Portrait of Osman, the Porter

Jean Alexandru Steriadi1929

Muzeul Național Brukenthal

Muzeul Național Brukenthal

In Dobrudja, where he finds a diversity of physiognomies, the artist has the opportunity to show his vocation for portraiture. For Portrait of Osman, the Porter, he chooses his model from the lowest walk of life. There is a touch of sentimentality, but something anecdotal as well. Nonchalantly, he resorts to the aesthetic “of the ugly” thus avoiding cheap sentimentalism.

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  • Title: Portrait of Osman, the Porter
  • Creator: Steriadi, Jean Alexandru
  • Date Created: 1929
  • Physical Dimensions: w69 x h99 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist Biography: Complex and controversial personality of his time, Jean Al. Steriadi displayed temptation for experimenting, pertinence in approaching the issue of the importance of the image and of the work of art as well as profoundness in dealing with problems of graphic and artistic language. He started exploring the world of art at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest (1897–1901), then he studied in Munich, at the Academy of Arts (1901–1903) and in Paris, at the Julian Academy and in the studio of Lucien Simon. He played a major part in the artistic life of inter-war Bucharest – he was president of the “Artistic Group”, he was the director of the Kalinderu Museum, he taught at the School of Fine Arts and he became a member of the Academy. Steriadi moved in the circle of the major personalities of the time and he immortalized them in portraits which show his talent for introspection, psychological analysis and ability to synthesize the major features of each model. Among those who were his models were Ion Minulescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Alexandru Macedonski, Alexandru Vlahu??, ?tefan Luchian, Theodor Pallady, Gheorghe Br?tianu, George Oprescu, K. Zambaccian. At the beginning of the fourth decade, he adopted the language of Impressionism and the critics placed him near the French painters Monet and Sisley and near his Romanian fellow artists, Dărăscu and Mützner.
  • Provenance: Brukenthal National Museum
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas