Milan Konjovic
Milan Konjović (Милан Коњовић) was a prominent Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n painter whose works can be divided into six periods of artistic style. He studied in many countries abroad and lived in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 from 1924 to 1932. His long life's work earned him many recognitions as well as a place in the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the most prominent academic institution in Serbia today...

(Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti, SANU).


Milan Konjovic finished elementary and secondary school in Sombor
Sombor is a city and municipality located in northwest part of Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina. The city has a total population of 48,749 , while the Sombor municipality has 87,815 inhabitants...

 between 1904 and 1916. In 1914 he had his first exhibition featuring some fifty works painted in nature. In 1919 he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, in the class of Vlah Bukovac. Having left the Academy after the second semester, he continued his education on his own, in Prague where an avant-garde Czech
Czech people
Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries...

 painter Ian Zrzavi introduced him to the art of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

. He later brought his studies to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and travelled to German museums in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, and Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....


He arrived in Paris in May 1924 and stayed there until 1932. Afterwards he returned to his native Sombor. His most significant and successful one-man exhibitions includes 1931's "Galerie Bing et Cie", 1932 "Galerie van Leer", and 1937 "Galerie Mouradian-Vallotton." He participated in several Paris Salon exhibitions, marked the beginning of his artistic "blue phase," which lasted from 1929 to 1933. In the later years, he devoted himself to painting his hometown Sombor, its landscape, people and milieu. In summertime he painted in the cities of Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, including Mlini
Mlini is a village in Croatia. It is connected by the D8 highway....

, Cavtat
Cavtat ) is a town in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. It is on the Adriatic seacoast 15 km south of Dubrovnik and is the centre of the Konavle municipality.-History:...

, and Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...


Konjovic's "red phase" lasted from 1934 till 1940. In 1941 Konjovic was in Osnabric as a prisoner of war. After his release, Konjovic began painting pastels most notably in the years 1943, 1944, and 1949. He then began producing oil works painted in so-called 'subdued colors' from 1945 to 1952, marking the "gray phase" of his work. 1953 is considered to be the turning point in Konjovic's painting style. He works began to be defined by more pure intensive colors and glow, leading to the period dubbed the "coloristic phase." New artistic orientation culminated and was to characterize the works of the "associative phase" (1960-1984). At that time Milan Konjovic engaged himself in the work of the artists' colonies of Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

. In 1985 began the "Byzantine phase" with works treating various themes from Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...


By the end of 1990 Konjovic had produced about thirty new works, completing the impressive opus of about 6000 oil paintings, pastels, water colors, tempera
Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium . Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist...

s, drawings, tapestries, stage sets, costume sketches, stained glass windows, mosaics, and graphics. In his life, Konjovic had 297 one-man and 700 group exhibitions in the country and abroad, in such notable locations as Prague, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Sao Paolo, Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

, Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Paris, and Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. His legacy is best represented in his hometown of Sombor where the "Milan Konjovic " Gallery was opened on September 10, 1966 which holds about 1060 selected works. In 1979 he was elected a member of Vojvodina Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1986 he became a corresponding member of Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1992 a member of Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences.


  • Early Phase (1913-1928)
  • Blue Phase (1929-1933)
  • Red Phase (1934-1940)
  • Gray Phase (1945-1952)
  • Coloristic Phase (1953-1960)
  • Associative Phase (1960-1985)
  • Byzantine Phase (1985-1990)

External links

Further reading

  1. Lazar Trifunovic Reality and myth in the painting of Milan Konjovic Second edition - Sombor, 1990
  2. Miroslav Josic The century of Milan Konjovic (1890-1998)
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