Romania Arts and Architecture

By | December 23, 2021

The barbarian invasions did not allow the continuity of artistic expressions based on the tradition of the century in the Romanian land. 5th and 6th, attested by the foundations of Byzantine churches found in Tropaeum Traiani. Religious architecture (from the 13th century) shows strong regional differences in Romania until the middle of the 19th century. In Transylvania, Saxon and Hungarian infiltration modifies the type of Byzantine church imported from Wallachia, introducing Gothic elements also in the wooden churches, characteristic of this region: the dome is transformed into a pyramid (as in Maramureș, 12th century), when there are no purely Gothic buildings (evangelical church of Sibiu ; “Black Church” of Brașov, 14th-15th century). In Wallachia (Muntenia, Oltenia) the oldest monument is the princely church of Curtea de Argeș (14th century, Byzantine type, with a Greek cross, with a nave divided into three segments); from this period are also the monasteries of Cozia, Vodița and Tismana (semi-destroyed). In the 15th century. the influence of Byzantium still predominates; towards the end of the century, a type of church of Serbian-Georgian influence appears (bishop’s church of Curtea de Argeș, 1517), imitated in Wallachia and Moldavia. During the sec. 17th-18th century a Constantinopolitan baroque style develops, rich in oriental elements (monastery of Hurezi, 1693; Stavropoleos church in Bucharest, 1733 etc.). A fresco decoration is sometimes present on the outside in the churches of the century. 15th-16th (Voroneț, 1488; Sucevița, 1590). The sculpture is almost non-existent in this period and reduced to decoration. The painting strictly adheres to the Byzantine tradition of Mount Áthos, despite some sporadic Western influence. Noteworthy are the frescoes of the bishop’s church of Curtea de Argeș, those of Voroneț, Suceava, Sucevița (16th century). The art of embroidery (‘epitaphs’, i.e. veils with the representation of the deposition of Jesus, from the 15th century). For Romania 2010, please check

● In the 19th century. Romanian art is decisively detached from tradition and turns to the West. To the modern movement also contributed foreign artists, especially French. The greatest painters of the period are G. Țătărescu, I. Mirea, T. Aman. After L. Andrescu, N. Grigorescu and Ș. Luchian, Romanian art entered a post-impressionist phase with a strong indigenous imprint. First the society Tinerimea artistică (“Artistic youth”), later “The group of 4” formed by the painters NN Tonitza, S. Dumitrescu, F. Șirato and the sculptor O. Han created a ferment between the last two wars (1920- 40) in which the artists G. Petrașcu, T. Pallady, A. Steriadi, D. Ghiață, L. Theodorescu-Sion, Iser, G. Ressu and the sculptors D. Paciurea participated, I. Jalea, G. Medrea and Mac Constantinescu. The Romanian avant-garde moved in the West, from 1904, between Paris, Munich and Zurich with C. Brâncuși, Tristan-Tzara, M. Iancu and V. Brauner. In Romania A. Ciucurencu, C. Baba, B. Covaliu, I. Bițan, G. Brătescu stand out among the painters. Among the graphs: V. Dobrian, O. Grigorescu, M. Petrașcu and for jewels F. Fărcașu. Among all, an isolated figure in the painting remains I. Ṭuculescu, who introduced elements of ancient Romanian folklore into a repertoire of symbolic forms. Faithful to the tradition in sculpture are I. Vlasiu, I. Irimescu, V. Gheza, who are inspired by folklore literature, the portraitist G. Anghel and the three authors of various monuments G. Lucaci, O. Maitec and G. Popovici. D. Grigorescu, G. Tomaziu, H. Damian, A. Istrati, N. Dumitrescu, P. Ackerman, D. Berea work in France ; in Italy E. Dragutescu, E. Frateș-Caragața, N. Batalli, N. Mavrodin, C. Demetrescu; in Spain M. Droc; between Italy and the USA the sculptor E. Ciucă. In the context of contemporary abstract art, a neoconstructivist trend consists of I. Pavel, M. Rusu, active in Bucharest, and a group of artists from Timișoara: S. Bertalan, Romania Cotosman, D. Sayler. Of a lyrical non-figurative setting are I. Setran, P. Codiță, I. Nicodim, I. Pacea, who also made remarkable tapestries. Particularly sensitive to the problem of integrated arts in architecture are S. Maitec, M. Șaraga-Maxy, and the sculptors A. Ghiorghisa, A. Severineanu, P. Mateescu. Also noteworthy are the wood carvings by G. Iliescu-Călinesți.

● The interest in avant-garde artistic currents can be found in the resumption of artistic research after the 1989 revolution, alongside the renewed link with the great tradition. An essential reference remains C. Brâncuşi, the starting point for wood and stone sculptors. G. Apostu stands along this line, alongside the experiments of S. Bertalan, M. Cocea, M. Buculei, F. Codre, N. Tiron (Napo), A. Vlad, M. Zidaru. N. Paduraru and I. Pârvan work in bronze; different materials, such as polyester, treat D. Covrig. M. Spataru, disputed during the Ceauşescu regime, was later called to head the Academy of Bucharest. While experimentalism in painting, collage and assemblage characterized the vital activity of I. Bitzan, P. Neagu (which in painting presents itself as Generative arts group), A. Lupas, refer to a vast field of experiences. the installations of I. Grigorescu, the photographic and video researches of C. Dan, J. Krály, G. Rasovszky, V. Mladin, D. Perjovschi, S. Vreme.

● Among architects it should be remembered I. Mincu, creator of the so-called ‘Romanian style’. The Romanian architectural scene has revealed a certain impermeability towards the avant-garde languages ​​of the 1990s. Diversity of attitude can be found in the so-called Timişoara school. Attention to tradition, to the expressiveness of the volumes and to the craftsmanship of the details can be found in the works of I. Andreescu, RM Mihailescu and Romania Radoslav, S. Sturdza, I. Andreescu and VA Gaivoronschi etc.

● Regarding archeology ➔ Dacians ; Getae ; Thrace.

Romania Arts and Architecture