Published on February 27th, 2017 | by Marius


Some things “etalon medieval” art of the nineteenth century

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Tiţa-Claudiu Nicolescu

From a historical perspective, nineteenth century meant for the Romanian nation a true period of revelation of their identity in a European political context fluctuated, shaken, often, military conflicts, annexation of territories or abolition Member.

Located in the geographical periphery of the continent, Romanian countries receive full shocks Russian-Austrian-Turkish wars using both the Romanian Country and Moldova as a theater of hostilities. It is not difficult to imagine the effect of these huge deployment of forces of the great empires in the Romanian. The rural population will, în general, the brunt of this unfortunate situation, fact, Romanians there were centuries, forcing them to constantly adapt and, more than that, a permanent rearrangement rational ideological systems, alipindu-le, paradoxical, the ancient beliefs and customs mixer that govern existence. Romanian people learned in a large geographic area of ​​strategic interests has been a nation for which the aggression has taken over hundreds of years, profound connotation of a customary thing in his life. Too often subjected to violence, constraints, it was withdrawn in eternal peace time, cultivating healthy morals, building houses and churches their children, leading his life with modesty and dignity[1].

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Romanian art, in this period of extensive political and social transformations, experienced some defining aspects that will demarcate aesthetics north of the Danube and will gather, together, both old Byzantine and Gothic styles Western-influenced Renaissance. Syncretism existing capacity will emphasize traditional Romanian art, very conservative, to develop new aesthetic forms by accepting creations halogen. Romanians ability to stratify and change, of their own way, foreign cultural elements is an invitation to historical knowledge, to contemplation and research objective in order to position the universality Romanianism. To understand all cognitive relations(ca instrument mental) which traced the history of Romanian art and specific particularism, must be known so standard medieval context and interaction of old and new, in particular, Enlightenment came to the branch.


We could say, hypothetical and historical context, that rationality is an issue, who finds a logical position in a deeply religious ideological system where the affective prevails. Romanian Middle Ages showed that orthodoxy was one of the most powerful spiritual and cultural landmarks and public printing, in particular, beautiful loving ruling class, a field of functional thinking, In some cases, very more technical. Construction of the monastery of Curtea de Arges, In the sixteenth century, It is proof of insertion ubiquitous institution of the church in society and functional system, implicit, the formation of a new cultural thinking, open both to rational (by accepting foreign architectural lines) and the affective (preserve the sanctity of old standards Byzantine imposed by ecumenical councils). Paul of Aleppo, year 1654, consider one of the wonders of the world: "As for architecture, it is not possible to give anyone an apt description, so are various sculptures and ornate windows, some of which are long and narrow, others round and also borders shields "[2] .

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Another good example of rationality written in Romanian art of the sixteenth century, which will reflect the thinking, the philosophical and pedagogical sense, the next century will be The teachings of Neagoe, which eliminates the mystical elements (frequently encountered in Romanian culture), bringing full moral sense and spirit realistic plan[3].

The historical reality that has made its mark on Romanian art and, held company in a so-called creative tension Mobilize, It was the political context of Ottoman oppression (Finally in the nineteenth century), charged, naturally, The largest part of the population as a clear threat to the integrity of its beliefs. This kind of assault, which will be charged a manner different social classes, which will boost the dogmatic thinking, most often, Romanian religious art will lead to outcomes that will be taken as a benchmark during the cultural momentum in the nineteenth century.


Illustration art of great achievements in Romanian, the medieval period, It can be better revealed the impressive architecture and décor construction Brancoveanu where meanings can get a local Renaissance. Even if the nineteenth century will be marked by numerous political and military events, Romanian countries and, later, United Principalities of Moldova and the Romanian Country falls, through the industrial revolution mechanized, on the road of no return consumerism. Art, of all sorts, begins to acquire other connotations other dimensions, It becomes accessible to a greater number of people and, implicit, is transformed by the emerging capitalist principle: demand and supply.

Brâncovenesc art style remains of the nineteenth century a valuable asset that unmistakable stylistic flavor demarcation lines are endangering the traditionalism of medieval and modern nonconformity. medieval art, civil or religious, often, will continue to be tight, even until the beginning of the twentieth century conformist standard[4] in contradiction with new elements emerged from the Enlightenment origins.


We can not define the concept of standard Medieval art for the nineteenth leadacă we refer only to the Romanian Country. In Moldova beginning of the century XVIII, after the failure of his policy Cantemir, Turkish import forms, both in decor and construction becomes ubiquitous[5]. Anyway we look at the evolution of Romanian art should be recognized that it is strictly related, so political context of the region, and the desire, after, rather, the ability of rulers to promote beauty and aesthetics. Foreign building models[6] Moldovan alongside typical ornaments will give rise to a new architectural style, absolute consistency, which will continue to combine, over more than a century, both oriental lines[7] and the local. Establishment Phanariot rule, Moldova and the Romanian Country, in the first half of the eighteenth century, will initiate a process of unifying style building and decor, sometimes astound[8], through their presence on the throne of both countries. religious architecture, even influenced by numerous current, will remain faithful Byzantine style in Muntenia and, in part, Ukrainian and Polish model ( Baroque) in Moldova[9].

All issues raised are intended to argue, to some extent, or aesthetic expression, better said, artistic experience that will substantiate how the art will be defined in the nineteenth century and first in Moldova Romanian Country, and then in the United Principalities, later (all in the nineteenth century) Modern in Romania. It is obvious that the political situation astounding, at the end of the eighteenth century until the mid of the XIX century, in the two principalities[10] effervescence overlapping reform that sweep Europe, They had a great impact on the evolution of society, outdated concepts feudal, beginning to unravel before them begin placing Romanism in space and time, and over all that mean art idea.

Leaning on the historical context is always logical as long as it closely related to understanding the ideological systems, sociopolitical and artistic personality that will draw new Romanian state emerged in the nineteenth century.

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Royal St. Nicholas Church in Curtea de Arges

Photos of Marius Tiţa


[1]Ion Nicolescu Tiţa, Argeşul and Muscelul seen by foreign travelers and domestic documents in XVI-XVIII centuries, (manuscript), Târgoviște, 2013, p. 73.

[2] Maria Holban, Mary Matilda Alexandrescu Dersca-Bulgaru, Paul Cernovodeanu, Totoiu Ion, Romanian foreign travelers about countries, Publishing Scientific and Encyclopedic Bucharest, vol. WE, p. 166, (further: ***Romanian foreign travelers about countries).

[3]Ştefan Bârsănescu, Unwritten pages in the history of Romanian culture (sec. X-XVI), Ed. Romanian Academy, București, 1971, p. 177.

[4]Florentina Dumitrescu, Emil Lazarescu, Maria Ana Musicescu, Dumitru Nastase, Razvan Theodorescu, Teodora Voinescu, History of Fine Arts in Romania, vol. II, part I, Art in the Romanian Country at the beginning of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the nineteenth century, Ed. meridians, București, 1970, pp. 19-59.

[5]the same, Part II, Art Moldova at the beginning of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the nineteenth century, Ed. meridians, București, 1970, pp. 125.

[6]establishment enlightened despotism (cf. Nicolae Iorga), after the reign brought in Moldova Cantemir building new lines such as rococo constantinopolitan.

[7]The new architecture introduced in the eighteenth century phanariotes already caught in the Moldavian space (Golia Monastery). Turkish lines made by these countries were Romanian, turn, leaven of French culture.

[8]Vasile Florea, Romanian art history, Ed. Litera Internaţional, București, Chisinau, 2007, p. 281

[9]there, p. 283.

[10] Small landlords with bourgeois ambitions recognize the possibility of removal of Turkish commercial monopoly and the prospect of a free trade. Also, and educational reforms in economy, made phanariotes bring all below, walks to humble, Shadow conservative boyars, ideas. Romanian territories become theater of war. Ottoman Empire cope harder conflict with Russia, Austria and Romanian population hostile. Moldova will back its Hotin, Turks turned in Raia year 1713. Wallachia longed back Austrians annexed Oltenia. The Ottoman Empire was doing everything possible to preserve authority principalities. Austria wanted to annex more of Moldova (Bucovina had entered in its composition). Russian Empire, in turn, Following the, desperately, principalities annexation. Between the years 1806-1812 Romanian countries were, more than ever, in danger of disappearing from the stage of history. Romanian Pricipatele become the bone of contention between the three empires and old friends fall prey to the Russians and Austrians. The total annexation of Wallachia and Moldova becomes imminent, until another great European power stops in Vienna and Moscow expansionist zeal: Napoleon's French Empire.

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