Romania Arts Part II

By | December 23, 2021

Tonitza (1886-1940) is known for his portraits of children, still lifes, interiors, landscapes and numerous drawings and watercolors where the echo of popular chromatics resounds, as in the works of Luchian. F. Sirato (1877-1953) who, like Tonitza himself, left important writings on art, reveals a vibrant sense of color with his still lifes and landscapes. St. Dimitrescu (1886-1933) evokes rural life in his compositions, sometimes full of drama. THE. Iser expresses himself with a painting less dominated by drawing, taking care of the warmth and brilliance of the color. The landscapes executed in Spain, the images of odalisques and dancers, the scenes of life in the Dobruja, constitute a chapter of great value in the Romanian colouristic lyricism.

Among the landscape architects also D. Ghiată (1888-1972), M. Bunescu (1884-1971), M. Arnold (1897-1946), V. Popescu (1899-1942), L. Grigorescu (1894-1960) stand out. and H. Catargi (1894-1975). For Romania 2018, please check

The various trends from Cubism to Surrealism are reflected in the painting of HM Maxy (1895-1971) and of C. Mihăilescu (1884-1960), M. Iancu (born in 1895) and V. Brauner (1903-1966). Along with Maxy and Mihăilescu, other artists including the sculptor M. Petrascu (1892-1976) took part in the avant-garde movement.

In Transylvania, painting is dominated by M. Teutsch (1884-1968), an artist linked to early German Expressionism, but also A. Ciupe (born in 1900), A. Mohi (born in 1908), T. Marchini (1907-1936), C. Bogdan (1897-1978).

Between the two world wars the sculptors C. Medrea (1889-1964), author of monuments and portraits (Beethoven, Tolstoi, Vasile Lucaci) of considerable emotional intensity, assert themselves. I. Jalea (born in 1887) with his Crossbowman and with numerous highly sensitive portraits and later with monuments – eg. that of G. Enescu at the Opera of Bucharest or that, equestrian, of the Dacian king Decebalus in Deva, – and with reliefs like the one entitled Emperor and proletarian, highlights an elegance of expression with neoclassical accents.

The strong temperament of B. Caragea (born in 1906) is evident in the monumental compositions, often inspired by national and oriental folklore (The Blue Prince), or allegorical (Youth Victory).

The Transylvanian Romania Ladea (1901-1970) was an expressionist in the first phase of his activity and later not without lyrical accents especially in his portraits in sculpture.

Constantinescu (born in 1900), who studied in Rome and Paris, first established himself for a search for the renewal of Romanian sculpture, then in graphics as an illustrator of the Divine Comedy. In this period also G. Anghel (1904-1966), sculptor above all of portraits (Mihai EminescuTheodor Pallady) made his debut. O. Han (1891-1976), author of schematic and synthetic compositions, works in the last period of his life in a realistic vision. He is the author of the monuments to the princes Michele the Bravo in Alba Iulia, Stephen the Great in Piatra Neamt, C. Brâncoveanu in Bucharest, and of some statues consecrated to the peasant rescue of 1907.

The traditions of graphics are constantly developing. Thus, alongside painters such as Iser, Steriade, Petrascu, Popescu, graphic artists such as Nina Arbore (1887-1941), V. Dobrian (born in 1912), V. Kazar (born in 1913), J. Ross (1899-1976), who published their militant drawings and engravings in left-wing magazines. Engravers such as M. Ollinescu (born in 1896) and H. Dimitriu-Nicolaide (1897-1963) try to revive the ancient traditions of Romanian woodcut. Well-known exponents of graphics are A. Jiquidi (1896-1962), author of drawings and illustrations of an inexhaustible satirical vivacity, and E. Dragutescu (born in 1914), painter and lyric draftsman with an acute and nervous unmistakable graphic sign.

Decorative art has the most significant representative in Nora Steriade with tapestries and mosaics suitable for modern architecture. Aurelia Ghiată (born in 1896) is appreciated for the refinement of her tapestries with motifs inspired by the folkloric narrative repertoire.

After the Second World War, in 1950, to coordinate all creative artistic activities, the Union of Plastic Artists was founded, with various sections (painting, sculpture, graphics, decorative art, scenography, criticism) and with branches and cenacles in all over the country.

Alongside other prominent figures in Romanian painting between the two world wars, artists such as A. Ciucurencu (1903-1978) fully affirm their talent with works in which certain Fauves tendencies are grafted onto a delicate lyricism (he is also the author of compositions such as Ana Ip ă tescuThe first of May, etc.); C. Baba (born in 1906) with a repertoire of admirable portraits (Mihail Sadoveanu, Enescu, Arghezi), with gloomy landscapes that, due to their particular realization, are close to transcendental realism (e.g. VeniceToledo, etc.) and with works inspired by country life (Rest on the fieldspeasant dinner, etc.).

The main trends of contemporary Romanian painting are today represented by the middle generation and young people. Their creative activity carries out a very varied stylistic problem. One of the trends is inspired by the folkloric artistic experience. With I. Brădu ??? Covaliu (born in 1924), I. Sălisteanu (born in 1922), G. Năpărus (born in 1930) these experiences are increasingly open to interesting renovations. Another trend is what could be called “poetics of reality”, with I. Pacea (born in 1924), V. Almăsanu (born in 1926), İ. Bitan (born in 1924), I. Nicodim (born in 1932), IA Gheorghiu (born in 1929), M. Bandac (born in 1935).

Sachelarie (born in 1916), H. Bernea (born in 1939), T. Morariu (born in 1938), I. Boca (born in 1937), L. Bobe-Szasz (born in 1920), C. Brudascu (born in 1937), are among the promoters of new interesting research in an expressionistic key. A trend which, in various respects, constitutes one of the main factors of Romanian painting, is realism in modern forms. Belong to this current C. Piliută (born in 1929), T. Brădeanu (born in 1927), V. Mărgineanu (born in 1933), D. Hatmanu (born in 1925).

Romania Arts Part II