Text topic: Studies
Text author: Никола Пиперски и Исидора Савић
This paper was composed as an attempt to uncover the influence of the Russian immigrants, known as reliable connoisseurs of antiques, on the formation of the Sekulić Collection of Icons. This collection represents one of the most significant collections of icons in Belgrade. The icons, among other pieces of art, were collected by the architect Milan Sekulić and his wife Pava over 40 years. Art collecting is a phenomenon that was significantly developed under the influence of the Russian immigrants, but this topic was never fully researched. The practice of art collecting is always a reflection of a general taste of the society. The aim to analyse the unpublished material from the Collection of Fine Arts and Music before 1950 of the Belgrade City Museum will shed some light on the influence of Russian immigrants on the formation of public and private tastes in arts and culture in Yugoslavia, between WW1 and WW2, which also affected their preparation and presentation in the Sekulić family residence. The revival of national thought caused the Byzantine art to become the appropriate expression of the Serbian ethnicity roots, thus functioning as a medium of a collective self-representation in the period between the two global wars. Serbian culture owes a significant part of this process to Russian culture. Due to this influence, Milan Sekulić decorated one of the main chambers in his residence following traditional Russian interior design and adorning it mainly with Russian icons dating from the 18th and 19th centuries that evoked the spirit of the Russian culture.