Artworks in the Collection

Milan KONJOVIĆ
Ruined Church in Ledinci (1947)


The painting is dominated by the monumental body of a church nave in various tones of gray applied with a spatula in pastose strokes, which in its illuminated part turns into white. The surface of the lateral wall is divided by accentuated window apertures with only a few parts of the wooden structure protruding, and the belfry with its entire bulk stressing the firmness of the building. The diagonally placed fence of low brick posts whose tops are emphasized in a colouristic manner, introduces a dynamic quality into the composition, enclosing at the same time the space in the lower right part of the canvas. The sky is shaped with intermittent pastose brushstrokes in harmony with the whole painting. Stylistically, the work belongs to the artist’s “gray period” (1945–1952), when Konjović painted the ravages of war,
Ledinci and Rakovac Monastery. The artist himself explained: “In 1947, I was staying as a guest with Steva Maksimović in Novi Sad and from there we would go to Fruška Gora by car, and we often went by boat as well. I painted the recently demolished Rakovac Monastery and the church in Ledinci. The roof was burned down and the windows broken. I also painted the interior there, an iconostasis. The painting was bought by the Swiss ambassador, Zellweger. Beljanski
organized a visit by diplomats from Belgrade to see his collection, which was on display in the Sombor museum at the time.” Konjović exhibited the painting at his solo exhibition in the Art Pavilion in Belgrade in October, 1947. “I had the last exhibition here before the war and later I also had the first exhibition after the war. The designated authorities were in favour of this at first, the intrigues started only later. The Njeguš woman used to say, “You could paint differently, you just don’t want to,” reminisced Konjović about his first post-war exhibition which was not reported by the press. Pavle
Beljanski purchased the painting from the artist in June 1957.

Milan Konjović