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Nikola Neškovic, Self Portrait

Nikola Nešković (c. 1729 – 1785) was the most famous Serbian religious painter of the 18th century. He is the author of over a thousand works, including many icons, frescos, and portraits.[1]He is the grandfather of Jovan Sterija Popović.

From the third decade of the 18th century, Požarevac-born Nikola Nešković came to live and work in the Habsburg Monarchy, sent by his father who died in the Battle of Grocka, fighting the Turks. As a young student, he was sent by Bishop Jovan (Georgijević) to the art academy in Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves) and upon his return to Vršac he painted the sanctuary screens (iconostasis) of the court chapels.[2]It is at the court of Bishop Jovan Georgijević in Vršac that Nesković came into prominence. Stored in the court treasury is a collection of portraits of dignitaries, the works of Teodor Kračun, Jakov Orfelin, Šerban Popović, Teodor Ilić Češljar, Konstantin Pantelić, Nedeljko Popović, Nikola Nešković and other trained Serbian painters. This valuable collection has been processed in a catalogue by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Matica Srpska from Novi Sad.[3]Their works are distinguished for refined Baroque and Biedermeier styles of the period.

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