Artworks in the Collection

Zora PETROVIĆ
Pregnant Woman (1938)


The naked bodies in Zora Petrović’s works represent the image of the entire human existence in time and space, because through the transformation of the body, the phases of physical existence, as well as through different characters represented by her nudes, she follows the faith of a human being. In one interview, Zora Petrović said “I try to follow a person’s inner drama through the transformations of the body and in those terms I would love to achieve a synthesis.” “Lately, I’ve been attracted to nudes on which life has left its mark. For example, the mature body of a woman has more characteristics. It is an image of an entire lifetime, and many try to ignore this truth. Of course, the truth is also a lovely girl. But if the figure is too beautiful, then it seems to be made out of wax, it has no power of expression which I need.” When painting nudes, which would dominate her opus after 1950, she relied on intuition as the cognitive activity of the spirit which in direct experience includes the world and human existence within it. The painting Pregnant Woman, shows one of those crucial transformations of the body. The painting is organized on tonal principles, from the darkest browns of the background to the golden ochre tones of the body. The colouristic and symbolic peak is represented by the shining of the gold jewelry around the model’s neck and the most prominent part of the pregnant belly. The painted woman does not look at the observer, does not play with the beholder, she is completely preoccupied with herself and her pregnancy. This preoccupation of hers along with the tints of golden light turn the painting into a metaphor which points out the preciousness of the fetus and the importance of the future child – “mother’s darling.”

Zora Petrović