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Montenegrin painters

Even before the 20th century -especially along the coast - painting had its place in Montenegrin society, although it wasn't until the period between the two world wars that Montenegrin painting became a fully developed, but never an autarchic field of activity.Image During that period, a whole generation of young Montenegrin painters went to study in Belgrade, and from there to European centers of culture - above all to Paris. The most well known of them (but by no means the only ones) and the most significant for the further development of Montenegrin painting were Petar Lubarda i Milo Milunovic.

Petar Lubarda (1907-1974) began his studies in 1925 at art school inBelgrade, but in 1926 he left for Paris where he occasionally participated in joint exhibitions. He had his first solo exhibition in Rome in 1929. In 1937 he took part in an international exhibition in Paris and won the GrandPrix, and in 1940 won first prize at an international exhibition in The Haag.

The years spent in a concentration camp left their mark on Lubarda. Montenegro was his constant inspiration, expressed through a very distinctive atmosphere and motif, as depicted in a scene of the film "Dust" by Milco Mancevski as a tribute to Lubarda. Lubarda took part in the founding of the first art school in Montenegro, where he was one of the first teachers. In 1951 he opened a historic exhibition in Belgrade where he broke with socialist realism.

Milo Milunovic (1897-1967) was educated in Cetinje, Skadar, Monza, Florence and Paris. He joined the Montenegrin army in the First World War, and from 1919 to 1922 lived in Paris, where he became acquainted with the works of Cezanne. He spent 1923 in Prcanj where he painted some frescoes in the local church. From 1924 to 1926 he lived in Zagreb, and exhibited in thespring salon, and then returned to Paris, and then to Belgrade where with two colleagues he founded the Academy of Art. This was his impressionist period which was also the most fruitful period of Milunovic's creative work.

After the Second World War he founded the art school in Cetinje together with Petar Lubarda. He received the title of "meister" and opened a workshop, while his pictures took on an expressionist tone. He often painted Mediterranean landscapes and still life with images of crabs, fishing nets, people and the sea.

As an idealist, who was never satisfied with himself, he took a long while to complete his pictures and made many sketches for them, but in spite of this he left behind a large number of pictures, frescoes and posters. Between the two world wars Montenegro was, at least at the level of the cultural elite, a society which followed the modernism direction and with it modernity. We must admit that they had to go to its source in Paris to find it, but its reaction with domestic influences gave rise to a very original product, or simply,  brand.
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