Proclamation of the Code of Emperor Dušan

  • Era/Century: 20th
  • Author: Paja Jovanović
  • Dating: ca. 1900.
  • Material: canvas
  • Technique: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: height: 9.8; width: 9.8 cm
  • ID Number: LPJ 307
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: Museum of Paja Jovanović

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The monumental historical composition, one of the most famous works of Paja Jovanović, was painted on commission from the Kingdom of Serbia for the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. The theme to be shown was the Coronation of Dušan as the Emperor of the Serbs, Greeks and Bulgarians in Skopje, on April 14, 1346. The intention to express, through artistic means, the memory of the important historical moment that had confirmed the magnificence of the Serbian medieval empire was perfectly suitable to express the political ambitions of the reinstated Kingdom of Serbia.

The painting shows Stefan Dušan with his family and Despot Oliver reading a charter, surrounded by nobility and masters in medieval dress. In the mid-20th century, the title “Coronation of Emperor Dušan” was changed to “Proclamation of the Code of Emperor Dušan”. However, some historians suggest that the original title should be used. Due to this, it is possible to find both titles in the literature.


Isidora Savić
Fine Arts and Music before 1950
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