National Museum of Serbia

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National Museum of Serbia
Narodni muzej Beograd.jpg
Established May 10, 1844
Location Belgrade, Serbia
Collection size more then 400.000 objects[1]
Director Bojana Borić Brešković
Website www.narodnimuzej.rs

The National Museum (Serbian: Народни музеј, Narodni Muzej) is the largest and oldest museum in Serbia and former Yugoslavia. It is located in Republic Square, Belgrade, Serbia. The museum was established on May 10, 1844. Since it was founded, its collection has grown to over 400,000 objects, including many foreign masterpieces. Currently, the museum is closed for renovation.[2]

The National Museum building was declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance in 1979.[3]

Collections[edit]

The Museum has 34 archeological, numismatic, artistic and historical collections today.

Archeological collections[edit]

The main collection consists of sculptures from Vinca (6th–5th millennium BC) such as Lady of Vinča and Lepenski Vir (7th millennium BC). There are also numerous sculptures, weapons, helmets and other items from ancient Rome, 1005 items from ancient Greece and various items of Celtic origin. The most valuable pieces from that period are Dupljaja Chariot (16th-13th century BC), golden masks from Trebenište (6th century BC), household sets from Jabučje (1st century AD), the Belgrade Cameo (4th century) and a Silver belt with swastika (5th century BC). There is also a collection from ancient Egypt. The most famous piece is a rare gold sarcophagus and mummy of the Egyptian priest Nesmin.

Numismatics[edit]

The Numismatic Collection has more than 300,000 items (coins, medals, rings, seals). The collection is divided into ten smaller assemblies from 6th–5th century BC, and includes a collection of coins issued by Philip II of Macedonian (359–336 BC) and Alexander the Great (336–323 BC). The collection also contains unique items: a golden medallion of Emperor Valentinian I, minted 364 AD, silver Dinars from the reign of King Stefan Radoslav of Serbia, and others.

Medieval collection[edit]

Madonna with Christ and small St.John, attributed to Raphael

The museum also holds a large collection of medieval artifacts, mostly from Europe and Asia. The most important is the illustrated 362 page manuscript of the Miroslav Gospels written in 1186 in Medieval Serbia. The manuscript was entered into UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.[4] The collection also includes the sarcophagus of Saint King Stefan Decanski from the 14th century, rings belonging to the Serbian Queen Theodora (before 1322) and King Stephen Radoslav of Serbia (1219–20), King Milutin's mantle from 1300s, the Eulogy to Prince Lazar - Euphemia's famous embroidery from 1402, about 120 icons from 1200 to 1500, including the Ohrid collection.[5]

Art collection[edit]

Diana Presenting the Catch to Pan by Peter Paul Rubens,oil on canvas 1615,W: 211.5 cm (83.3 in). H: 145 cm (57.1 in).

The Collection of Drawings and Prints of International Artists has 2,446 items and the Yugoslav Art Collection has more than 6,000 items, including 1,700 paintings of Serbian authors from 18th to 19th century and 3,000 paintings from 20th century. This does not include the Serbian Medieval Art Collection.[6] The museum includes Serbian medieval, French, Dutch, Flemish, Italian, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese (from 1644-1978), English, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Yugoslav and miscellaneous art collections. In total the collection numbers some 16,000 paintings, graphics, drawings, icons and prints, plus over 900 sculptures.

The French masters collection is the National Museum's most significant holding. It comprises extremely rare pieces from Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Rouault, Degas, Cézanne and others. Most of these paintings were collected and donated by Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. Erih Šlomović, a young Belgrader born at the turn of the 20th century, became in his youth the protégé of the world's biggest art merchant, Ambroise Vollard. The connection led him to develop his own collection, comprising a total of 600 pieces by 1941. The Slomovic Collection is the largest and richest collection of French art in the Balkans, as well as one of the most beautiful in the world.

French art collection[edit]

Stairway of Farnese Palace Park, by Hubert Robert (canvas 217x149cm)

The French Art Collection consists of more than 250 paintings and more than 400 graphics and drawings, from the 16th to early 20th century, including the Slomovic Collection (58 paintings and over 200 graphics). Among the French painters represented in the collection are Nicolas Tournier, Robert Tournières, Hubert Robert, Gauguin, Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Corot, Paul Signac, Maurice Utrillo, Auguste Rodin, Georges Rouault, Pierre Bonnard, Pissarro, Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Honoré Daumier, Eugène Carrière, Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valadon, Forain, Robert Delaunay, Rosa Bonheur, Marie Laurencin, Félix Ziem. The graphic and etching collection includes work by Charles Le Brun, Sébastien Bourdon, Jacques Callot, Charles-François Daubigny, Degas, Delacroix, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Le Corbusier (3 graphic), Renoir, Jean Cocteau, Eugène Carrière, etc. .

Some of the Museum French Highlights are:

Italian art collection[edit]

Adoration, by Lorenzo di Credi
Nicolas Vicarius Portrait, by Titian (1540)

The Italian Art Collection, consisting of more than 230 works of art, is famous for containing creative works from individual masters and artistic workshops from the 14th to the 20th century. They include works by Domenico Veneziano, Giovanni di Paolo, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Domenico Robusti, Vittore Carpaccio, Lorenzo di Credi, Guido Reni, Spinello Aretino, Francesco Bassano the Younger, Leandro Bassano, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, Giulio Carpioni, Andrea Celesti, Biagio Faggioni etc. The graphic and etching collection includes work by Botticelli, Annibale Carracci, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Paolo Veronese, Amedeo Modigliani, Luigi Ontani, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, and others.

Highlights in the museum include:

Dutch and Flemish collection[edit]

Saint John the Baptist Sermon, by Juan de Flandes
The Temptation of Saint Anthony, by Hieronymus Bosch

The Dutch and Flemish collection consists of more than 500 works (210 paintings of art and 220 graphics and engravings, and over 80 drawings). The National Museum of Serbia was the first museum in the world to include a Piet Mondrian painting in its permanent display.[11] Represented artists include Juan de Flandes, Hieronymus Bosch, Cornelis de Vos, Anthony van Dyck, Antonis Mor, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Marten de Vos, Joos van Cleve, Jan Antonisz. van Ravesteyn, Rubens, Jan van Goyen, Justus Sustermans, Cornelis de Vos, Jan Victors, Willem van Aelst, Frans van Mieris, Sr., Paulus Potter, Caspar Netscher, Jan Frans van Bloemen, Adam Frans van der Meulen, Godfried Schalcken, Adriaen van Utrecht, Johan Jongkind, Kees van Dongen, Anton Mauve, Allart van Everdingen, Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.

Highlights in the museum include:

Russian art collection[edit]

Old man and cow, by Marc Chagall

The Russian art collection has 90 paintings,and numerous prints,etchings and was mostly donated by Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. The collection also has over 100 icons from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The collection includes work by painters and sculptors such as Ivan Aivazovsky, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Nicholas Roerich, Ilya Repin, Filipp Malyavin, Alexei Harlamov, Mikhail Larionov, Boris Grigoriev, Vladimir Borovikovsky, Pavel Kuznetsov, Konstantin Korovin, Kazimir Malevich, Alexandre Benois, El Lissitzky, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Alexander Nikolayevich Samokhvalov, Pyotr Nilus etc.[20]

Some of Russian Art Highlights are:

English art collections[edit]

Lady Gavrag Portrait by George Frederic Watts

Includes painters usually from the late 19th century, mostly impressionist and post-impressionist. The vast majority of the collection was donated by Prince Paul of Yugoslavia before World War II.In collection is 64 paintings and watercolors and 51 graphics and etchings. They include painters such as Alfred Sisley, Charles Conder, Philip Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert, Hermione Hammond, James Bolivar Manson, Wyndham Lewis, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Rowland Fisher,[21] and graphic works from William Hogarth.

Some of English Art works are:

Japanese art collection[edit]

View of Edo, by Hirosige
Geishas, by Kunisada

The Japanese Art Collection has 220 works including 36 graphics and paintings (all the graphics belonging to the Ukiyo-e genre, which developed in Japan from the 17th to 19th century - one of the most frequent motifs was the city of Edo). The collection also contains work from Kunisada, Toyokuni, Keisai Eisen, Hiroshige, Utamaro, and Tsuguharu Foujita.

  • Kunisada: Actor Portraits series, Wind gusts,[22] Act from series[23] Geishas ,[24]
  • Toyokuni: Actor Portraits series, Kabuki Theater, Lady with friend[25]
  • Hiroshige: One Hundred Views of Edo (series of graphics), Nihon and Edo bridge,[26] Garden with plum trees,[27]Fashion store in Olema street[28]
  • Ginko Adaci: Ladies[29]
  • Sadahida Giokuran, Geisha Hanaogi[30]
  • Utamaro, Boy and mouse[31]

Austrian and German art collections[edit]

Pan with Puttas, by Peter Strudel

Austrian and German art collection in National Museum of Serbia has 112 paintings and numerous graphics and etchings. Painters were usually from 19th and 20th century, while graphics are from 15th century. Most famous painters in collection are Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Fritz von Uhde, Karl Hofer, while prints works include Albrecht Dürer (49 prints), Gustav Klimt, Lovis Corinth, Max Slevogt etc... Most paintings were donated by House of Obrenović and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. Some of the works are:

Others Art Collections[edit]

Other Art Collection in National Museum of Serbia include works from Spain, USA, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Australia, China, Canada etc..Collections include paintings from El Greco, Picasso, Mary Cassatt, Burne Hogarth, Felix Philipp Kanitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Eduardo Arroyo, Erró, Sol LeWitt etc.

Head of the Woman by Pablo Picasso 1909

Some of works are:

Serbian and Yugoslav art collection[edit]

Crowning of Serbian Emperor Dusan, by Paja Jovanović, 1900
The Wedding of Emperor Dusan

The Yugoslav Art Collection consisting of more 6000 pieces created between the 17th and 20th century. Some of the artists represented are: Paja Jovanović, Stojan Aralica, Petar Lubarda, Milan Konjović, Uroš Predić, Đura Jakšić, Marko Murat, Đorđe Andrejević Kun, Nadežda Petrović, Petar Dobrović, Mića Popović and Sava Šumanović. There are also Slovenian Art works with Matija Jama- (7 canvases), Avgust Černigoj - (6 works), Sketch for theater, Rihard Jakopič - (7 canvases) Birch Trees, Ivan Grohar, Na Pasi and Matej Sternen (4 canvases) Female Reader etc.

  • Teodor Kračun, Christ Resurrection (c. 1780), St. Apostle Thomas, St. Apostle Mark, St. John's Divine and Abraham's Victim[39]
  • Konstantin Danil, Madonna, Male Portrait, Still Life, Stanci Deli Portrait, Archangel Gabriel, Ms Vajgling Portrait, Ms Tetesi Portrait, General Stevan Knicanin Portrait, Portrait of Lady with Cross and MsWife Sofia Portrait[40]
  • Paja Jovanović, Crowning of Stefan Dušan, The Wedding of Stefan Dusan, Serbian Migrations, MsHadson Portrait, Nikola Pašić Portrait, Woman in pink dress, Selling Manasija Monastir model, Ms. Pupin Portrait, Decorating Bride, Arnaut with cibok, The Fencing Lesson, His wife Munie, Portrait of Woman with Hat, Takovo Uprising, Stefan Decanski, Sopoćani Monastir, Portrait of Romanian King Ferdinand, Diana, Nude, Portrait of Simington, Portrait of Josip Broz Tito, Furor Teutonicus, Flowers, Cocks fighting, Portrait of Gedeon Dundjerski, Portrait of Ms. Hudson, House in Kars, Traitor, Motive from Celarevo, Marco,Milos and Vila and Prince Lazar[41][42]
  • Nadežda Petrović (86 paintings), Kosovo peonies, Self Portrait
  • Đura Jakšić, Self Portrait, Woman in blue dress, Karadjordje Assassination, Prince Milan Obrenovic Portrait, Director Ciric Portrait, Prince Michael on catafalque, Emperor Dusan, Watchtower, St. George, Prince Marco, Banovic Strahinja, Fireworks on the Stambol Gate and Christ on the forest[44]
  • Beta Vukanović, Summer Day
  • Uroš Knežević (2 paintings), Boy with feather
  • Petar Dobrović (21 paintings) Karlo's Bridge, Monumental Horses on San Marco Square in Venice, Shipan, Adriatic landscape, Ana Trezibašić Portrait[45]
  • Đorđe Krstić (13 paintings), Woman underneith apple tree, Anatomist, Studenica Monastery, Zica Monastery, Drawn Girl, Djele Kula, On the spring, St. Nickolas, St.George's Oath, Zica Monastery Interior, Babakajand Stalac Capitulation[46]
  • Marko Murat (28 paintings), Spring and 'Dubrovnik's Spring
  • Sava Šumanović (25 paintings,1 drawing), Sidjanke, Autumn's way, Nude, Bridge in town, Wagtail, Nude on red carpet
  • Milan Konjović (15 paintings), Stradun, Wheat fields and Toncika
  • Petar Lubarda (23 painting), Sea's Cliffs
  • Marina Abramović (4 works), Performans 77, Oblak and his Projection (canvas 130x120),Kisses from Moscow and Exhibition Bologna 1977.

Sculptures[edit]

The Museum houses sculptures from the early Roman period to the 20th century. The Yugoslav Collection consists of 850 works and the foreign collection has over 50. The most significant collections come from sculptors such as Ivan Meštrović - (96 works), Toma Rosandic, Antun Augustinčić, Frano Kršinić, César Baldaccini, Aristide Maillol, George Minne, Kai Nielsen (sculptor), Risto Stijović, Matija Vuković and Julije Knifer.

Reconstruction[edit]

On January 25, 2012, after ten years of the National Museum of Serbia being closed to the public, Vladimir Bogdanović of the leading Serbian newspaper/website Press wrote an article called A decade of cultural genocide against the Serbs, commenting on the need and importance of a working national museum. He also criticised the preservation of the art in the museum.[52]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°49′00″N 20°27′34″E / 44.8167°N 20.4594°E / 44.8167; 20.4594