© National Museum, Belgrade

Name of Object:

The Cock Fight

Other name of the Object (second name):

The Rooster Fight


Belgrade, Serbia

Holding Institution:

The National Museum

 About The National Museum, Belgrade

Date of Object:



Pavle “Paja” Jovanovic (1859, Vrsac, Serbia-1957, Vienna, Austria)

Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Oil on panel


55 x 76 cm


Vienna, Austria


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.

Citation of this web page:

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

Database entry origination:

Prepared by: Petar Petrovic
Copyedited by: Daniel de la VegaDaniel de la Vega

Daniel de la Vega is a copy editor based in Portland, Oregon. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2014 and has since done editing and localization work on everything from college applications to magazines to video game dialogue.

MWNF Working Number: RS 009

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