Dimitrije Avramović: Works from the Collections of the National Museum in Belgrade

  • Location: The Residence of Princess Ljubica, Kneza Sime Markovića 8
  • Date: February 18 – May 10, 2016
  • Organisation:

    National Museum in Belgrade and the Belgrade City Museum

  • Impressum:

    Petar Petrović and Evgenija Blanuša, authors of the exhibition and the catalogue; Danijela Paracki, catalogue design

The unique artistic legacy of Dimitrije Avramović, one of the most important figures in Serbian art in the first half of the 19th century, is presented at the exhibition that can be seen until May 3, 2016. The most of his works are held by the National Museum in Belgrade and they include his painting and drawing oeuvre.

Dimitrije Avramović was one of the best educated and the most talented artists of his time, one of the first in a series of curious and versatile researchers of cultural heritage in the 19th century and one of those who set the direction of the development of national art. Although the artist who adorned with murals the Cathedral of Belgrade and Karađorđe’s church in Topola primarily dedicated himself to painting, he was also interested in writing and translating. Avramović was one of the first Serbian artists who practiced caricature. While travelling, he collected materials related to the heritage of Mount Athos which he eventually published in two books. He tried to write biographies of important Serbian painters and was one of the pioneers of art criticism in Serbia.

As a great part of Dimitrije Avramović’s paintings and drawings have survived, it is possible to get a detailed insight into the features of his artistic expression throughout his creative life. Drawing was his major preoccupation, in accordance with his classicist education acquired at the Vienna Art Academy. Dimitrije Avramović was the most prominent representative of Classicism in Serbian art, as evidenced by his accurate drawing and almost perfect articulation of form – one of the main features of his painting. While searching for "truth" in art, he gave priority to all things real over fiction. For him, truth had greater importance than beauty, while beauty could only be in the service of truth. Although his artistic expression was devoid of passion and poetics, his achievements are an unambiguous expression of true freedom, deeply rooted in the intellect, the knowledge of historical facts and art in general.

Relying on his diversified education and the ability to understand historical and artistic problems of his time, he made a remarkable contribution to Classicism. However, once he encountered the emerging values of Romanticism, he did not let himself be carried away by that wave, though traces of these values can be observed in some of his works.