Done in 1927, during his stay in France, this figural portrait belongs to his most frequent subject matter – the representations of his wife. He considered Olga Dobrović to be “his own masterpiece,” often explaining that he had shaped her development from an early age. We may interpret these pieces as a type of self-representation, a narcissistic admiration and self-disclosure at the same time. The model was transformed into an indirect self-portrait, a double, a mirror-image. This is indicated by the clear possibility of perceiving smaller units in the extraordinary series of interpretations of Olga Dobrović, in which the subject can be recognized as a wife, a mother or a lover. Thus the identity which was attached to her was always in relation to Dobrović himself: his wife, his lover, the mother of his child. The portraits of Mrs. Dobrović illustrate a selffascination constructed by a very common motif in the history of art: the portrait of the artist’s wife. These indeed confirm the artist’s place and legitimacy in that history through associations with the great works of the past. Dobrović’s words offer a vivid testimony to this: “I shall sing hymns of praise to my little girl in colours flaming with the flame not even the great Renaissance masters could light up. You shall be glorified so that even Helena Furman could envy you.” In these works, Dobrović showed that he was aware of his own artistic status, social rank and desired identity.


  • Title: Figure
  • Creator: Petar Dobrović
  • Date Created: 1927
  • Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings: signed and dated on the left side in the middle: P. Dobrovitch 927
  • Provenance: The painting was among 185 artworks Pavle Beljanski donated to the nation in 1957.
  • Physical Dimensions: w60 x h73 cm
  • Exhibition History: since 1961 - the permanent exhibition of The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, Novi Sad; 2005 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; 2011 - the exhibition The Collection of Pavle Beljanski: Back in Belgrade, Gallery of the Military Club, Belgrade
  • Type: Oil on Canvas
  • Rights: The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection
  • External Link: http://www.pavle-beljanski.museum/en/artwork.php?artwork=19
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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