THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF SERBIAN ART OF THE 18TH CENTURY
The oldest paintings in the Gallery of the Matica Srpska are the icons from the 16th and the 17th century, bearing witness to the perseverance of the Byzantine style of icon painting, which continued until the end of the 17th century. The exhibited works show the lines of diverse influences, Russian, Italo-Cretan and domestic, where the Orthodox icon-painting tradition was long-lasting.
The icon Epiphany, by an anonymous icon painter from early 16th century, is an example of the best tradition in Byzantine icon-painting. Milan Kašanin claimed that it was one of the best icons painted after the Middle Ages.
The icon Beheading of Ten Cretan Martyrs (1694), by the Greek painter Victor, was painted in the Italo-Cretan tradition in which the Byzantine and Western Catholic cultural influences coalesced. Itdemonstrates a striking combination of traditional Byzantine painting with Italian technique and iconography, typical of Western art. The icons by Russian painters Ivan Maksimov, Spiridon Grigorjev and Tihon Filatjev Ivanov from 1687 are also typical of the best Russian tradition dating from the late Middle Ages.