Paja Jovanović (1859-1957) was a Serbian painter, one of the most respected European painters of his era and a person who left a significant mark not just on Serbian art, but also on how we perceive some of the most important moments of our history. During the “Belgrade Days” of 2015, Belgrade CAT visited the Museum of Paja Jovanović, where we had a chance to admire some of his masterpieces.

Paja was born in Vršac, then Austro-Hungary. He finished the painting studies in Vienna, where he, also, spent most of his life. He travelled a lot all over the Balkans, where he, while observing everyday situations, found various motives for his work. He was very close to both Serbian royal families of 19th and 20th century, and he painted their members very often, although his favorite model and muse remained his beloved wife, beautiful Hermina.

He was also hired by Serbian authorities for various exhibitions, where his job was to present Serbian history to the world in the brightest light possible. “Movement of Serbs” and “Proclamation of Dushan’s code” were created on such occasions. The burning of St Sava’s relics, the Second Serbian Uprising, the crowning of Tsar Dushan – these are some of historical events to which Paja Jovanović brought immortality.

Part of Vienna studio was transferred to Paja Jovanović Museum, along with his furniture and painting equipment.

You can visit Paja Jovanović Museum at Kralja Milana 21, Thursdays from 10am to 6pm, Saturdays from 12pm to 8pm and Sundays from 10am to 2pm.