Drawing Art Gallery CHAOS

Sava Sumanovic (1896-1942) was born in Vinkovci on January 22. 1896.  His family moved to Shid when he was four years old. He attended secondary school in Zemun, where he became interested in art. He enrolls the College of art in Zagreb in 1914 and completes it with the highest marks in 1918. He publicly exhibits his works ever since.

Sava leaves for Paris in 1920 and hires an atelier in Montparnasse. His teacher there is Andre Lott, an outstanding art pedagogue of analytical cubism. There in Paris he was friendly with Rastko Petrovic, Modigliany, Max Jacob and other artists.

He spends the following years living and painting in Zagreb. The public and the critics do not appreciate his works. In 1924 he writes the studies “A Painter about Painting” and “Why do I love Poussent’s Painting”, works that are starting points for understanding his aesthetics. He stays in Paris again in 1925 where he accepts the influences of Matisse’s painting.

He returns to Shid in 1928 tired out by difficult life and work conditions, bad critiques, too. He paints local Srem landscapes and nude women in Shid.He works on the cycle of large dimension paintings entitled “Women of Shid” and later on the cycle “Women Pickers”, devoted to grape picking.

His independent exhibition in Belgrade was highly appreciated by the critics.

In August 1942. Sava and 150 Serbs from Shid were arrested and taken to Sremska Mitrovica. They were all shot and buried in a mass tomb
 He strived for perfection. His life was a road to stars and back. He left Šid still a boy, early in Zemun he found the true expression of his soul in art, via Zagreb he reached Paris, where he briefly enjoyed the sweet taste of success, and from there, from the apex of his life and career, in the moment of weakness and turmoil, ensued a nervous breakdown, and he returned to Šid. There, he discovered his best paintings — famous landscapes from Šid and Srem — after years of silence and isolation. From the youthful enthusiasm for the impressionism and art nouveau, via cubism and constructivism, in Šid he returned to pure color. In each of the stylistic trends he followed, he made a substantial number of outstanding paintings.

As a complete art work Šumanović considered almost exclusively oils on canvas. Drawings, as well as other works on paper, he considered only as a preparation for oils. Nevertheless, thoroughly devoted to his art, Šumanović moved many traits of his painting into the drawings, which very often appear as complete as the paintings.

Šumanović is rarely surprised by a view or overwhelmed with emotions to grab a pencil and paper to jot a sketch or a concept. Even his tiny drawings, especially those from the last years of his life, exhibit the qualities of a complete work; composition was studied in detail, and forms, lightly touched with color pencils, almost display a complete modeling and the essential color treatment.                                                       

Srdjan Djurić

Working time: 12-20h Every day except Sunday


  • Dositejeva 3 - 11000 Belgrade - Serbia.
  • +381 11 2627-497