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strewn, one bearing the heraldic emblem of Prince Lazar. in the far distance one sees a fallen hero, his faithful steed, and a riderless horse—all symbols of death. The somber coloring of this painting, predominantly blue and purple, reinforces the sense of tragedy.
a second female character bearing the tragic conse- quences of the battle also exists in Serbian poetry. She is known as Kosovka Devojka (The Maiden of Kosovo), a bride-to-be who lost her beloved at Kosovo and, with him, her future. She, too, plays a specific role in the epic po- etry of the Kosovo Cycle. in the poem, Musić Stefan, she offers evidence to one of the noblemen about the losses of the Turks and the Serbs at the battle:
...when i came to the river Sitnica,
Sitnica was muddy and inundated,
it carried, my brother, horses and warriors,
Turkish hats and white turbans,
and beautiful Serbian white headgear...113 Furthermore, she visits the field of Kosovo after the
battle and searches for her promised groom, Toplica Mi- lan. There, she administers to the wounded, as described in the poem Kosovka Devojka:
She went to the plains of Kosovo,
and this young maid traversed the battle field,
the battlefield of the honorable knez,
and she was lifting the heroes from the pools of blood. Whenever she found a hero alive,
she washed his face in cold water,
and gave him red wine, like communion
and she fed him with white bread.114
in the search for her betrothed, she finds a young flag-
bearer, severely wounded but still alive. Through their dra- matic dialogue, the epic poem informs the listener about the results of the Battle of Kosovo, the fallen heroes, and the death of the Maiden’s beloved. These moving verses become almost prophetic as one regards the fate of Ser- bian women who would lose their men in battles for gen- erations to come:
When the maiden heard his words, her tears ran down her white face, and she returned to her white home lamenting from her white throat “Woe to poor me, i have bad luck!
if poor i touch a green pine tree, even that green tree would dry up!”115
The Battle of Kosovo (1389) and Battle Themes in Serbian art
according to scholars this dramatic poem may have been first realized visually during the Romantic period of Serbian art. The poet-painter Djura jakšić (1832–76) wrote a poem in 1856 in which he declared that he was in the process of creating a representation of Kosovka Devojka. This work, if ever finished, is not known to be in exis- tence today. Nevertheless, through jakšić’s verses, one can glimpse that now lost image:
... in it (the painting) i would have to finish
the dress of the maiden (of Kosovo),
and after that the mist in the distance
a mist which conceals much blood...116
From these lines it is obvious that the dress of the
Maiden remained unfinished, and that the painter planned a misty distance to conceal much of the spilled blood on the field of Kosovo. in his second verse, the painter im- plies that this painting, when finished, would have a tear- ful impact upon any Serb who beheld it. The dramatic ef- fect and the sentimental mood reflect exactly the Roman- tic spirit of the period.
Several other artists after jakšić used the theme of the Maiden of Kosovo as the subject of their works, but only four of these will be included in this discussion. in 1883, a Croatian painter of French ancestry, Ferdo Quiquerez (1845–93), painted his version of Kosovka Devojka. One of many pseudo-historical compositions painted by Qui- querez, it documents this artist’s interest in subjects in- spired by events from the history of the South Slavic na- tions.117 This artist planned to reproduce his painting of Kosovka Devojka as a color lithograph, hoping that the popular appeal of this subject and the approaching five hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1889 would create a large interest for the print.118 The painting is illustrative in character and the artist exhibits a special preoccupation with ethnic costumes of a highly romanti- cized nature. Quiquerez based his composition, conscious- ly or unconsciously, on the traditional iconography of the Lamentation,119 while the epic poem directly inspired the narrative details. The painter offers the viewer a truly ro- mantic interpretation of these epic verses, and artfully chooses the depicted moment for its dramatic quality:
... [she] gave him red wine, like communion,
and she f ed him with white bread...120
These lines should certainly be equated with the giv-
ing of the Last Rites to a dying person—in this case, a hero
from Kosovo. 113 Djurić, Antologija, p. 272 ... kad ja dodjo na vodu Sitnicu, / al’
 Sitnica mutna i povodna, / nosi, brate, konje i junake, / turske kape i bijele čalme, / krasne srpske bijele klobuke...
114 Djurić, Antologija, p. 281: Ona ide na Kosovo ravno, / pa se šeće po razboju mlada, / po razboju čestitoga kneza, / te prevrće po krvi junake. / Kog junaka u životu nadje, / umiva ga ladjanom vodi- com, / pričešćuje vinom crvenijem, i zalaže lebom bijelijem.
115 Djurić, Antologija, p. 284: Kad devojka saslušala reči, / proli suze nis bijelo lice, / ona ode svom bijelu dvoru / kukajući iz bijela grla: / “Jao, jadna, ude ti sam sreće! / Da se, jadna, za zelen bor vatim, / i on bi se zelen osušio!”
nu, / S maglom krvcu mlogu skriti...
117 Enciklopedija Likovnih Umjetnosti, s.v. “Quiquerez, Ferdo.” 118 Srdjan jokanović, “Tajna ’Kosovke Devojke’,” Ilustrovana Poli-
tika, No 1571 (13.Xii, 1988), 3, and figures on pages 27–28.
119 See above, note 84.
120 V. Djurić, Antologija, p. 281, verses 16 and 17: ...pričešćuje vi-
nom crvenijem / i zalaže lebom bijelijem...
 M. jovanović, Srpsko slikarstvo u doba Romantizma, p. 251. “Tu bih moro’ dovršiti / Na devojci još haljinu,/ Posle maglu i dalji-

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