Two of Titelbach’s crews from 1890 reached the monastery in Petkovica

ON THE EVE of today’s celebration and the great Orthodox holiday, the Monastery of St. Petka in Petkovica near Šabac received a valuable gift: two works of art depicting this church from the 19th century, whose author is the famous Serbian painter and art pedagogue Vladislav Titelbach (1847-1925) .

HOLY FRIDAY AS A GIFT: Two Titelbach's crosses from 1890 arrived at the monastery in Petkovica

Photo Private archive

From his family legacy, drawings in ink (they have the properties of a cultural good, according to the certificates of Nikola Kusovac), were donated to the abbess and the sisterhood on October 22 by a citizen of Belgrade, telecommunications engineer Velimir Bata Žugić, MA.

Titelbach’s drawings with the motifs of the monastery were created in 1890, only three years after the present church was built, on the site of the endowment of the Serbian king Dragutin from the 14th century. Today, this nunnery is mentioned for the first time in sources from 1561.

Photo Private archive

– The drawings have been kept in my family for decades with special love and the belief that the great saint will help all those who need help – says Velimir Bata Žugić.

– As a young man, I often imagined walking in the monastery gate with the desire to enter the church and pray. And so it has been for years. There has always been a desire for drawings to be donated where they were created.

According to the story, that did not happen until recently, when the memory of parents’ love and dedication to art initiated this donation to the monastery in Petkovica. That personal pride and happiness of giving will, as well as the joy of sisterhood, remain in his lasting memory:

– These artistic paintings have historical significance, because it is a document about the construction of the monastery church, but also a story about a bygone era – explains Žugić, thanking the Diocese of Sabac for cooperation and organization of handover, as well as the abbess, sisterhood and father Seraphim, for exceptional hospitality.

Sisterhood of the Monastery of St. Petka in Petkovica, Photo Fotomarkoni

Velimir Bata Žugić, Photo Private archive

Zorica Markovic, from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments in Valjevo, thanked Žugić for her noble work, and she herself is studying the connection of this shrine with Titelbach, but also Queen Natalija Obrenović:

– What makes us as a nation is our past, and our works in the present create the future – this art historian points out.

– The testimony of one time, one monastery, one painter, one queen and one donor, everything is now connected, connected by one thread that created a whole.

Guardian of folk art

BORN in the vicinity of Prague, in a Czech family, Titelbach, who later accepted Orthodoxy, left our people a large number of sketches, drawings, graphics, watercolors, paintings, scenography and designs for theatrical costumes. He participated in an exhibition in Paris in 1889 on the occasion of the century of the French Revolution, where he was awarded a silver medal for his work “Cultural and historical images of the Serbian people”, which included a hundred watercolors. He also published two volumes with motives of the Serbian connection. In addition, he was a high school professor of mathematics and descriptive geometry in Novi Sad and Belgrade, a regular member of the Board for Art of the Serbian Academic Society and an honorary member of the Serbian Royal Academy.


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