Artworks in the Collection

Nadežda PETROVIĆ
Ksenija Atanasijević (1912)


The painting was purchased by Pavle Beljanski in 1956 within the family legacy, from Nadežda’s sister Milica-Mica Mišković (1876–1964), so that in October that year it was exhibited at a retrospective in Čačak as his property. Nadežda’s most famous painting in the collection was painted in winter 1912, upon her return from Paris. Ksenija Atanasijević came to the Petrović house in Ratarska Street (Belgrade) to visit Nadežda and there she posed for the artist in the snow wearing a large black hat that Nadežda had just brought from Paris for her sister, Mica. Ksenija Atanasijević (1894–1981), a professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy, studied classical philosophy in Belgrade, Geneva and Paris. She got her Ph. D. in Belgrade in 1922 with Branislav Petronijević and Nikola Popović as mentors, thus becoming the first woman with a Ph. D. in Serbia. Ksenija Atanasijević wrote and translated philosophical essays and was one of the first advocates of feminism. She was 16 when Nadežda painted her portrait standing in the snow; the painting depicts the bust of a young woman with hard and determined features and eyes like black dots, dressed in black and wearing a huge black hat. The painting is typical of Nadežda’s second Paris period with broad swift strokes that do not have a descriptive, but rather a constructive function and by their rhythm they become carriers of emotions and reflections of an expressionist temperament. The adjacent sections are accentuated through stronger material structuring so that the face and the clothes on the portrait look almost relief-like. This piece is one of the most frequently exhibited and reproduced portraits by Nadežda Petrović from Pavle Beljanski’s Collection.

Nadežda Petrović