Pavle "Paja" Jovanovi?
|Died||November 30, 1957 (aged 98)|
|Education||Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna|
|?as Ma?evanja (Fencing) (1884)|
Seoba Srba (Migration of the Serbs) (1896)
Krunisanje cara Du?ana (Crowning of Stefan Du?an) (1900)
Pavle "Paja" Jovanovi? (Serbian Cyrillic: "?" ; IPA: [pâ?l? p?:ja j:nit]; 16 June 1859 - 30 November 1957) was a Serbian painter who painted more than 1,100 works including:The Wounded Montenegrin (1882), Decorating of the Bride (1886) and Migration of the Serbs (1896). Paja was also the premier portraitist of Europe after 1905, he painted the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria over 14 times, he painted royalty, major industrialists, scientists, bankers, oil barons and monopolists, including certain heirs to the Standard Oil fortune in the United States of America. He was a very sought after portraitist world-wide, this made him incredibly wealthy in his lifetime. Many European and international museums carry his works, signed under various names including: Paul Joanowitch in the National Gallery of Victoria and also two portraits in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Paul Joanowits, Paul Ivanovitch, Paul Joanovitch, Paul Joanovitsch, P. Joanowitsch and others.
Paja Jovanovi? was born in Vr?ac, Austrian Empire (modern-day Serbia). His father was photographer Stevan Jovanovi? and his mother was Ernestina née Deot, of French descent. He spent his childhood and early youth in this home town, where he saw the iconostasis of Pavel ?urkovi? and Arsenije Teodorovi? in the town churches, which would influence his future works. Jovanovi?'s mother died at a young age and his father went on to remarry. He received his first art lectures and knowledge from his teacher Vodecki. His father took him to Vienna in 1875 when he was 15, where he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in 1877 in the class of professor Christian Griepenkerl. He finished the Academy in 1880, attending several important courses taught by Leopold Carl Müller, known as an "orientalist". There is no doubt that Miller's crucial lessons determined his painting preference. Noting the increased interest of Europe to the events in the Balkans, he travelled during the holidays to Albania, Montenegro, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia gathering sketches and studies of the life of the Balkan peoples. Precisely these themes brought Paja Jovanovi? worldwide fame and popularity. In the following period, having noticed the greater interest of Europe for the Balkans, he painted mostly scenes from the life of the Serbs, Montenegrins, Herzogivinans, Aromanians and Albanians, which brought him a great reputation. Encouraged to visit the Balkan region during his hiatus, he studied the customs and folklore of the people, and in 1882 he was awarded the prize of the Academy and was given the Imperial scholarship for the composition The Wounded Montenegrin.
The public and many art critics directed their attention to the young painter, and in 1883 he signed a contract with the "French" gallery in London. He continued his travelling through Caucasus,Morocco, Egypt,Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Spain. A great number of sketches, notes, and studies, along with the collected objects from the life of the common people, will find their place in his famous genre-compositions, such as: Fencing, Decorating of the Bride, and Cockfighting. Some of Jovanovi?'s most remarkable praises were gathered at two of his greatest exhibitions: Millennium exhibition in Budapest in 1896, where he prepared Migration of the Serbs for entry, but the Vr?ac triptych was sent instead, and the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, for which he had painted a great historical composition The Proclamation of Du?an's Law Codex.
As of 1888, he was proclaimed a member of the Serbian Royal Academy. He was tasked with painting monumental, historical compositions. After 1905 he devoted himself exclusively to painting the portraits in the style of academic realism for the rich clientele, and he became very famous thanks to them. Some of the most famous include those of Painter Simington, Mihajlo Pupin, ?or?e Jovanovi?, and others. He painted the portraits of his longtime model and wife, Muni with special care.
He painted the iconostasis in the church of St Nicholas in Dolovo and Orthodox cathedral in Novi Sad, which was painted without commission. He spent most of his time in his atelier in Vienna, where he settled, and occasionally travelled to Belgrade. In 1940 he was made honorary citizen of Vr?ac, and in 1949 he was given the Order zasluga za narod (Merit for People) of the first category. He lived quietly and lonely, after his wife's early death, in Vienna until his own death in 1957. According to his will, the urn with his ashes was to be moved to Belgrade and where "The Legacy of Paja Jovanovi?" was opened in 1970, as well in Vr?ac. Later, in the building of the Old Pharmacy on the Stairs, in 1977 the permanent commemorative exhibition of Paja Jovanovi? was opened. The works of Paja Jovanovi? have been kept in the Town Museum of Vr?ac, along with his well-known painting Vr?ac triptych. Most of his works and personal belongings can be found in the Belgrade City Museum.
The Wounded Montenegrin (1882)
Vr?ac triptych (1895), Vr?ac City Museum
Migration of the Serbs (1896), Pan?evo Museum.
Saint Sava reconciling his quarrelling brothers (1901)