The Great Hunt

Nebojša Mitrić1961

The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection

The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection

A fragment from the catalogue of the exhibition in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade, 1972) entitled “Several silences with the author”, eloquently explained Mitrić’s choice of low relief in which the author executed the scenes of the hunt: “It is known precisely when and why a part of the Byzantine world was not allowed to have sculpture and what traces such a ban left. Living as in a magic garden, through thorns and flowers, over the wall or through slits in the battlement, the peoples looked into someone else’s garden. Dreaming of what they did not have. Enclosed in their spiritual worlds, they created what they had and could. The idea of a sculpture could only exist as a secret: a plastically modeled form in a mosaic, fresco or icon. In the best case as a low relief.” The Great Hunt belongs to the group of large-scale bronze reliefs created within four or five years after the The Ancient Hunt (1959). Their general appearance, ancient and mediaeval typology of figures, the identical division of the surface, most frequently into three horizontal bands, connects them into a unique whole. In them “two different, earthly worlds come face to face: one of them are humans – hunters with bows, tridents and spears, wretched lovers and the captivating Orpheus – and the other is the world of animals hidden in the forest and the bushes: deer and fawns, lions and exotic birds, owls, squirrels… Mitrić had no desire to build on that confrontation a poetics of antagonism and dramatic content, but one of harmony and reciprocity, a lyrical relationship which is full of trust and understanding.” Starting from the ideas of mediaeval artists, Mitrić does not depict through the scenes of slain beasts, dead lovers and fallen men the superiority and victory of the chivalrous world of the late Middle Ages, but instead offers a paradigm of a lost paradise.

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  • Title: The Great Hunt
  • Creator: Nebojša Mitrić
  • Date Created: 1961
  • Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings: signed in the bottom right corner: Nebojša Mitrić 1961
  • Provenance: Two sculptures, bas-reliefs, of Nebojša Mitrić were among last Pavle Beljanski's donations and this is one of them. He bought them from sculptor and donated on 24 May 1965 to the nation through The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection.
  • Physical Dimensions: w106.5 x h195 x d4 cm
  • Exhibition History: 1965 - Gallery of the Military Club, Belgrade; since april 1965 - the permanent exhibition of The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection
  • External Link: http://www.pavle-beljanski.museum/en/artwork.php?artwork=95
  • Medium: bronze, bas–relief