Artworks in the Collection

Predrag Peđa MILOSAVLJEVIĆ
The Old City of Bar (1949)


In 1949, Milosavljević created his own phantasmagoric vision: The Old City of Bar. Miodrag B. Protić saw this painting as a key work in the artist’s opus. Consisting of three levels, the composition has a tendency towards universality and represents almost a model for perceiving so-called old towns, which Peđa poetically used to call “the resting place of bygone centuries.” On the first level of the painting there are some broken sculptures, fragments of a fresco, a spinning wheel as well as various ceramic vessels; on the second level there is a silhouette of a deserted town, as a kind of vision, perhaps even a warning, and on the third and last level, there are tall, massive, robust mountains, like timeless guardians, but also witnesses of human transience. Walking, as a boy, by the ruins of Stobi, Peđa absorbed its silence and reverberation, which, decades later, he channeled into The Old City of Bar. This connection with Byzantium once again confirmed his attachment to the cultural heritage of his country. The small visual archeology in this composition is a work of art typical of Milosavljević’s aesthetics. To him, towns do not die; their ruins are magnificent in all their dilapidated state. As a painter, but also as their observer, he warned: “Remember that these ruins, headless bodies and bodiless heads, and arms, and joints, eyes and mouths, each smallest part, are integral values, indivisible and magnificent at the same time. And the love of their creator that lasts in embers to the last stony breath, to the last trace of faded colour, is so great that sometimes you think that you are living anew.”

Predrag Peđa Milosavljević