The Death of Vasa Čarapić at the Stambol Gate in 1806

The Death of Vasa Čarapić at the Stambol Gate in 1806

  • Author: Anastas Jovanović
  • Date: 1860
  • Material: paper
  • Technique: watercolor
  • Dimensions: 48,5 x 36 cm
  • Inventory number: U 1305

The composition has a strong documentary character. Under the influence of Vasa Čarapić, the headman (knez) of Grocka, Karadjordje decided to attack Belgrade on the night of 29/30 November 1806. Čarapić led rebels in capturing the city of Belgrade and was moving with his insurgents along the Turkish trench between the Stambol Gate and the arches in Skadarska Street leading to the inner city. As torches illuminated the trench, the Turks spotted him and wounded him mortally. He died in Karadjordje's tent in Tašmajdan. Anastas Jovanović (1817-1899) portrayed all the drama of the night, highlighting the role of the Serbian hero Vasa Čarapić in seizing Belgrade. In the background of the composition is the massively built Stambol Gate. The central figure is the seriously wounded headman of Grocka. The painting portrays the clash between Serbs and Turks as a fierce one. The dynamics has been achieved by depicting many armed figures on the move. The Serbian flag is in the foreground, while in the background one can catch glimpses of a minaret and a mosque, a part of the panorama of the then Turkish quarter of the city. The watercolour is expertly composed, well conceived, and powerful with direct application of layers of pastel colours.

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