Jovan Bijelić is one of the central figures in Serbian and Yugoslav art in the period between the two World Wars. He was a founding member of the artistic group Oblik, the most progressive in the Serbia of that time. Bijelić was born in Bosnia in 1884. He acquired his education in Sarajevo and Prague, where he studied in the class of Vlaho Bukovac. Bijelić travelled through France, Germany and Italy, where he got acquainted with the then current trends in European art. He sought to incorporate a strong national spirit into the modern concept of painting. Bijelić passed through several phases – from the works influenced by Cezanne and Cubism, through realism and the colourist period – to reach the very borders of abstract art in his late works. That last phase of his art shows him as the most active representative of Serbian avant-garde art and a progressive modernist painter. His studio in Belgrade was eagerly frequented by young artists, on whom he exerted a great influence.