Born in 1893 in Indzija, Serbia, died in 1952 in Pittsburg, Nikola Petković was painter and priest who lived and worked in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA. He was rather unknown painter, however since recently he has been re-discovered and compared with the best Serbian painters of his time (like Nadezda Petrović). He was born in a wealthy family in Indzija, Serbia, but quickly he becomes an orphan and has being taken care of by various tutors. After graduating from the Novi Sad gymnasium in 1911, he moves to Zagreb to study law, but his passion for painting takes him to Vienna ‘Kunstgewerbeschule’ where some of the most famous painters of that time studied art (like: Oscar Kokoschka, Gistave Klimt, etc.). But the beginning of the Balkan Wars in 1912 drags him back to Serbia where he joins the Serbian army as a volunteer in the military hospital. From 1912 until 1916 he lived and worked in Macedonia as a teacher in Ohrid. He was mesmerized with the beauty of the region and he also became influenced by the Ohrid spiritual power. Gradually he dedicates his live to God and painting. In 1916 he moved to USA where he became a priest in Ohio. In 1920 he joins Carnegie Institute of Technology, School of Painting and Decoration, under guidance of Hubbell Henry Salem. He decided to go back to Yugoslavia in 1927 where he stayed until 1934. In this period, he lived and worked in South Serbia and Macedonia, producing numerous works that qua technique resembles of the work of the great van Gogh – colorful broken impressionism, bursting with energy and passion. Petković painted Macedonian people and landscapes. After his return to USA, he changes his style and moves strongly toward expressionism and spiritual themes.
Special thanks to Mr. Milos Vujavinovic for providing information and references of this artist.