Nadezda Petrovic

Kosovski Bozuri, 1913 - Nadezda Petrovic
“Kosovski Božuri”, 1913 / Image: WikiArt (Public domain)

Researching for the blog about modernists outside what is conventionally called “art capitals” (Paris, London, New York), this week, I came across artists from Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia and Czechia.

It was quite exciting for me since I don’t know many modern artists from the region – apart from Kupka, Mucha and some involved with the Bauhaus – and opened a door to explore new names unknown outside their countries.

I had then, the pleasant surprise to learn that the essential Expressionist painter in Serbia was Nadezda Petrovic (1873 – 1915).

Belgrade suburb, 1908 - Nadezda Petrovic
“Belgrade suburb”, 1908 / Image: WikiArt (Public domain)

The pioneer of Modernism in Serbia

Coming from a highly educated family, she trained in Belgrade and Munich, taught at the Women’s School of Higher Education (Belgrade), organized exhibitions, founded an art colony and was an art critic. 

Having studied in Munich and visited Paris around the 1910s Petrovic had contact with the modernists and visited many exhibitions.

Resnil, 1904 - Nadezda Petrovic
“Resnik”, 1904 / Image: WikiArt (Public domain)

Her work is most associated with the Expressionists and Fauvists with their adoption of vivid colours and free brush strokes. Her subjects embody Serbian landscapes, its cities and people. 

Nadezda Petrovic led the modernisation of the arts in her country and supported a Yugoslavian art movement. In 1904 she organized the first Yugoslavian art exhibit in Belgrade.

Besides her art, she is also remembered in Serbia as a humanitarian worker, volunteering as a nurse at wars in the period from 1912-14. It was in consequence of typhus, acquired from the war, that she died in 1915.

Self-portrait, 1907 - Nadezda Petrovic
“Self-portrait”, 1907 / Image: WikiArt (Public domain)

To know more: 

Visit the Nadezda Petrovic Memorial website.

Have a great week!


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