01-10-1862

Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch

PRINCE BOJIDAR KARAGEORGEVITCH was born today (d: 1908) and was a member of the Serbian House of Karageorgevitch. He was the second son of Prince George Karageorgevich and his wife Sarka Anastasijević. Prince Bojidar lived in France for most of his life as the members of the Karageorgevitch dynasty were in exile after Prince Alexander lost the Serbian throne in 1858. Bojidar went on a number of trips around the world. He served in the French army and fought in the French campaign at Tonking and was decorated with the Cross of the Legion d’Honeur. To earn a living he gave singing and drawing lessons before becoming a translator and journalist.

During one of his trips abroad, he traveled extensively around India, visiting thirty eight cities. He wrote a book about his experiences called Enchanted India in which he offered an account of the Indian people their religious rites and other ceremonies. He also provided detailed descriptions of the Indian landscape and buildings.

He was drawn to the cabarets of Montmartre, the haunt of artists, writers, poets, philosophers. His lover was painter Jules Bastien-Lepage, fourteen years his junior, but who predeceased him when Prince Karageorgevitch was only 22 years old.

It was in Montmartre he met and befriended French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt (the 19thcentury version of being “a close friend of Elizabeth Taylor” or “marrying Liza Minelli”), pioneer of modern dance Loie Fuller, Austrian composer Hugo Wolf, painter and illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Sergei Diaghelev of the Ballets Russes and novelist Pierre Loti. In his later years Bojidar worked in a sculptor studio and often spent time with Georges Lacombe, Emile Bernard, Paul Serusier and other members of Les Nabis. He died in Versailles.