Artists in the Collection

Jefto Perić
(Gacko, 26 December 1895 – Belgrade, 31 March 1967)

On attaining the post of photographer’s assistant in Mihailo Merčep’s studio in Zagreb, Jefto Perić opted for education in painting: first at the Arts and Crafts College, and later at art academies in Zagreb (Professors Lj. Babić, M. Kl. Crnčić and others) and in Munich (Professors Becker-Gundahl and Hoffmann). He was finally formed as a mature artist at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux- Arts, where Paul Signac was one of his mentors. By persistently copying the great masters in the Louvre, he attained enviable artistic skills. In Paris, he regularly exhibited with the artistic group “Independent” and at the Autumn Salon from 1923. He first presented himself to the public with a solo exhibition in Zagreb, exhibiting his copies (1927). At the end of the twenties in Paris, he met Pavle Beljanski. This great friendship and mutual respect lasted until the collector’s death (1965), and it was particularly intense from 1935 when Perić moved to Belgrade and received authorization from Beljanski to choose and buy paintings by Yugoslav artists for his collection. From 1937, he was a member of “Lada” (its president from 1962) and of ULUS (Association of Serbian Artists); he regularly took part at their collective exhibitions. He was one of the founders of the “Đura Jakšić” Fund. He began his teaching career (1947) at the ULUS School of Art, and continued it at the newly-founded Academy of Applied Arts, first as an associate professor and later as a full professor of drawing. When he was still a student in Paris, Perić adopted a technique of painting with swift intermittent brushstrokes, which he adhered to closely until the end of his career as a painter. Recording only what he saw, the artist built a firm composition which was at first characterized by clear light-dark effects, but was soon replaced by more neutral tones and a milder colour harmony. Under the influence of intimism, Perić’s palette became brighter, with larger areas of vivid colours. He mostly painted landscapes, urban
scenes, intimistic interiors with figures, still-lifes and flowers, portraits and nudes, which reflected his prominent realistic beliefs.