Artworks in the Collection

Girl in Blue Trousers (1930)

When at the end of the third decade he settled down in Saint-Tropez with his wife, Vreni Weilenmann, Čelebonović defined the intimate world of his paintings. Surrounded by his beloved furniture and in direct contact with it, he painted mainly interiors, figures in interiors and persons from his surroundings. In the painting entitled Girl in Blue Trousers Čelebonović related the figure to the interior by depicting the sixteen-year-old Laure, daughter of the Spanish painter, Ortiz de Zárate. She posed for him on several occasions in Saint-Tropez. Although the painting is called Girl in Blue Trousers, all the attention is not focused on the standing youthful female figure which divides the plane of the canvas vertically into two parts, seemingly merging with the background of the composition. Standing in front of an open wardrobe, covered in light-dark contrasts (blue trousers and the white fabric wrapped around the torso, the dark ochre of the hair and the light tone of the face), the figure not only accentuates the verticalness of the composition, but it also emphasizes the darkness of the left side of the plane and the lightness of the right one. The painter complemented the monotony of the silvery surface behind the girl’s back with a fragment of furniture (the table and the sofa) and a rug from Pirot which often featured in his paintings. Divided along the horizontal axis as well, almost at the golden section, on the vertical of the wall (2/3) and the horizontal of the floor surface (playful but with a subdued colouristic weave), the painting belongs to Čelebonović’s brown period and is one of the most significant from that period. The general atmosphere of the painting is replete with the author’s desire to emphasize the psychological aspect of the portrait. Before Čelebonović became famous with the canvas entitled Family/Company shown at the exhibition of four Yugoslav artists, Pavle Beljanski had bought the painting of the girl for his collection with the help of Jefto Perić.

Marko Čelebonović