Tomul 7 (51), 2017

Artişti şi soldaţi. Plasticienii ataşaţi Marelui Cartier General şi realizările lor

In June 1917 General Constantin Prezan issued an order to summon a group of already mobilized artists to be deployed with the specific mission to preserve war imagery for posterity, to capture front live scenes. Their output was meant to form the nucleus collection of what would later become the National Military Museum. It was a win-win decision: their talent was harvested best to enshrine the Great War images / sacrifices into the nation’s memory and the artists lives’ were spared by avoiding the front line exposure. This list of names of the group’s members reads like a Who’s Who of celebrated Romanian painters: Ştefan Dimitrescu, Ion Theodorescu-Sion, Camil Ressu, Nicolae Dărăscu, Aurel Băeşu, Eftimie Hârlescu, Traian Cornescu, Petre Bulgăraş, Otto Briese, as well as sculptors: Cornel Medrea, Oscar Han, Alexandru Călinescu, Dimitrie Măţăuanu, I. Iordănescu, Richard Hette and Anghel Chiciu.
The School of Fine Arts in Jassy kindly provided them with a working space and therefore enabled them to finalize their sketches. The output of these joint efforts was put on public display in two exhibitions organized in Jassy, one in September 1917 and one in January 1918. On March 30 1918, after the reunification of Bessarabia with Romania (27 March 1918), the exhibition is tellingly transferred to Chişinău.
A special mention should be made of the painter Costin Petrescu. Although he was not conscripted and didn’t join the military mobilized artists’ group, Costin Petrescu happened to live and work feverishly in Jassy at the same time. He produced forceful canvases and kept remarkable notes about life in Jassy, the overcrowded city, a crossroads of civilian refugees from Bucharest, Romanian soldiers and officers of all arms and ranks, Russian military already inflicted with the Bolshevik bug, governmental officials, French Military Mission personnel and a whole bunch of adventures and profiteers.
The artistic output of these soldier-artists who, by a visionary decision of the head of the General Headquarters, were spared the front line and deployed to do what they knew best, to paint and to carve, kept alive for us the story line, the whole drama of the Romanian contribution to the Great War in color and volume.
Keywords: special war artists, Romanian army, The Great War, exhibition, Jassy. 

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Scurtă privire asupra desenelor lui Emil Damian din timpul Marelui Război (colecţia Cabinetului de Stampe al Bibliotecii Academiei Române)

Emil Damian was a classmate of Constantin Brâncuşi at the Fine Arts School in Bucharest. After 1902, we meet him in Paris, where his studio is located. He is still close to Brâncuşi and to other Romanian artists who either study in Paris or visit its museums. The Library of the Romanian Academy has several drawings by this artist, unjustly ignored both by critics and collectors. Portraits, landscapes and several battlefront sketches, which present particular interest since the artist actually fought in WWI, all constitute a statement of the painters remarkable talent. The hardships of war weakened his health, eventually leading to his death in 1918. Emil Damian was known to his contemporaries as an accomplished colorist, endowed with great strength and simplicity of means. His drawings poignantly portray the human face, capturing in just a few lines the gist of a particular action and the free movement of his subjects. Even if he was friends with some artistic main figures of the Interbellum, Damian’s own creation and especially his wartime sketches are revealed to the scientific reader here, for the first time.
Keywords: Brancuşi’s classmate; unknown battlefront sketches; Parisian studio.

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Inventing Modern Photomontage 1918: Transdisciplinary Precedents in Proto Modern Photography

Prototypes in modern photography were established throughout the visual arts worldwide in the first decades of the twentieth century. Growing experimentation and innovation beyond traditional art practices reflected a historic shift in new directions. Questioning the function and use of the camera, photographs, and a wide range of photographic processes, redefined the key role that photography played in modern art. Artists set precedents with a wide range of forms of proto modern photography.
Keywords: Photograms; Talbot; modern photomontage; Russian Avant-garde; modern photomontage in Germany; Gustavs Klucis.

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Emilie Flöge in Contemporary Photographs

Emilie Flöge was unquestionably Vienna’s most modern fashion designer. In 1904, together with her sisters Pauline and Helene, Emilie opened the fashion salon “Schwestern Flöge” at Mariahilfer Strasse 1b. In this so-called “Casa Piccola”, which had been designed in the Jugendstil by the architect Josef Hoffmann, she presented designer clothing in the style of the Wiener Werkstätte. Emilie was undoubtedly the most emancipated and self-assured of the three Flöge sisters. She acted as her own demonstration model for the designs the salon created itself, as is attested to by numerous photographs. Emilie was since 1891 the life companion of Gustav Klimt and she was without a doubt his “Lebensmensch”, a companion with whom Klimt enjoyed a close, life-long friendship. Klimt and Flöge made many joint projects: Klimt drew some garments for the Flöge salon in the rational dress rational dress style – a style promoted by the feminist movement, and he arranged photographs with Emilie Flöge as a model.
Keywords: snapshot photography; pictorial scenarios; model and fashion designer; studio photography.

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O privire de ansamblu asupra colecţiilor de dagherotipuri din România

Invented in 1839 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in France, the daguerreotype is the first functional photographic process. Obtaining a daguerreotype was an elaborate process involving a range of production steps and materials, as well as the use of multiple chemical substances. The support consisted of a silvered copper plate, exposed in the camera, then developed with mercury fumes. The final result was a unique, direct-positive image with a high resolution that had the drawback of not allowing multiplication. Far from being a mere photograph, the daguerreotype represented a complex structure of packaging materials that also had the role to protect the image from deterioration.
The Daguerreobase Project is a research initiative that archives daguerreotypes from Europe in an online, digital platform. Initiated by the Netherlands Photography Museum in Rotterdam and the Antwerp Photography Museum in Belgium, the platform offers a complex network of collections of daguerreotypes, visible and accessible internationally. The project engendered the first national inventory of daguerreotypes in Romania, that resulted in the formation of a coherent corpus of a hundred and thirty seven registered items, of which seventy three can be found online. The daguerreotypes come from five public institutions: the Romanian Academy Library, the Romanian National Library, the Prahova County Museum of History and Archeology, the Banat Museum Timişoara, the Revolution Museum Arad. In addition, items from seven private collections were also recorded: Adrian-Silvan Ionescu, Tudor Berza, Cristian Graure, Ştefan Sava, Theodor U. Rostás, Mihai Stănescu, and Călina Bârzu. Research often resulted in the discovery of novel information regarding the image, photographer, plate manufacturer, hallmark, studio, year, city, country, packaging materials, as well as the degree of deterioration of the image or of the object. Daguerreobase is currently registering new daguerreotypes in the database and continues to archive objects from Romanian collections.
Keywords: daguerreotype, photography, history, archive, Daguerreobase, Romania.

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Emil Völkers (1831–1905), un pictor în slujba lui Carol I

Emil Volkers, less famous in Romania, was one of the greatest 19th century German horse painters. After 16 years of passionate study at prestigious German Academies of Fine Arts (Dresden, Munich and Dusseldorf), he gained fame as an exquisite horse painter. Starting with 1868, the artist made his debut as Royal Painter at the Court of Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Ruling prince, then King of Romania. He provided the Ruling prince with various commissions, such as portraits, battle and rural scenes, horse portraiture. Between 1877-1878, during the Independence War, Volkers – like many other local artists – accompanied the Russian-Romanian army on the battlefield for capturing equestrian royal portraits. His fascination with the Romanian picturesque landscape was depicted in numerous, exquisite paintings. The German artist showed great interest in our local traditions thus drawing fascinating rural compositions. His paintings depicting peasants riding horses, wearing colorful traditional outfits, gipsy nomads symbolize the highlight of his rural subjects. Some of his paintings are now showcased in the most important art museum of Romania, in a Royal residence, as well as in many private collections. During the last decade, the artist’s work gained recognition and value on the art market. Our intention is to highlight these works of art and to emphasize their artistic value, along with putting Volkers in the place he duly deserves in the Romanian patrimony.
Keywords: battlefield, rural scenes, horse painter, commissions, picturesque lanscape, local traditions, Independence War, residence.

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„Cercetătorul” în atenţia securităţii: G. Oprescu în arhivele C.N.S.A.S.

As the leading figure of Romanian art historiography in the 1950s-1960s, G. Oprescu’s institutional and scientific contributions proved to be instrumental in the development of this academic field. Because of his influence and due to the positions he held within the artistic establishment, Oprescu was surveyed and monitored by the secret police – the Securitate. Oprescu was suspected of deliberately harboring at the Institute of Art History researchers that were branded as “enemies of the state”. He was also reported to be rejecting historical materialism and promoting a politically disengaged type of research. Ultimately, after years of surveillance, Oprescu’s informative file was closed, with the conclusion that the professor was not guilty of any wrongdoings, but merely too stubborn to be ideologically disciplined.
Keywords: G. Oprescu, the Institute of Art History, The Romanian Academy, Securitate, secret police files, surveillance, People’s Republic of Romania, communist regime.

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Thorvaldsen la Bucureşti

The “N. Iorga” History Institute has in possession three reliefs by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844), who was a Danish sculptor of international renown and one of the main adepts of neoclassicism. The reliefs are connected to the links which the historian Nicolae Iorga maintained with Denmark – and, in a wider perspective, with the Scandinavian countries. They were donated by the Legation of the Danish Kingdom in 1939 to the then recently established Institute for the Study of World History. On that occasion, the institute which N. Iorga had founded also received a book donation from the authorities of the same state.
The three reliefs are copies of “A Genio Lumen”, “Hector and Andromache” and “Priam Pleads with Achilles for Hector’s Body”. The last two are faithful illustrations of some passages from Homer’s IIiad. The style of Thorvaldsen’s sculpture – for which these three high reliefs are emblematic – is inscribed in the line advocated by Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768), who is considered the founding father of classical art history and archaeology, according to which modern art should simply imitate the art of antiquity, especially that of Greece. Though neither Winckelmann nor Thorvaldsen ever visited Greece, they were cognizant of Greek art owing to their long voyages to Rome. After the spectacular artistic styles of the baroque and the rococo, the rediscovery of antiquity constituted a downright new Renaissance, a suitable foundation for the modern age.
“A Genio Lumen” – translated as “light stems from genius” – is a natural reference to N.Iorga’s proteic personality. The Trojan War scenes might be metaphoric allusions to the First World War, which the historian felt so intimately tied with his efforts to establish a state within the bounds of the nation. These resplendent neoclassical works brought to Bucharest come from a society which, with its Viking and Germanic roots, had the capacity to value the heritage of the ancient world, its beauty and idea semanating from the Mediterranean antiquity.
Keywords: Berthel Thorvaldsen, Thorvaldsens Museum, “N. Iorga” History Institute, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Jlias, Danish Legation in Bucharest.

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Expoziţia Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company. American Moderns and the West, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 29 oct. 2016–22 ian. 2017 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 213

Expoziţia Portrete comice. Istoria în caricatură, Muzeul Național Cotroceni, 27 iunie – 20 august 2017 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 221

Expoziţia Atelier de front. Artişti români în Marele Război, Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României, 24 august 2017 – 28 ianuarie 2018 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 227

Expoziţia Mărturii din Războiul cel Mare. Grafica din colecţiile Cabinetului de Stampe al Bibliotecii Academiei Române, Sala Theodor Pallady, Biblioteca Academiei Române, 5-31 octombrie 2017 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 234

Expoziţia East/West Reconstructed. Instalaţie fotografică de Steve Yates, Galeria Simeza, Bucureşti, 10-20 octombrie 2017 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 240

Fiesta de Grácia, Barcelona, august 2017, ediţia bicentenară (Corina Teacă), p. 246

Expoziţia Culorile marţialităţii: splendoarea uniformei înaintea Marelui Război, Muzeul Naţional Cotroceni, 10 mai – 25 iunie 2017 (Ştefania Dinu), p. 248

Conferinţa internaţională Rhetorics of War in the Arts. A Century of War (1917–2017), Bucureşti, Academia
Română, 5-6 octombrie 2017 (Daniela Gheorghe), p. 258

Ion Grigorescu. Opera pictată. 1963–2017, Muzeul Naţional de Artă, Bucureşti, 9 iulie – 22 octombrie 2017 (Ioana Vlasiu), p. 265

La Beijing în uniforma Armatei Române din Marele Război (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 266

Expoziţia Karel van Vlaanderen: Prinţ-Regent–Artist, Palatul Regal, Bruxelles, 22 iulie – 3 septembrie 2017 (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 270

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ATENA-ELENA SIMIONESCU – MATER MATERIA, De la tradiţie la experiment / From tradition to experiment (cu texte de Petru Bejan, Suzana Fântânariu, Alexander Gerdanovits, Oana Maria Nicuţă-Nae), Iaşi, Ed. Artes, 2016, 154 p. + il. (Andrea Magheruşan), p. 275 

Spicilegium. Studi şi articole în onoarea Prof. Corina Popa, ed. Vlad Bedros, Marina Ileana Sabados,
Editura Universităţii Naţionale de Arte (UNArte), Bucureşti, 2015, 255 p., ilustrat (Elisabeta Negrău), p. 276 

Pădurea spânzuraţilor, oglindă a Marelui Război: 50 de ani de la premieră, 100 de ani de la subiect, coord.: Adrian-Silvan Ionescu, Marian Ţuţui, Ed. Oscar Print, Bucureşti, 2017, 278 p., cu o prefaţă de Adrian-Silvan Ionescu (Mihai Fulger), p. 281 

Un ardelean în Marele Război/Ein Siebenbürger im Großen Krieg/A Transylvanian in the Great War: Albert Porkoláb (1880–1920), Ion Cârja, Dan-Lucian Vaida, Loránd L. Mádly, Dan Prahase (Editori/Hrsg./Edited by), Cluj-Napoca, Editura Argonaut & Mega, 2016, 246 p. (Lidia Trausan-Matu), p. 304 

DIANA MANDACHE, Castelul Bran: romantism şi regalitate, Bucureşti, Curtea Veche Publishing, 2017 (Ana Rusan-Görbe), p.  305

NARCIS DORIN ION, Despre cultura de ieri şi românii de azi. Convorbiri cu academicianul Răzvan Theodorescu, Bucureşti, Editura Rao, 2017, 303 p. (Alin Ciupală), p. 306

PATRICIU MATEESCU, Memorii, Ed. Şcoala Ardeleană, Cluj-Napoca, 2016, 126 p. + il. (Adrian-Silvan Ionescu), p. 308

IOANA VLASIU, IOAN ŞULEA, CORA FODOR, ION VLASIU (1908–1997), Muzeul Judeţean Mureş, Muzeul de Artă, Târgu-Mureş, 2015, 310 p. + il. (Virginia Barbu), p. 310

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Buletin bibliografic 2012–2017, pp. 293–297

RUXANDA BELDIMAN (1973–2017) (autor:Corina Teacă), p. 301

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