Artists in the Collection

Vidosava Kovačević
(Belgrade, 15 May 1889 – Belgrade, 11 September 1913)

Assembling his collection and opening it to the public, as part of his struggle for a better and more appropriate evaluation of national art in the twentieth century, Pavle Beljanski introduced VidosavaKovačević, a painter who had  been virtually unknown until then. Knowing his passion for collecting art, Milica Rakić showed him the paintings of her untimely deceased sister and he, with his refined taste, discovered in them an artist with specific values, worthy to be included in his anthology. Therefore, it was Beljanski who had played a key role in the reevaluation of Vidosava’s art. Vidosava Kovačević was born in 1889 into a respectable Belgrade family, and this would have a decisive influence on her career as a painter. She started her specialist education in 1905 at The Arts and Crafts School in Belgrade. The drawings, watercolours, paintings and embroideries created in the period between 1905 and 1910 belong to that
period of her education. These clearly reflect the school curriculum and the great influence of her teachers: Rista and Beta Vukanović and Marko Murat. They testify to the maturation of the artist’s drawing technique but also to the gradual transition from a traditional visual expression to more modern and freer pictorial solutions. On completing all her school courses (preparatory, specialized painter’s course and a course in teaching drawing and calligraphy), Vidosava Kovačević continued her education in Paris, first in the Académie Julian and later at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Unfortunately, her stay in Paris was brief. Due to the tragic circumstances brought about by the war which befell Serbia and her family (the death of her brother Vladeta), she returned to Belgrade in 1912. Her paintings produced in Belgrade immediately after she had completed her education as well as during her stay in Paris, belong to the second phase in her art. They clearly show her artistic language becoming independent and the singling out of the brushstroke as the fundamental basis of her artistic expression. In this period, the artist reached the peak of her visual language and style, and her works, such as A Study for a Portrait, Man from Banat, Landscape with a Bridge, Beach and Head of a Girl, may be considered as the most valuable  achievements in her opus. She died of advanced tuberculosis in Belgrade in 1913.