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Home / Yearbook nr. XVII/2016 / Bogdan ALEXANDROV, Genre Migration in “Artist” by Nikola Petrov

Bogdan ALEXANDROV, Genre Migration in “Artist” by Nikola Petrov

PhD student, St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting, Bulgaria;

Published on October 31, 2016

The study aims at identifying, examining and analyzing the dynamics in the genre of the picture “Artist” by Nikola Petrov and the reasons for its migration aspirations. Evidence is argumentatively applied in defence of the thesis that at different stages of the artistic life of the work it comes under three well-grounded distinct painting genres; self-portrait, portrait (single and double) and one figure composition (with the “presence” of a latent image). The hypothesis of genre migration is built on the basis of circumstances and facts that “accompany” the work from its creation till becoming part of a donation by the heirs of the author to a gallery in his hometown. An idea is argued that the simultaneous presence of several genres in the painting is unique for Bulgarian art from the early 20th century, which dimensions could only be rationalized when compared with current ideas and practices in art and nowadays views of portraying in particular. An inference is made in the text by proving that the hypothesis also applies to subsequent paradigm shifts with the time regarding portraying.

genre migration, Nikola Petrov, self-portrait, donation, Vidin.


  1. Milena Georgieva, South Slav Dialogues in Modernism. Bulgarian Art and the Art of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia 1904-1912, Sofia, Bulgarian Artist Publishing House, 2003.
  2. Dimitar Avramov, The Unfortunate Fate of the Artist. A Century after the birth of Nikola Petrov, Narodna Kultura Publishing, 1981.
  3. Irina Mihalcheva, Nikola Petrov, Bulgarian Artist Publishing House, Sofia, 1976.
  4. I. S. Witkiewicz, New Forms in Painting and the Misunderstandings Arising Therefrom, SONM Publishing, Sofia, 2011.
  5. Svilen Stefanov, The Transformations of Bulgarian painting of the 90s. The Postmodern doubt in the “traditional matter”?, Varna, Liter Net, 2003, available web

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