Artworks in the Collection

Chimneys and Roses (1937)

For Peđa, the early morning hours were the ideal time to paint, as best be seen in his Parisian roofs cycle. The oldest of Peđa’s seven paintings from Pavle Beljanski’s collection, Chimneys and Roses from 1937, represents a scene of the freshly awakened “city of light.” Perhaps from some Parisian attic, Peđa’s look reached another roof, but without ignoring that which was right in front of his eyes, in the foreground, flower pots. What was it that the painter really wanted to place in the foreground? Was it the gray chimneys and dark roofs, or the pale-yellow roses which instill a breath of life into them, absorbing the morning sun? Peđa used to say that grayness grew everywhere: “It starts with the chimneys, whose colourful stalks adorn every house, spreading out to all parts of the town through a multitude of the grayish-yellow and grayishred poles of the black weathercocks. It moves on through the black and red, metal-bound, wind-worn and rain-washed roofs and descends down the steep slopes and bluffs of uneven attics and facades decorated with black balconies of wrought and cast iron.” The colouring itself gives the impression of dejection, an elegiac note on the run-down facades and dilapidated roofs, coinciding with Peđa’s opinion that melancholy accompanies true beauty, the beauty he saw in those Parisian roofs. The very moment he lifted his head and saw the roofs, he showed that they were visible to artists and not only to the birds. And it was to one such artist, that those roofs were the embodiment of an atmosphere of transience and memories, as well as a part of that Parisian, time-worn patina.

Predrag Peđa Milosavljević