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er bears the symbol of the state, the double-headed eagle, while on the table, very much like liturgical implements, lie the insignia of power—the scepter and the orb. Mem- bers of Prince Lazar’s family flank the table, men to one side and women to the other. They wear elaborate pseu- do-medieval costumes, with loroi and ermine-lined capes. Two columns and hanging curtains lend a theater-like for- mality to this scene while, through the intercolumnar openings, one glimpses a monastery and a citadel upon a hilly landscape. The formal placement of figures and cer- tain elements, such as frontality, elaborate crowns, loroi, and scepters, are reminiscent of the representations of Old Testament high priests. One thinks of Melchizedech or aaron,71 who, clad in their sacerdotal garments, stand ready for a sacred ceremony. While the nineteenth-cen- tury beholder understood this illustration primarily as a portrait of Prince Lazar and his family, the implied sacred nature of this image could not have escaped him.
a similar principle operates within another group por- trait depicting the legendary participants of the Battle of Kosovo known only through epic poetry. Pavle Čortano- vić, a very popular but mediocre artist, provides an inter- esting interpretation of a religious formula in his litho- graph of Jug Bogdan i devet Jugovića (Jug Bogdan and the Nine Jugović).72 The interior setting, with its columns and vaults, is reminiscent of the monastic buildings preserved in the Vojvodina region.73 Richly clad, jug Bogdan is the focal point of the group. as the father, he assumes the sac- erdotal gesture of blessing as he lays his hand upon the head of one of his sons, identified as Boško jugović by the flag he carries. The sons, in spite of many formal changes and adaptations, iconographically resemble the Holy War- riors as depicted in Serbian medieval churches.74 The vi- sual association in this case is logical: like the Holy War- riors, the jugovići were defenders of the Christian faith. Since such prints were aimed at the general public, the compositional schemes were borrowed from religious art. Their proven formal simplicity provided for easy recog- nition. Moreover, the iconography borrowed from reli- gious images imbues an historical portrait or composition
sko slikarstvo i grafika u doba romantizma (Novi Sad: Galerija Ma- tice srpske and Beograd: Narodni muzej, 1976), p. 59, No 68; also, Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, fig. 28. it is interesting to note that this print served as a direct source of inspiration for a paint- ing executed in 1892 by an anonymous artist, and now in the Gallery of Matica Srpska in Novi Sad see: Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, unnumbered color plate.
71 These figures are often depicted in medieval fresco paintings in Serbia: as representative examples of the images of the Old Testa- ment high priests, those from the Monasteries Sopoćani and arilje can be cited: V. j. Djurić, Sopoćani, drawings on pages 122–23; Bran- islav Živković, Arilje (Belgrade, 1970), p. 6, drawing 10.
72 M. jovanović, Srpsko slikarstvo i grafika, 1976, 59, No 66; also, Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, fig. 34.
73 V. Petrović and M. Kašanin, Srpska umetnost u Vojvodini, 1927, fig. 34.
74 See above, note 7.
The Battle of Kosovo (1389) and Battle Themes in Serbian art
with a feeling of national piety.
a recent mosaic by M. Srbinović treats the same theme
in a completely different manner.75 The narrative and de- scriptive completely gone, in its simplicity this image, en- titled The Jugovići, becomes symbolic. The mosaic occu- pies a lunette, its center dominated by two half-figures. Nine swords with glistening blades and bejewelled han- dles, symbolizing the nine jugović brothers, fill the two sides. in the foreground the woman with long white hair and hands closed in tight fists before her chest is easily recognized as the Mother of the jugovići. Large staring eyes seemingly veiled in a mask-like blue shadow mark her oval, idealized and ageless face. Behind and slightly to her side stands an old warrior in a mail shirt, easily iden- tified as jug Bogdan, the father of the nine jugovići. His eyes, too, are very large, his bushy white hair and beard appear wind-blown. He raises his right arm, the index fin- ger pointing heavenward. Whether consciously or not, this contemporary artist seems to have been inspired by Ser- bian medieval frescos representing the prophets, espe- cially isaiah, in creating the face and gesture of jug Bog- dan. in this way, Srbinović establishes a sense of contin- uum between the past and present. He, too, creates a mod- ern day icon whose meaning its audience easily grasps.
a very similar approach can be observed in scenes de- picting narrative episodes from the Kosovo Cycle. adam Stefanović executed many of these historical compositions in 1872 and 1873.76 They are Romantic in content, partially realistic in the execution of details, and somewhat prim- itive in the quality of drawing. They still seem to follow traditional iconographic schemes giving them strong re- ligious overtones. Thus, Stefanović’s color lithograph of Kneževa Večera (The Feast of the Prince), although a spe- cific visual allusion to the composition of the Last Sup- per, portrays de facto the gathering of the participants of the Battle of Kosovo.77 at a тт-shaped table placed under a tent, Serbian noblemen surround Prince Lazar, while the eldest among them, jug Bogdan, shares the head of the table with the prince. Prince Lazar has just finished his toast and offers a cup of wine (pehar) to “the bravest of all the brave Serbs,” Miloš Obilić. Miloš, however, has been denounced to the prince as the one who will betray him during the battle with the Ottomans on the field of Koso- vo. Stefanović chose to depict the most dramatic moment in the poem when Miloš rises, approaches the prince, and responds to his words of praise and his offering of the cup of wine;
Miloš jumped on his light feet, and he bowed to the black earth:
’Thank you, glorious Prince Lazar!
75 Mihaljčić, “The Historical Role,” pp. 344–47, figure on page 83.
76 Nikola Kusovac, “adam Stefanović (1832–1887),” Zbornik za likovne umetnosti Matice srpske, 2 (Novi Sad, 1966): 329–41.
77 M. jovanović, Srpsko slikarstvo i grafika, p. 59, No 67 Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, fig. 31.

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