The Art Museum of Iași was founded on the 26th of October 1860 and was the first art collection in Romania. The organization of the museum was based on the available heritage fund which in time turned into a treasury composed of three galleries: The Romanian Modern Art Gallery; The Romanian Contemporary Art Gallery; The European Art Gallery - structured by national schools: Italian, Spanish, Flemish-Dutch, German, Austrian, Russian, Polish.
Theodor Aman (1831-1891) was the first Romanian painter who, through his works, raised to the level of the strict requirements of the European art at the middle of the 19th century. He approached all the genres of painting, from still lifes to landscapes, as well as compositions with historical and oriental themes.
By addressing the rural theme, Aman attempted "a return to nature, in order to rediscover the innocence and the purity, the sincerity and the naivety, the simple joy and the healthy cheerfulness of the country man, unaltered by the urban civilization. The composition presents the lively atmosphere, on a celebration day in the Olt area. All generations participate in the ”hora” (a traditional folk round dance): children, young people, adults in costumes specific of the region.
Round Dance from Beyond the River Olt (1866) depicts a moment of joy.
Constantin D. Stahi (1844 - 1920) studied at the School of Fine Arts in Iaşi, under the guidance of painters Gh. Panaiteanu Bardasare and Gh. Schiller. Starting with 1871, he completes his studies as a scholarship student at the Munich Academy of Arts.
C. D. Stahi is acknowledged for his manner of rendering light effects, but especially for still lifes. The Art Museum of Iasii owns over 100 works bearing the signature of C.D. Stahi, originating from the generous donation of this remarkable exponent of modern Romanian painting who also held the position of Director of the museum, between 1892 and 1901.
Signed and dated, C.D. Stahi, Iassi, 1901
Ștefan Luchian (1868-1916) had a very sharp observation spirit and a strong sense of drama, transmitting into his works the vibrating humanity which is so specific to him, loaded with deep meanings and special emotional nuances.
Named ”the painter of flowers", Luchian would depict "Chrysanthemums" (1910) in clay pots: “because they are ours, they are beautiful in a pot also made in our area”.
Gh. Panaiteanu Bardasare (1816 - 1900) was one of the painters who had a fundamental role in modernizing the plastic language in the Romanian painting of the 19th century. A scholarship student in Munich (1840), he remained in that city for more than 18 years. Once back in Romania, he founded the School of Fine Arts (October 26, 1860) and, together with Gheorghe Asachi and Mihail Kogălniceanu, the National Pinacotheca of Iaşi (Museum of Art), which would preserve great values of the Romanian and foreign visual art throughout the time, and whose director he would become later on.
Painter of Romanian landscapes and forest clearings, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 - 1907) founded the national style in the Romanian visual art, taking the painting out of the dark atmosphere of the studio into the fresh and vibrant air of the nature, into the iridescent light of the sun.
”Return from the Fair” depicts a row of wagons on a plain road. Into the background, close to the horizon, the artist renders a countryside house, surrounded by people and animals.
The sky is vast, rendered in the Impressionist technique, with the help of a palette dominated by shades of colored whites.
Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 - 1907) was the brightest personality of the Romanian painting of all times.
The painting “Gipsy Woman from Bolduri” portrays a young gipsy woman, emanating youth and beauty, but also trust, pride, joy. The painting is undated.
Emanoil Bardasare (1850 - 1935), ”Three Stuffed Cabbage Rolls” Inn. The painting is signed, dated, and the place is also found in the lower right corner (Iassii, 1883)
Nicolae Tonitza, known as the painter of children, approaches this theme starting with the birth of his three children, Irina, Catrina and Petru, whom he portrays since their early childhood. The children are seen in the natural purity of their age, in their simplicity and the concise traits indicate the desire to keep the moral values of the souls unaltered.
The exhibition entitled the "Masters of the Romanian Interwar Art in the Collections of the Art Museum of Iași" aims to present to the public the defining characteristics of the Interwar art, illustrated by the high-value paintings that the Art Museum holds.
The Interwar period in Romanian art is characterized by the fact that there was an own way of asserting modernity.
Dr. Lacramioara Stratulat - Manager of the "Moldova" National Museum Complex IASI
Valentina Drutu - Head of The Art Museum