|Known for||The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex, Bataille de la forêt de Teutoburshkoj|
|A.K.A.||Pavle Jovanovic, Raja Jovanovic, Paul Joanovitch, Paul Joanowitsch, Pa...|
|Birth||16 June 1859, Vršac, Serbia|
|Death||30 November 1957, Vienna, Austria (aged 98 years)|
Pavle "Paja" Jovanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Павле "Паја" Јовановић; [pâʋlɛ pǎːja jɔʋǎːnɔʋit͡ɕ]; 16 June 1859 – 30 November 1957) was a Serbian painter who painted more than 1,100 works including: The Wounded Montenegrin (1882), Decorating of the Bride (1886) and Migration of the Serbs (1896). Paja was also the premier portraitist of Europe after 1905, he painted the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria over 14 times, he painted royalty, major industrialists, scientists, bankers, oil barons and monopolists, including certain heirs to the Standard Oil fortune in the United States of America. He was a very sought after portraitist world-wide, this made him incredibly wealthy in his lifetime. Many European and international museums carry his works, signed under various names including: Paul Joanowitch in the National Gallery of Victoria and also two portraits in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Paul Joanowits, Paul Ivanovitch, Paul Joanovitch, Paul Joanovitsch, P. Joanowitsch and others.
Paja Jovanović was born in Vršac, Austrian Empire (modern-day Serbia). His father was photographer Stevan Jovanović and his mother was Ernestina née Deot, of French descent. He spent his childhood and early youth in this home town, where he saw the iconostasis of Pavel Đurković and Arsenije Teodorović in the town churches, which would influence his future works. Jovanović's mother died at a young age and his father went on to remarry. He received his first art lectures and knowledge from his teacher Vodecki. His father took him to Vienna in 1875 when he was 15, where he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in 1877 in the class of professor Christian Griepenkerl. He finished the Academy in 1880, attending several important courses taught by Leopold Carl Müller, known as an "orientalist". There is no doubt that Miller's crucial lessons determined his painting preference. Noting the increased interest of Europe to the events in the Balkans, he traveled during the holidays to Albania, Montenegro, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia gathering sketches and studies of the life of the Balkan peoples. Precisely these themes brought Paja Jovanović worldwide fame and popularity. In the following period, having noticed greater interest of Europe for the Balkans, he painted mostly scenes from the life of the Serbs, Montenegrins, Herzogivinans, Aromanians and Albanians, which brought him great reputation. Encouraged to visit the Balkan region during his hiatus, he studied the customs and folklore of the people, and in 1882 he was awarded the prize of the Academy and was given the Imperial scholarship for the composition The Wounded Montenegrin.
The public and many art critics directed their attention to the young painter, and in 1883 he signed a contract with the "French" gallery in London. He continued his travelling through Caucasus, Morocco, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Spain. A great number of sketches, notes, and studies, along with the collected objects from the life of the common people, will find their place in his famous genre-compositions, such as: Fencing, Decorating of the Bride, and Cockfighting. Some of Jovanović's most remarkable praises were gathered at two of his greatest exhibitions: Millennium exhibition in Budapest in 1896, where he prepared Migration of the Serbs for entry, but the Vršac triptych was sent instead, and the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, for which he had painted a great historical composition The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex.
As of 1888 he was proclaimed a member of the Serbian Royal Academy. He was tasked with painting monumental, historical compositions. After 1905 he devoted himself exclusively to painting the portraits in the style of academic realism for the rich clientele, and he became very famous thanks to them. Some of the most famous include those of Painter Simington, Mihajlo Pupin, Đorđe Jovanović, and others. He painted the portraits of his longtime model and wife, Muni with special care.
He painted the iconostasis in the church of St Nicholas in Dolovo and Orthodox cathedral in Novi Sad, which was painted without commission. He spent most of his time in his atelier in Vienna, where he settled, and occasionally travelled to Belgrade. In 1940 he was made honorary citizen of Vršac, and in 1949 he was given the Order zasluga za narod (Merit for People) of the first category. He lived quietly and lonely, after his wife's early death, in Vienna until his own death in 1957. According to his will, the urn with his ashes was to be moved to Belgrade and where “The Legacy of Paja Jovanović” was opened in 1970, as well in Vršac. Later, in the building of the Old Pharmacy on the Stairs, in 1977 the permanent commemorative exhibition of Paja Jovanović was opened. The works of Paja Jovanović have been kept in the Town Museum of Vršac, along with his well-know painting Vršac triptych. Most of his works and personal belongings can be found in the Belgrade City Museum.
He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs list. Jovanović received a number of orders and decorations both in Serbia and abroad. A number of schools in Serbia is name after him.
The Wedding of Emperor Stefan Dušan (1904)
The Fencing lesson (1884)
The Wounded Montenegrin (1882)
The Sword Dance or Fencing Game (1890)
Vršac triptych (1895), Vršac City Museum
Migration of the Serbs (1896), Pančevo Museum.
Miloš, Marko and the Fairy (1906)
Sava reconciling his quarreling brothers (1901)
The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex (1900).
The traitor (1885–1890)
Snake tamer (1887)
Apotheosis of Vuk Karadžić (1898)
Dva bašibozuka ispred kapije (1887-1888)
Furor Teutonicus by Paul Joanovitch The monumental oil painting (24 square meters) made in 1899 describes the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It went missing after being in the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, thought this sketch has survived.
Portrait of the hat factory-owner August Hückel (1838–1917), signed, dated and inscribed P. Joanowitsch Wien 1914, 130 x 94 cm, framed.
A market scene, signed Paul Joanovitsch, oil on panel, 13.5 x 23 cm, framed.