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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nicolae TONITZA


Romanian painter, etcher and art critic.

He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Jassy at a time when the Academy was in its heyday, studying at the same time as Stefan Dimitrescu did (later Tonitza, Dimitrescu, Sirato and O. Han were to form the "Group of the Four"). Professors were Gheorghe Popovici and Emanoil Bardasare. If in 1908 he would be in Munich for attending courses at the Bavarian Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the next three years would be spent in Paris for studio visits and realisation of sketches after famous painters. Although the young artist's creation would initially conform to the manner of painting of the time, his endowment as a colourist and the "fraîcheur" of his feelings would take him irreversibly to the realm of originality. The painter's aesthetics would stem from the Impressionism specificity, the findings of the representatives of Post-impressionism, and by all means from the embellishing practice in doing a composition and the Belle Epoque splendour of the 1900 art (see the 1900 Style). Equilibrium, hedonism- the unrepressed joy for the enchanting appearances of reality-, and a calm sensuality all concurred in rendering his pictures full of light, in exalting and matching colours, and in ideally matching the form (given by a gracefully imagined drawing) with colour. His commitment to his time events is best perceivable in his graphic work, malitious and sometimes dramatical (he sketched for many of the time magazines: "Rampa", "Flacara", "Clopotul", "Hiena", etc.), and in his articles, which mainly discussed cultural and social events. Although he could not be spared the restlessness of every day life, and could not escape the contemporary life determination, the serenity of his painting was a datum. It proposed a classical aesthetical ideal, worshipped the beautiful, and viewed the art as a treasurer of spiritual values in eternity. His art is certainly there in the Dobrogea landscapes, in the portraits of clowns and children, in the portraits of young women, in still life, with its touch of mildness and vast canvas, where lights smoothly play on objects, with shining colours.

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