavor to record what is most important. Considering the fact that Nadežda’s piece from Paris Kraljević Marko and Miloš Obilić is on the back of the painting, we can conclude that it too was part of the artist’s Paris luggage in 1910.

Nadežda Petrović