Symbolism that marked the European art scene at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, has been recently seen in many European countries as an unavoidable topic in contemporary science of art history. This complex direction united two large and important museum institutions the National Museum in Belgrade and the Gallery of Matica Srpska in Novi Sad on a joint realization of a comprehensive exhibition Life Dream – Death. European Framework of Serbian SymbolismIts aim was the presentation of the peculiarities of Serbian symbolism viewed through the prism of European frameworks.

Exhibition Life – Dream – Death. The European Framework of Serbian Symbolism will be presented in the Gallery of Matica Srpska from the 5th of November, 2021, and will include seventy-seven works from national and European museums. Seven units Life Dream Death, In Search of Myth, Pantheistic Vision of the World, Fatal Woman, Religious Painting, Universal Suffering and National Mythology create a statement about the key thematic determinations, stylistic choices and artistic achievements of Serbian symbolism. Representative works of national artists from various museum institutions, such as the National Museum in Belgrade, the Jewish Historical Museum and the National Museum in Zrenjanin, will be united in the Gallery of Matica Srpska, providing a picture of thematic diversity and special poetics of Serbian symbolism. The biggest step forward that this exhibition achieved is the presentation of artworks by foreign artists and a creation of opportunities to see the works of European and national artists in parallel. Examples from European museums – The Belvedere Gallery in Vienna, the Modern Gallery and the Museum of Arts and Crafts from Zagreb and the Gallery of Fine Arts in Osijek – give the opportunity to see a broader framework of European symbolism. In addition to the historical view, a special segment of the exhibition dedicated to examples of the contemporary art scene, will emphasize the importance of symbolist ideas and their universal duration.

The exhibition is accompanied by the eponymous catalogue, authors Snežana Mišić, PhD and Igor Borozan, PhD, as well as with the Collection of Papers European Framework of Serbian Symbolism, in which scientific works of nine experts are collected with the idea to present the peculiarities of national Serbian symbolism.

The realization of the exhibition was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia, the Österreichisches Kulturforum Belgrade, as well as DDOR and UNIQA insurance companies.

The virtual tour was realized thanks to the sponsorship of UNIQA Insurance Company.


Starts: 05. November 2021.
Ends: 31. January 2022.



The Gallery of Matica Srpska, Trg galerija 1


  • Suitable for: all ages