Artworks in the Collection

Leposava Bela ST. PAVLOVIĆ
Matka Monastery (1935)


Immediately after finishing her studies, Bela St. Pavlović became briefly oriented towards solid form, plastic modelling and an almost monochromatic palette of dark tones, following the current aesthetics of new realism of the 1920s and producing mainly nudes and portraits. However, from the very beginning of the thirties, in line with the mainstream of Serbian and Yugoslav art, she found herself in moderate expressionism. The scene entitled Matka Monastery, one of the most significant works from that period, testifies to this. By its composition and refined colour orchestration it is similar to certain pieces by Petar Lubarda painted immediately upon his return from Paris, especially the one entitled Dobro polje (1932) from the collection of Nadežda and Lazar Ristić (National Museum in Belgrade). Bela St. Pavlović attended art school with this distinguished painter and later that year, both of them became members of the “Lada” Society of Serbian Artists. With this painting Bela Pavlović established her extraordinary pictorial sensibility and, at the same time, introduced the motif of monasteries, which held an important place in her opus. She produced a piece which completely corresponded with the demands of that time and which reflected her talent in the best possible way. She did so with vivacious and energetic brushstrokes, with an outline that defines the appearance of the church and the shelter, in a lithe and inspired, watercolour-like way, confident and awed before nature and the feeling of the civilizational continuity of a people whose tragic history and spiritual elevation she was well acquainted with. That is why this piece represents her remarkably well in the collection of Pavle Beljanski, a friend of her family whose members were also in the top echelons of our diplomacy.

Leposava Bela St. Pavlović