Artworks in the Collection

Nadežda PETROVIĆ
Anđa (1906)


Her sisters, Jela, Anđa, Dragica and Ljubica, and her brother Rastko frequently posed for Nadežda as models; still she most frequently (1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909) painted her “favorite sister”, Anđa (1891– 1914). Her portrait from 1906 entitled Head, A Study was exhibited at the painter’s Second Solo Exhibition in the Jakopič pavilion in Ljubljana in 1910. After the exhibition she gave the painting away to her good friend, painter Rihard Jakopič; as part of his legacy it was passed on to Dr. Joža Ilc from Ljubljana, from whom Pavle Beljanski purchased it in 1956. Nadežda herself was very fond of Jakopič and she regarded his opinion very highly, which implies that she was certainly aware of the artistic value of Anđa’s portrait. Struck hard by Anđa’s death, it was not until late in May 1914 that she gathered enough strength to reply to Jakopič’s numerous letters: “I am looking forward to your visit to Serbia as you will most certainly go there this autumn. I was devastated by the blow that befell me in mid- January. I lost my dear, kind and noble sister Anđa. The prettiest and dearest of my sisters […] I was beside myself, I thought I would die and that I could no longer bear this horror and her sudden death […] I was incapable of working and communicating with people, of entertaining guests, going to meetings with colleagues, engaging in correspondence, all that was beyond me. Only recently have I begun to feel better, but I am still far from being as strong as I used to be. You and your wife know how much I loved her. She was my pet, my counselor, my aesthetic point of reference in my home and my family and now she has been missing from my life for four months.“ As one of the most prominent paintings from Nadežda Petrović’s impressionist period, showing only the bust, it stands out among Anđa’s portraits by the emphatic presence of white applied in forceful strokes of the colour on the face and the clothes, in contrast with the cool tones of the landscape in the background.

Nadežda Petrović