Artworks in the Collection

Roses (1937)

Roses is one of those paintings from the history of art which are held in high esteem both by the greatest experts and the widest audience: one of those works which classify Lubarda amongst our most popular artists. There are also some stories related to it. At the exhibition entitled The Painting and Sculpture of the Peoples of Yugoslavia in the 19 th and 20 th Century, organized in 1946 (and displayed in Moscow in 1948), a visitor, who was incidentally a painter, always stood like chained to Lubarda’s painting. When asked about the reason for gazing at the Roses day after day, he answered that it was exactly the painting he had wanted to paint all his life. Along with the Church of St. Blasius, it is one of Lubarda’s most frequently exhibited and reproduced paintings, which was also most frequently mentioned in reviews of the national history of art between the two wars. Beljanski acquired a large number of paintings for his collection soon after they were painted. This was also the case with the Roses, which he bought from Lubarda as early as 1937. The artistic value of this canvas has always been pointed out along with the qualities of the Church of St. Blasius: both are excellent examples of the transition from linear to pictorial in the evolution of Lubarda’s style. However, while in the Church of St. Blasius the warm and cool tones blend into each other, colour has a clearer role as an accent in the composition of the Roses, whereby the overall tone becomes clearer, and the painting gains a “silvery shine.” Later on, colour will take up an increasingly larger area of the canvas, compared to these small accents, so examples like the Roses from the Pavle Beljanski collection are a significant herald of Lubarda’s later style. Because of such paintings, among which we can also include the Roses from the Sarajevo Art Gallery, also from 1937, the period of Lubarda’s painting from 1935 to 1941 is often called his “silver period.”

Petar Lubarda