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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Romanian Realists of the early 20th Century

I’ve been a bit sniffy about the Romanian painting tradition. Compared with the Bulgarian it is certainly less accessible and more elitist – which is a reflection of socio-economic realities here. But it did have some real Masters in the late 19th Century  - starting with the classicist Theodor Aman (1831-91); the renowned impressionist Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907); and his friend, the tragically short-lived Ion Andreescu (1850-82)

The key realist painters who grew up in their shadow in the last part of the 19th century number about ten – with many having passed through the Munich Art Academy which was such an influence on the Bulgarians. Few are well known outside Romania (apart from Luchian) and they cost about ten times their Bulgarian counterparts. For each painter I give a video link.
Nicolae Vermont (1866-1932) had great landscapes; Stefan Luchian (1868-1917) is better known for his still-lives.
Then three of my favourites - Stefan Popescu (1872-1948) a great colourist (the river scene here) who has many North African landscapes;

Camil Ressu (1880-1962) with wonderful peasant scenes ; and Jean Alexandru Steriadi (1881-1956) with a lot of inspiration from the Black Sea (the painting at the top is boats at Braila).

Iosif Iser (1881-1958) was a very colourful artist - who gave us great figurative work ...of racetracks and Ottoman figures.

Nicolae Tonitsa (1886-1940) is well-known for his portraits - and the curious dark eyes of many of his figures.

Samuel Muntzner (1884-1959) is also a favourite - with river or sea generally present in his paintings.

Ciucurencu, Alexandru (1903-1977) had more time under the socialist regime than the others and has another video here

A general video on Romanian painting seems to confirm my belief that the worthwhile painters were born in the latter part of the 19th Century - and that would include the painters from the Nagybany school most of whom were technically Hungarian.
And another article indicates that my own preferences are fairly similar to more professional judgements

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