Artworks in the Collection

Belgrade Suburb (1908)

The painting belonged to Nadežda’s sister Mica Mišković, from whom Beljanski purchased it in 1956. It was exhibited under the title “Old Belgrade – Dorćol”, as one of the 36 works at Nadežda’s second solo exhibition in the Jakopič Pavillion in Ljubljana in March 1910. The application form for the exhibition lists the prices, which range from 50 to 1000 crowns for Belgrade Suburb and Spring Morning. The label from the exhibition on which Nadežda personally wrote the title of the painting, its catalogue number – 4, as well as the price of 2000 dinars has also been preserved. The painting was noted for its forceful drawing, but also for its weak perspective and “doughlike” appearance. According to the painting technique which was unusual for Nadežda Petrović and a similar urban motif, this work can be associated with the signed and dated one entitled The Jewish Quarter (1908), which determines the date when it was created; it belongs to the second Serbian period (1907–1908), the impressionist period. The reason why her paintings from 1908 were frequently dated lies probably in the fact that the author was conscious that they carry the mark of her earlier palette and style to the least extent. In these paintings she is preoccupied with the problem of light, its vibrancy and shimmering that soften the shapes, making gray and brown tones and outlines unnecessary, but never with disintegrating form. Instead of a sharp painted contrast, there is a prevalence of red, yellow, orange, green, blue and violet, evened out by an “interweaving” of white – applied also by atypical, resolute, short and dense strokes. Nadežda gets closest to impressionism here by the characteristic blue and violet shading and refined orange parts as well as by a blue – orange contrast instead of the usual red – green.

Nadežda Petrović