Artworks in the Collection

Jaša Tomić (1910)

Portraits have a significant place in Nadežda Petrović’s opus, but the name of the portrayed person is only known in a few of the paintings. One such painting is the Portrait of Jaša Tomić, catalogued in the first Donation Contract in 1957. Until it was added to the Collection of Pavle Beljanski, it was owned by Nadežda’s sister, Ljubica Luković. Nadežda painted the portrait of this journalist and politician, one of the most prominent persons in the Radical Party of Hungary and writer of significant historical treatises, out of respect for his personality, but also as someone related to her family. Namely, Nadežda’s maternal grandmother, Draginja, married to Pavle Zorić, a blacksmith from Titel, was the sister of Svetozar Miletić, whose daughter Milica was married to Jaša Tomić. The portrait is one of Nadežda’s masterpieces: its expression is not reflected in the expressionist over-emphasis and the deformation of the face, but the painted structure on the face speaks of extraordinary daring. Along with blue, red and plenty of white, the face of the model is shaped by hints of green, and the colour conveys the psychological state, but also the inner structures of the painting itself. The background of the painting also indicates a link with Fauvism, an intensely green wall decorated with a repetitive ornament. Nadežda herself was very fond of this portrait, so that she took it on her trip to Paris in February 1910, where she hung it up on the wall of Meštrović’s studio, as preserved in a photograph from the family archive.

Nadežda Petrović