Artworks in the Collection

White Roses (1944)

After a brief stay in Madrid, where he happened to be when the World War II spread to Yugoslavia in 1941, Peđa Milosavljević was transferred to London; he arrived there in July the following year. He lived in the very center of Kensington, not far from the famous park, which he immortalized in his painting, which bears the same name. The White Roses are from that same period. The motif which had previously been seen in Peđa’s paintings was now completely isolated and separate. And as such, it is self-sufficient. This classic vision of flowers in a vase with the odd wilted stem is embodied, first of all, in the pearly-gray tonality and the lyrical approach to nature. Placed in a shallow vessel, the ten-or-so whitish roses, including the wilted ones, are a metaphor of nature and the transience of time, which Peđa often inscribed on his paintings. Although they were called “white”, the colour is, in fact, the artist’s recognizable gray. Peđa’s grayness is not heavy, but enthusiastic and warm, just as the French intimist painting of the time offered our painters, including Peđa, a lyrically shaded emotion, devoid of any roughness. Paris, along with all other influences on Milosavljević, brought about a change in his technique, so, instead of a brush, he increasingly used the palette knife, while reducing his colours to grayish-blue and light green tones with only an occasional accent in another colour. This most certainly coincided with contemporary tendencies in the 1930s which had the Paris intimist circle as its starting point and when colour was accentuated in the organization of a painting. The members of that circle were loyal to nature and the love of nature was Peđa’s preoccupation too from his childhood days. He knew how to extract its essence, its beauty which is not visible to everyone, just as he arranged his little herbarium, with plants gathered, while hiking with his father, according to visual and not botanical parameters.

Predrag Peđa Milosavljević