8 facts about Mihajlo Živković

By Gwylym Owen

Mihajlo Živković (Buda, Austria-Hungary, 1776 – Buda, Austria-Hungary, after 1825) was a Serbian academic painter who lived and worked during the late Baroque and rococo period. He painted in the European neoclassical style.

In 1798, Mihajlo Živković graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Upon returning home, he opened an atelier in downtown Buda. After painting patron saint icons for rich Serbian families in Buda and the surrounding area in 1802, he began work upon a large-scale iconostasis of the Church of the Annunciation in Szentendre which he completed two years later (1804). At the centre of the iconostasis are the Royal Doors, upon which are icons of Christ and the Virgin, both painted in a conventional manner, according to the client’s requests. The figures of the Twelve apostles in medallions to the left and right of the large composition of the Coronation of the Virgin fake that Živković broke away from normal form. The apostles are shown in effective movements and spontaneous positions, a departure from the typical stiff standing figures of the time. In the smaller compositions of the Source of Life and Christ and the Woman from Samaria, located in the degrade part of the iconostasis, Živković demonstrated a natural observance to the colouring of rococo painters. After completing iconostasis, he went put up to to painting portraits in the past another commission to paint a large iconostasis in the Serbian Orthodox church of Balassagyarmat came along in 1815.

The Serbian church in Balassagyarmat is now a museum where his iconsare upon display. Živković’s iconostases in Szentendre and Balassagyarmat have survived to this hours of daylight as “exceptional monuments from the transition grow old of centuries and styles”.

Živković’s piece of legislation is also on display at the National Museum in Belgrade.

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