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Female Nude Sitting in a High-back Armchair and Female Nude Holding a Book

Female Nude Sitting in a High-back Armchair and Female Nude Holding a Book

  • Author: Paja Jovanović
  • Date: 1920-1937
  • Technique: Studies, Oil on Canvas
  • Dimensions: 50,7 х 66 cm, 44 х 74,5 cm
  • Inventory number: LPJ 52, 51

The painting features a young female nude turned three-quarters to the left sitting in a high-back armchair. Her right leg is folded in the knee. She leans on her right arm reclining upon the seat behind her back. The study is painted in broad brushstrokes. The second study features a frontally shown full-figure female nude holding an open book. The background around the figure is painted in brown, whereas the rest is merely covered with underpainting.

There are no more than several female nudes in Paja Jovanović’s opus. Nude female figures can be seen in his mythological and allegorical paintings but they rarely appear as an independent subject and such paintings were never meant for public display. The reason for this may be sought for in an episode dating from his studies at the Vienna Art Academy described in his autobiography, when he developed repulsion to live nude models and turned to drawing after antique sculptures. However, a plenty of drawings and studies of naked female bodies, most commonly featuring the painter’s pretty wife Möuny, can be found among Paja Jovanović’s belongings. Freed from allegorical or mythological implications, in Paja Jovanović’s painting, the nude is an embodiment of the aesthetic ideal of female beauty.

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