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Nadezda Petrovic

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Nadezda Petrovic

Text of Nadezda Petrovic

School of Design


Final Examination

Nadeda Petrovi

Teacher: Slavica Stamenkovi Candidate: Nikola Jankovi

Belgrade, 2014.


1. Introduction

2. Life and Work

3. Paintings

4. Conclusion

5. References


The aim of this paper is to find out something more about Nadeda Petrovi, and take a closer look at her interesting life and work. It presents a study involving her biography, her unique style and paintings.

Life and Work

Nadeda Petrovi was born in aak, Principality of Serbia on 11 October 1873 to Dimitrije and Mileva Petrovi. Her father taught art and literature and was fond of collecting artworks. He later worked as a tax collector and wrote about painting. Her mother Mileva was a school teacher and a relative of prominent Serbian politician Svetozar Mileti. Petrovi's father later found work in finance and politics. He fell ill in the late 1870s, forcing the family to move to the town of Karanovac (modern Kraljevo) before their eventual relocation to Belgradein 1884. Here, they lived in the home of Petrovi's grandfather, Maksim. The home in which they lived was later destroyed by the Luftwaffe during World War II. Showing signs of being a talented artist, Petrovi was later mentored by Djordje Krstiand attended the women's school of higher education, from where she graduated in 1891. In 1893, she became an art teacher at the school and later taught at the women's university in Belgrade. Afterwards, she obtained a stipend from the Serbian Ministry of Education to study art in the private school of Anton Abein Munich.

Nadezda Petrovic monument in Pioneer Park, Belgrade

(Gift from city Arandjelovac, occasion IX set of Non-aligned countries in 1989.)

In Munich, she met painters Rihard Jakopi, Ivan Grohar, Matija Jama, Milan Milovanovi, Kosta Milievi, and Borivoje Stevanovi. She also encountered modern art pioneers such as Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlenskyand Paul Klee, and was deeply moved by their work. While in Munich, she regularly sent letters to her parents in Serbia and always asked for them to send her newspapers and books detailing the latest happenings in the country. Her dedication to her artwork took a toll on her personal life, and in 1898 she called off her engagement to a civil servant after the man's mother sought an unacceptably high dowry. Petrovi returned to Serbia in 1900 and regularly visited museums and galleries, attended concerts and theatre productions. She also dedicated much of her time to learning foreign languages. Her first individual exhibit took place in Belgrade that same year. She also helped organize the First Yugoslav Art Exhibit, and the First Yugoslav Art Colony.

Nadeda Petrovis selfportait

In 1902, Petrovi began teaching at the women's school of higher education. The following year she became the first chairman of the Circle of Serbian Sisters, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping ethnic Serbs in Ottoman-controlled Kosovoand Macedonia. In 1904 Petrovi retreated to her family home Resnik, where she focused on her paintings. One of her most famous works,Resnik, was completed during her stay here. Over the next several years, she became involved in Serbian patriotic circles and protested the Austo-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina. In 1910, she travelled to Paristo visit her friend, the sculptor Ivan Metrovi. Staying in France until she heard the news of her father's death, she returned to Serbia in April 1911. Upon her return, she resumed teaching at the women's school of higher education.

In 1912, Petrovi's mother died. With the outbreak of the Balkan Wars soon after, Petrovi volunteered to become a nurse and was awarded a Medal for Braveryand an Order of the Red Cross for her efforts. She continued nursing Serbian soldiers until 1913, when she contracted typhusand cholera.In the later years of her life, she had little time to paint and produced only a few canvases, including her post-impressionistmasterpiece The Valjevo Hospital (Serbian:Valjevska bolnica). Professor Andrew Wachtel praised the painting for its "bold brushstrokes and bright colours" and its depiction of "a series of white tents against an expressionistic, almost Fauvist, landscape of green, orange, and red.Petrovi found herself in Italywhen Austria-Hungarydeclared war on Serbiain July 1914. She immediately returned to Belgrade to assist the Serbian Army.Having volunteered to work as a nurse in Valjevo, she died of typhoid feveron 3 April 1915,in the same hospital depicted in The Valjevo Hospital.Following her death, her likeness has been depicted on the Serbian 200 dinar banknote.

Nadeda Petrovi on a Serbian 200 dinar banknote.


Bavarian Wearing a Hat(1900)

Art Gallery Nadeda Petrovi, aak

Graanica (1903)

Art Gallery Nadeda Petrovi, aak

Funeral in Sicevo (1905)

Kosovo peonies (1913)

La Moisson (1902)

In the Forest (1900)

Summer Day (1900)

Ship Down the Sava (1900)

Beach in Bretanja (1900)

Velikafa (1905)

Resnik (1904)

Old Prizren (1903)

The Turkish Bridge (1904)


At the end of this paper I hope I have shown the crucial of Nadeda Petrovis life and work as well as her paintings. This descriptive study may be regarded as one more step to stress the most important issue of Nadeda Petrovis work and its meaning to country we live in.


Mitrovi, Andrej (2007). Serbias Great War, 1914-1918.

Uzelac, Sonja Briski (2003). Visual Arts in the Avant-gardes Between the Two Wars

Cuhaj, George S. (2010). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money Modern Issues: 1961Present. Available at: