Game - Tric-trac

  • Author: Paja Jovanović
  • Material: paper
  • Technique: sketch, pencil
  • Dimensions: height 90.5, width 59 cm
  • ID Number: LPJ 125
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: No

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Three men in Oriental dress are fully absorbed in the game, a kind of gambling. A water-pipe can be seen on the table next to them. The scene is drawn on plain paper with a squared grid used in copying and enlarging designs.

The crucial role in Jovanović's conquest of fame was played by art dealer Thomas Wallis, the owner of the French Gallery in London. When they first met, he purchased a painting made by young Jovanović, who was still a student, and offered him a favourable contract to make a series of paintings with Oriental themes. Due to this, Jovanović spent a whole decade travelling throughout the Balkans and Near East, making studies for paintings and capturing various customs, characters and folk costumes; he would later use these details in some of his complex genre paintings. Almost all of his genre paintings are known under various, though more or less similar names. The reason for this is that Paja Jovanović did not give names to his paintings because he believed that a painting that had to be explained by its author was a poor work of art.


Isidora Savić
Fine Arts and Music before 1950
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