Artworks in the Collection

Girl (1936)

With this small-sized portrait, Stijović showed that there is no thematic division in his opus, but that “Stijović the portraitist is on the same level as Stijović the sculptor-lyrist,” wrote art critic Todor Manojlović at the time this sculpture was created. The material itself contributed to this impression – quality wood turned out to be the best medium for releasing the author’s creativity and presenting his plastic vision. The surface of the wood, polished by Stijović’s hand, was best able to express the sensuousness of form and the refinement of contours, regardless whether in caryatids, female dancers, faces of virgins “with smile” or figures of animals and birds. He created the sculpture in wood, from the initial idea to its final appearance. Stijović strove to impart only the elementary characteristics of the model’s physiognomy, insisting on volume. He did not linger on the details and the psychology of the character, which was often the case with his portraits done in other materials (where the creation and the realization were not necessarily the result of the master’s work). In accordance with the author’s preoccupation with the Khmer art, the face has pronounced oriental features, with large, slanted eyes and a somewhat broader and flatter nose, as well as with short straight stylized hair. The author himself stated on one occasion that he had done the Girl out of his head, but that the hairstyle corresponded with contemporary fashion, and there was a noticeable resemblance to Stijović’s wife, Žana. Just before he bequeathed his collection, Pavle Beljanski acquired the sculpture from Milorad Marčetić, a collector from Sremski Karlovci, whose father received it as a present from Stijović before World War II.

Risto Stijović