Serbs, Art and science

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Summary

The Serbs (, ) are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to the Balkans.

Details

During the 12th and 13th centuries, many icons, wall paintings and manuscript miniatures came into existence, as many Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches such as those at Studenica, Sopoćani, Gračanica and Visoki Dečani were built. The architecture of some of these monasteries is world famous.

Since the mid-1800s, Serbia has produced many famous painters who are representative of general European artistic trends. One of the most prominent of these was Paja Jovanović, who painted massive canvases on historical themes such as the Great Serb Migrations. Painter Uroš Predić was also very prominent in the field of Serbian art, painting the Kosovo Maiden, which was completed in 1919. While Jovanović and Predić were both realist painters, artist Đura Jakšić was an accomplished Romanticist. Painter Vladimir Veličković was famous for his surrealism.

Most literature written by early Serbs was about religious themes. Various Gospels, Psalters, menologies, hagiographies, and essays and sermons of the founders of the Serbian Orthodox Church were written. At the end of the 12th century, two of the most important pieces of Serbian medieval literature were created– the Miroslav Gospels and the Vukan Gospels, which combined handwritten Biblical texts with painted initials and small pictures. Notable Baroque-influenced authors were Andrija Zmajević, Gavril Stefanović Venclović, Jovan Rajić, Zaharije Orfelin and others. Dositej Obradović was the most prominent figure of the Age of Enlightenment, while the most notable Classicist writer was Jovan Sterija Popović, although his works also contained elements of Romanticism. Modern Serbian literature began with Vuk Karadžić's collections of folk songs in the 19th century, and the writings of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, the 19th century Prince-Bishop of Montenegro. The first prominenet representative of Serbian literature in the 20th century was Jovan Skerlić, who wrote in pre-World War I Belgrade and helped introduce Serbian writers to literary modernism. The most important Serbian writer in the inter-war period was Miloš Crnjanski. The first Serb authors who appeared after World War II were Mihailo Lalić and Dobrica Ćosić. Other famous post-war authors were Ivo Andrić and Meša Selimović, both of whom identified as Serbs. Andrić went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961. Danilo Kiš, another popular Serbian writer, was known for writing A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, as well as several acclaimed novels. Amongst contemporary Serbian writers, Milorad Pavić stands out as being the most critically acclaimed, with his novels Dictionary of the Khazars, "Landscape Painted with Tea" and "The Inner Side of the Wind" bringing him international recognition. Highly revered in Europe and in South America, Pavić is considered one of the most intriguing writers from the beginning of the 21st century.

Traditional Serbian music includes various kinds of bagpipes, flutes, horns, trumpets, lutes, psalteries, drums and cymbals. The kolo is the traditional collective folk dance, which has a number of varieties throughout the regions. Composer and musicologist Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac is considered one of the most important founders of modern Serbian music.

Serbia has produced many talented filmmakers, the most famous of whom are Dušan Makavejev, Živojin Pavlović, Goran Paskaljević and Emir Kusturica. Kusturica became world-renowned after winning the Palme d'Or twice at the Cannes Film Festival. He has won numerous other prizes, and is a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia. Several Serbs have featured prominently in Hollywood. The most notable of these are Academy-award winners Karl Malden, Steve Tesich, Peter Bogdanovich and Milla Jovovich.

Many Serbs have contributed to the field of science and technology. Serbian American scientist, inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla is regarded as one of the most important inventors in history. He is renowned for his contributions to the discipline of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th century. Physicist and physical chemist Mihajlo Pupin is best known for his landmark theory of modern electrical filters as well as for his numerous patents, while Milutin Milanković is best known for his theory of long-term climate change caused by changes in the position of the Earth in comparison to the Sun, now known as Milankovitch cycles. Mihailo Petrović is known for having contributed significantly to differential equations and phenomenology, as well as inventing one of the first prototypes of an analog computer.

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External Links

  • WikipediaProject Rastko – Serbian cultural and historical research societyArticles about the Serbs by Westerners

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