Feb 20, 2019

20th Century Romanian Painting

Cotroceni National Museum

Discover the great classics of the 20th century Romanian painting.

Landscape with trees, Stefan Popescu, 1914, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Introduction
Landscapes, flowers, still life, the Romanian village, the city of Balcic or portraits are just some of the themes the eyes will discover in this series of works. The paintings highlight the Romanian creative spirit. Every painter interprets, in their own manner, what they choose to paint, leaving their fingerprint on the coloring, lights and shadows, on the artistic language in general. The main feature of the works is the representation of reality as a whole, the artist’s feelings, thoughts and experiences.
Café in Balchik, Kimon Loghi, Circa 1929, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
The exhibition
It presents works rarely visible in the public space and nearly forgotten even by the audiences interested in art. With a wide selection, the exhibition gives the visitor access into a world in which color was a fundamental feature of Romanian painting, and the painters were focused on static natures with flowers, realistic landscapes and “emotion”-related themes.
Café in Balchik, Kimon Loghi, Circa 1929, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Farmhouse, Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpănă, 1934, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
The Romanian Village
Influenced by various art movements, the Romanian painters of the 20th century remained faithful to the authentic themes associated with our country, which they would paint in an admirable way, expressing their love for the Romanian village and the peasant. The farmhouse, the folk costume, portraits of peasants represent subjects that Nicolae Grigorescu, Arthur Verona, Camil Ressu, Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpana and others approached in their works. 
Farmhouse, Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpănă, 1934, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

This painting is made into a thick paste, in successive layers, the chromatic effects being obtained by strong contrasts.

Peasant house, Nicolae Grigorescu, 1867, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

It is in the folk art that Nicolae Grigorescu, one of the founders of modern Romanian painting, found his source of inspiration.

In the back of the courtyard, Stefan Luchian, 1914, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Luchian's landscapes are characterized by color variations corresponding to deep spiritual experiences. Subtlety, simplicity, brightness, all are perfectly represented in this finely painted piece.

Peasant woman in landscape, Arthur Verona, Circa 1900, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
With the yoke at the river, Arthur Verona, 1910/1915, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Arthur Verona loved the picturesque Romanian landscape and the peasants' traditional activities.

Folk musicians, Dumitru Ghiaţă, Circa 1934, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Folk musicians - a painting with a rich color, that captures fragments of Romanian village life.

Folk musicians, Dumitru Ghiaţă, Circa 1934, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

The white kerchief and the flower are details of the Romanian folk costume.

Village on the water bank, Camil Ressu, 1912/1920, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Sinaia - House in the woods, Dumitru Ghiaţă, 1964, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Landscape and still life 
The collection of the Cotroceni National Museum includes works with various themes and brings the exceptional Romanian art to the attention of the public. Each artist interpreted what they chose to paint in their own manner. Landscapes and the still lifes are commonly found in the works of Romanian painters in the 20th century.
Landscape (AB), Aurel Băeşu, Circa 1920, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Băeșu's painting is inspired by life, consumed by an inner force. In this work of art, the color tones are discreet and bright at the same time.

Landscape, Samuel Mutzner, 1910, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Landscape, Samuel Mutzner, 1910, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

The composition depicts a settlement with cramped houses and two church spires in the background.

Seascape, Gheorghe Petrașcu, 1934, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Garden with olive trees, Henri Catargi, 1925, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Walls, Lucian Grigorescu, 1927/1939, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Bridge over Neajlov, Hristu Dumitrescu, 1978, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Bridge over Neajlov, Hristu Dumitrescu, 1978, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

The colors of this painting range from green to ocher of different shades, blue and bright white

Landscape by Iosif Iser, Iosif Iser, 1935, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Trees landscape, Adam Bălţatu, 1933/1940, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Landscape with boats, Dan Băjenaru, 1970/1975, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Winter landscape, Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpănă, 1929/1935, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Still life with flowers, Samuel Mutzner, 1908/1912, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Still life with flowers, Samuel Mutzner, 1908/1912, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Rich brush is especially present in the depiction of flowers, giving them a spatial vibration which deliberately comes in contrast to the rest of the composition, more "settled", quieter

Still life with vase, Alexandru Ciucurencu, 1960, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Still life with vase, Alexandru Ciucurencu, 1960, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

A delicate and pastel palette, concise drawing and compositions tending to geometry.

Portrait of Princess Maria, Costin Petrescu, 1900, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Portrait and self-portrait
The 20th century Romanian painters are remarkable for the narrative quality of their paintings, for their landscapes and still lifes, but also for their portraits. The Cotroceni National Museum's collection holds several portraits and self-portraits. The artists approached this genre under unique circumstances and using different tools, but their representations—especially when seen together—all raise important questions about perception and reflection.
Self-portrait, Sever Burada, 1930/1932, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Portrait of Lucia Beller, Aurel Bordenache, 1936, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

This painting is the only image of the mysterious artist Lucia Beller.

Old man reading, Octav Băncilă, 1908/1935, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
Harlequin, Corneliu Baba, Circa, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Richly colored, this painting preserves areas of darkness, in a permanent dialogue with the lightened parts

Harlequin, Corneliu Baba, Circa, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum

Baba`s figurative material is ordered in stable, geometrical structures. Centered, or displayed in pyramidal settings, the force lines of his characters are closing up harmoniously.

Still life with flowers, Samuel Mutzner, 1908/1912, From the collection of: Cotroceni National Museum
To be continued....
This is just a part of the Romanian painting story. If you liked the collection, you are welcome to visit the Cotroceni National Museum and discover more precious works.
Muzeul Național Cotroceni
Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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