Friday, August 7, 2009

Nicolae Grigorescu and Modern Romanian Painting

Nicolae Grigorescu started an apprenticeship in Bucharest in 1848 with Anton Chladek, a Czech painter, which lasted three years. He was ten year sold , when he started the apprenticeship. Grigorescu painted religious icons and murals for Orthodox churches in Băicoi ( SS Constantin/ Elena ) and Căldărusani from 1853 to1856. From 1857 to 1861 he painted murals for the Zamfra and Agapia monasteries. His work during this period was influenced by Viennese classicism and Italian academicism. This early work depicts refined figures and drapery and lustrous tones.

He met Mihail Kogalnice, who helped him get a study subsidy, while he worked in Agapia. This enabled Grigorescu to go to the École des Beaux Art and apprentice in Paris with Sebastian Cornu, whom Renoir studied under too. He was totally intrigued with the “plen air” painters, thus he painted in the surrounding areas of Paris including Barbizon in the summertime until 1869. While in Barbizon he became friends with Corot, Millet, Rousseau, and Courbet.

Grigorescu exhibited seven pieces in the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867. He showed his painting Gypsy Girl at the Paris Salon in 1868. He showed his work at the Bucharest Exhibitions of Living Artists beginning in 1870 and he continued to exhibit in their exhibitions.

He was a front-line painter for the Romanian Army during the Romanian War of Independence (1877-1888. He sketched scenes that he later utilized to paint bigger works. His work was highlighted at the Universal Exhibition in Paris 1889. Grigorescu had one man shows at Romanian Athenaeum six times from 1891 to 1904.

He built a home in Campina, which is now the Nicolae Grigorescu Museum. He settled there during 1890 and began painting the peasants and scenes of the countryside. In 1899 he was awarded an honorary membership in the Romanian Academy. True to his art, Grigorescu was in the process of painting The Return From the Fair, when he died in 1907.

Below is a slide show of some of Grigorescu's Paintings.

Nicolae Grigorescu (Forest clearing) Art Poster

Grigorescu (Great Painters)

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