Artworks in the Collection

Sreten STOJANOVIĆ
Necklace (1937/38)


It was a particularly joyous occasion for Pavle Beljanski, when in 1963 he received the permission of the manager of the National Museum in Belgrade, Lazar Trifunović, to cast a replica of this relief. A decade later, professor Lazar Trifunović, an eminent expert on Stojanović’s art, expressed his observations on Necklace at the sculptors’ retrospective in the Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. “Stojanović achieved high poetic quality in two reliefs – the Necklace and Solace – which he created at the end of 1937 or the beginning of 1938. They represent a significant move in his evolution as an artist. These are monumental reliefs, cast in bronze, classical, tranquil, simple. The technique is different from the one used in the reliefs from 1933 and 1934. The line no longer has that nervous, baroque flutter – it is stern, mild in its ascent and descent, legible in its function, dignified in its effort to describe form. Such are the levels too, shallow but compact, un-notched, decisively cut, but with the feel of a master who knows how to transfer a full form into two dimensions. Composed harmoniously and with a discreet rhythm, with a barely visible motion, these reliefs adapted their expression to the stone they were originally conceived in.” The Necklace is one of the sculptor’s last reminiscences of the art of Ancient Rome. This is particularly noticeable in the sketch for this composition, until recently in the possession of Stojanović’s daughter Jovanka Maksimović. It owes its simplicity of form and classical tranquility to the fact that the author had originally intended to create the relief in wood. First exhibited at the 1939 retrospective, then in Čačak (1959), at the commemorative exhibition in Belgrade (1963) and the retrospective in the Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (1973), this relief is one of the most exhibited sculptures of the Memorial Collection within the exhibition The Collection of Pavle Beljanski – Here and Worldwide.

Sreten Stojanović