Jovanović was born in Novi Sad where he spent his first three years. Then, his family moved to Pazarevac. He studied at Kragujevac where he obtained his baccalauréat (high school diploma) in 1882.
In 1884, he obtained a state grant to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where he started studying Arts. He also studied at Munich.
After completing his undergraduate studies in 1887, he lived between Munich, Paris and Belgrade. In Paris, he improved his art with Henri Chapu and Jean Antoine Injalbert. In 1889, at the World Exhibition in Paris, he won a prize for the "Gusle" and then, in 1900, at the World Exhibition in Paris, he won the greatest award for the "Kosovo Monument".
He was very prolific, and many of his realisations can be seen in Serbia, and in particular in Belgrade.
Jovanović married Emma Victoria Scheitler on 26 September 1889. They had two sons: Mirko (1892–1915) and Branko (1895–1939). After Emma Victoria died in 1928 near Munich, Jovanović married Marguerite Robert (1879–1965).
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