From the Past of Hungary’s Serbs
Portraits of the Bishops of Buda
The chronicle of the spiritual and administrative life of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Hungary is presented through the portraits of twelve bishops of Buda. This gallery of religious dignitaries portrays the bishops who headed the Eparchy of Buda in the period 1729 to 1892, covering a complete era of 18th- and 19th-century church governance.
To produce the portraits of the major bishops such as Vasilije Dimitrijević, Dionisije Novaković, Arsenije Radivojević, Sofronije Kirilović, Stefan Stratimirović, Stefan Stanković, Justin Joanović, Pantelejmon Živković, Dionisije Popović and Arsenije Stojković, renowned Serbian painters, including Hristofor Žefarović, Jovan Popović, Vasilije Ostojić, Arsenije Arsa Teodorović and Mihailo Živković, were commissioned. Ukrainian painter Vasiliy Romanovich, as well as the lesser-known Antal Fiala and Anton Einsle were also contracted. The latter two were equally productive in the fields of sacred and profane art in the territory of the Eparchy of Buda.
Bishop Vasilije Dimitrijević
The portraits of respectable citizens, patrons, endowment holders and individuals significant in the cultural and social life of Hungary’s Serbs provide important points of reference for understanding the development and flourishing of Serbian art and culture in the region. These portraits speak of the ideals and endeavours of the 19th-century Serbian middle class.
The portraits of Sava Tekelija, Dositej Obradović and Platon Atanacković embody the rise of the ideas of the Enlightenment, the foundation of the first educational institutions and the genesis of the thoughts underlying the Age of Reason, while artistic activity is foregrounded by the oeuvre of the first Serbian female painter, Katarina Ivanović. The attainment of civil liberties encapsulated in the portrait of the first Mayor of Szentendre, Jenő Dumtsa, as well as emphasis on the importance of social engagement epitomised by the images of endowment holders Naum and Jelena Bozda point to individuals who left their imprint on the history and culture of the Serbian people in Hungary.