THE COLLECTION OF THE 19TH CENTURY
In the last decades of the 19th century owing to the work of painters who attended the Arts` Academy in Munich, on the Serbian painting stage appeared Realism. In terms of style, realists introduced calmness and order into painting after the romanticist restlessness. The general impression of the common sense, symmetry and ballance, even, diffuse lighting and the transfer of the function of colours onto drawings are the main characteristics of the language of painting. In Serbian painting, Realism never existed in its real sense in terms of the symbiosis of theme and technique. Taught to express themselves in a new way, by means of a new language, new form, by returning to Serbia these painters were facing a hardly solvable problem; they were supposed to adjust to the circumstances of an economically, socially and culturally less developed country, not ready to accept new social themes present in the European Realism. Thus, the Serbian painters continued painting portraits, religious and historical compositions.
Pavle (Paja) Jovanović (Vršac 1859 – Vienna, 1957) received his education in painting at the Academy of the Fine Arts in Vienna as a scholar of the Matica Srpska. Already as a student he gained extraordinary artistic respect and recognition. He travelled, painted and exhibited his works a lot, so that his works are all over the world. Apart from the compositions from the history of the Serbian people and representations of the tradition typical of the Balkans, portraits have an important place in his collection. By portraying the most famous people of his time, rulers, noblemen, but also his close friends. On his paintings he successfully represented the glamour and glitter of an epoch.
Uroš Predić (Orlovat, 1857 – Beograd, 1953) attended the Academy of the Fine Arts in Vienna as a scholar of the Matica Srpska. In Predić’s collection, there are more paintings with religious content, genre, and historical compositions than landscapes and nudes. By painting in the spirit of Academism, he achieved most with portraits. By trying to achieve the most convincing similarity with the face of the client and by insisting on recognition, he became an invaluable recorder of his time.