Artworks in the Collection

Jovan BIJELIĆ
Seaside (1932)


At the beginning of the fourth decade of the 20th century, during his travels along the Adriatic coast, Bijelić cast off the last of the “constructive shackles”, steering his painting towards an absolute domination of colour and the affirmation of free strokes. Painted in 1932, during this “revolutionary” journey, the Seaside was one of those pieces that promoted this newly-established concept. On that occasion, the artist produced a significant number of paintings, mainly of Dubrovnik and its surroundings, and even more drawings and watercolours, later reproduced in oil. It is interesting that Bijelić claimed he did not like to paint the sea and the rocks because they looked mushy to him, “like illustrated
postcards.” On the other hand, with much more affinity he painted the architecture of the coastal area complemented as a rule by the lush Mediterranean nature. On several occasions, Bijelić “portrayed the Bay of Gruž” with extraordinary dedication. His friendship with Kosta Strajnić, the time they spent together, their discussions and their continuous correspondence, provided a continuity in his contact with the city and its surroundings even when he was not physically present in it. Having all this in mind, the insistence on the pictorial element only seemingly suppressed the topic into the background. The motif was still the basic impulse – a sophisticated source of pleasure. His paintings inspired by the panorama of Dubrovnik remain a lasting testimony to this affinity, and place Jovan Bijelić in a long line of artists who gave their contribution to the creation of the identity of this city throughout the centuries.

Jovan Bijelić