The Cock Fight
The Rooster Fight
The National Museum
Pavle “Paja” Jovanovic (1859, Vrsac, Serbia-1957, Vienna, Austria)
Oil on panel
55 x 76 cm
Among the best known of his Orientalist paintings from the Balkans are those of domestic life, such as The Cock Fight. In this painting Jovanović builds a credible, believable scene. The spectators are fully engaged, each one reacts in his or her own particular way, consistent with their age and appearance. The singularity of Jovanović’s approach is even more evident when contrasted to Western European Orientalist paintings such as Jean Léon Gérôme’s famous The Cock Fight of 1847 or Ferentz Eisenhut’s depiction of a cock fight in 1894. Awarded the first prize at the Wien Künstlerhaus exhibition 1898, and having a great success at the Paris Salon in 1906, it was widely reproduced in subsequent years and was surely known to Jovanović. It is evident that studies of the figures directly from nature inform this painting. Jovanović was not only providing a new and authentic category of genre paintings but speaking specifically to a culture that was his own. In the process, he was giving significance to an area and ethnic groups heretofore ignored.
Petar Petrovic "The Cock Fight" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=object;AWE;sb;9;en;N
Prepared by: Petar Petrovic
Copyedited by: Daniel de la VegaDaniel de la Vega
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MWNF Working Number: RS 009