May 2015 – Female Figure, Risto Stijović

Risto Stijović(1894 – 1974 )

Bronze

64 cm

sign. d. l. on the base

Inv. No.10 /02

The Royal Palace

 

Risto Stijović’s works from the inter–war period could most accurately be defined as sculptures where the elements of mass and volume produced a kind of “psychologically justified” plastic sign, as perceived by Sreto Bošnjak. Stijović’s works have a clear and firm form. His greatest preoccupation were female nudes and portraits, and one of his nudes is kept in the Royal Compound in Belgrade. The emphasized stylization and simplicity of form, smooth facture, the closed figure with soft rounded lines are the basic characteristics of this work; it is also a work comprising the general characteristics of artistic development in the 1920s and the beginning of 1930s. The sculpture was made after a marble original from 1932 and belongs to his small format pieces which he used to make until the beginning of the 1960s, when he began to work on monumental sculptures.

Risto Stijović.- He was born in Podgorica and in 1912 he enrolled the School of Arts and Crafts in Belgrade as a pupil of Đorđe Jovanović. At the outbreak of World War I he joined the Serbian Army and later retreated through Albania, eventually reaching the island of Corfu. In 1916 he enrolled the Ėcole des beaux-arts in Paris. In France he became interested in wood sculpting, a technique that will mark the major part of his oeuvre.  The acquaintance with Emile Bernard and François Pompon had a decisive influence on the development of his artistic expression. In 1927, Stijović returned to Belgrade where he began to teach in a high school. He was a member of the group Oblik (Form), the society Lada, the Organization of Serbian Artists, and the group Dvanaestorica (Twelve). In 1965 he became a full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Although he was best known for his intimist sculptures, he created several important monuments, such as the monuments to Franchet D’Espèrey, Jovan Sterija Popović, etc. Besides wood his materials were also bronze, semi precious and precious stones. He was one of the best sculptors of animals in this part of the world.