Page 338 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 338

 Monument to Kosovo Heroes, Kruševac. it was made by Serbian sculptor Djordje jovanović. it was unveiled on Vidovdan in 1904 in the presence of King Petar i Karadjordjević. Photo M. Miletić.
The accused traitor, Vuk Branković, is obviously likened to judas by his physical and psychological isolation. Mi- loš, the hero of the drama, is formally isolated as well; but by his placement in the center of the composition, he com- mands the attention of all. The most dramatic moment of the scene, the accusation and the response, parallels a similar moment in the Last Supper. The nineteenth-cen- tury Serbian public was, however, most likely more famil- iar with the verses of the poem Kneževa Večera than with the Biblical text.80 Therefore, the beholder knew that the role of Miloš at the Kosovo Battle was not that of a judas, but that of a hero. The popularity of this subject matter and the simplicity of its illustration certainly made this and similar works appealing to the public.
anastas jovanović (1817–1899), an accomplished paint- er and engraver, should also be mentioned among the Ser- bian artists who depicted Kneževa Večera.81 although he chooses the same moment from the poem as adam Ste- fanović, jovanović changes the formal and psychological emphasis in his preliminary drawing and in the subse- quent work. The face and figure of the standing Miloš Obilić occupy the center of the composition (drawing); and, in the next stage of this painting’s evolution, the seat- ed prince and standing Miloš face each other, well-bal- anced and surrounded by other nobles. jovanović adds another narrative detail: from the shadowy background emerge the faces of two women, undoubtedly daughters of Prince Lazar and the wives of the two opponents, Mi- loš and Vuk.82
among these visual descriptions of the Kosovo epi- sodes, some scenes resulted from the artist’s imagination, since neither historical texts nor epic poetry provides a verbal image. To this category belongs the lithograph by adam Stefanović representing Miloš Obilić posle zavere pred Muratovim šatorom (Miloš Obilić in front of Sultan Murad’s Tent).83 On the left sits the sultan on an elaborate cushion in front of his richly decorated tent and flanked by his court dignitaries, military leaders, and his spear- carrying personal bodyguard. Miloš, in full armor, ap- proaches from the right on foot, leading two spirited hors- es and accompanied by one of his pobratim (blood-broth- ers), most likely the legendary ivan Kosančić. The two wear classical- type military garments, more closely resembling
81 Enciklopedija Likovnih Umjetnosti, s.v.: “jovanović, anastas”; Pavle Vasić, Anastas Jovanović, 1817–1899, Katalog radova (Novi Sad, 1964), passim; Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, figs. 57 and 60, respectively.
82 Concerning the legendary quarrel of these two daughters of Prince Lazar, see: G. a. Škrivanić, Kosovska bitka 15 juna 1389 (Ceti- nje, 1956), pp. 79–80; Tomac, Kosovska Bitka, pp. 171–73.
83 Kosovska Bitka: mit, legenda i stvarnost, fig. 19. For the attribu- tion of the print to V. Katzler, see Mihaljčić, “The Historical Role,” pp. 344–47, figure on page 41.
Thank you for your toast,
for your toast and for your gift,
but i do not thank you for such words!
So help me God,
i was never unfaithful, neither was i, nor shall i ever be,
therefore i am planning to die tomorrow for the Chris- tian faith on the Kosovo field!‘78
What this engraving lacks in pure formal merit it abun- dantly provides in clarity of presentation. imitating a the- atrical tableau in which the action is temporarily frozen, the scene also evokes the image of the Last Supper.79 The luminosity which surrounds Prince Lazar renders him Christ-like in appearance. His vassals, although more nu- merous than the original twelve, resemble the apostles.
78 V. Djurić, Antologija, p. 262.
“Skoči Miloš na noge lagane,/ pa se klanja do zemljice crne / “Vala tebi slavni knez-Lazare! / Vala tebi na tvojoj zdravici, / na zdravici i na daru tvome, / al’ ne vala na takvoj besjedi! / jer, tako me vjera ne ubila / ja nevjera nikad bio nisam, / nit’ sam bio, niti ću kad biti, / nego sjutra mislim u Kosovu / za rišćansku vjeru poginuti!...”
79 For the iconographic studies of the Last Supper, see: Gabriel Millet, Recherches sur l’iconographie de l’Evangile aux XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles d’apres les monuments de Mistra, de la Macédoine et du Mont-Athos, 2nd ed. (Paris: e. de Boccard, 1960), pp. 286–309, figs. 268–95; Gertrud Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, vol. 2, The Passion of Christ (New York: Graphic Society, 1972), pp. 24–38, figs. 67–116.
The Biblical texts pertinent to this event are: Matt. 26:20–30; Mark 14:17–25; Luke 22:14–23; john 13:18–30.

   336   337   338   339   340