Gallery of Frescoes Belgrade

Gallery of Frescoes Belgrade

Gallery of Frescoes of the National Museum in Belgrade is unique by its function and content, collecting, safeguarding and exhibiting in one place the highest achievements of the Serbian Medieval and Byzantine art. The rich collection of the Gallery of frescoes in Belgrade includes 1,300 copies of frescoes created between the 11th and mid-15th century as well as some copies of icons and miniatures from the same period. The Fresco Gallery collection also has around 300 cast-offs of Medieval monumental sculpture and epigraph monuments. All copies of artworks exposed at the Gallery of frescoes in Belgrade were done by academic artists specialized in that area. Their dimensions, method of creation as well as damages are completely true to the originals. Many artifacts in the Collection of the Gallery of frescoes Belgrade come originally from monuments that are now destroyed or endangered. The copies are reputed to be made as exact replicas of the frescoes at the time they were discovered or reproduced so they are faded and scratched in the same way as the originals. Whilst, the frescoes are all replicas, it is a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours exploring the rich tradition of Serbian religious painting. At the Gallery of frescoes in Belgrade there are also replicas of stonework from the monasteries and churches of Serbia.

The first initiative for copying frescoes with the goal to establish the Museum of Frescoes and organize exhibitions abroad, originated from the Committee for Culture and Art of the Government of People’s Federate Republic of Yugoslavia in 1947. The initiative resulted in a big Exhibition of Yugoslav Medieval Art in 1959 in Palace Chaillot in Paris. For the exhibition, 160 copies of frescoes and 105 cast offs of sculptures were prepared. On February 1, 1953, upon the completion of the exhibition and return of the artifacts to the country, the Gallery of Frescoes was opened as a second museum of that type in the world. The building dedicated for the Gallery of Frescoes was built in 1952 on a plot of the Synagogue Bet Israel which was demolished by the Nazis in 1944. The Jewish Community has donated the plot to the City of Belgrade under the condition that the future building is dedicated to culture.

The first Director of the Gallery, Milan Kašanin, significantly expanded the collection by 441 additional copies, and created the concept of the first Gallery’s display. During the following decades, the Gallery of Frescoes was dedicated to further creation of copies, presentation and research of artworks that belong to the Byzantine tradition, particularly Serbian Medieval art. Since 1962, painting and sculpture studios were formed as a part of the Gallery. The Gallery of Frescoes has joined the National Museum in Belgrade in 1973. Current exhibition Studenica – Eight Centuries of its Fresco Painting at the Gallery of Frescoes Belgrade is an exhibition of frescoes of one of the most important Medieval monastery complexes in Serbia, whose value has been recognized and confirmed by being included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Registry. Gallery of Frescoes at the National Museum Belgrade is accessible to persons with disabilities and a great part of its activity is dedicated to programs of accessibility. A part of the exhibition at the Gallery of Frescoes is a tactile exhibition – Architecture School of Ras. The Gallery of frescoes Belgrade often hosts expositions and multimedia presentations about the Medieval art of Serbia. The Gallery of frescoes is situated only 5 minutes of walk from the National Museum, at the Republic Square. Curator of the Collection of Copies of Frescoes and Manager of the Gallery of frescoes Bojan Popović, MA

Thanks to its wonderfully appointed and acoustic space, and kindness and understanding of the management, the Gallery of frescoes in Belgrade is supreme host of special cultural events and concerts by reputed artists that we organize for our special groups.