Nicolae Grigorescu – the amazingly innovative Romanian painter

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Nicolae Grigorescu – the amazingly innovative Romanian painter
Standing Woman Source: paginiromanesti.ca
When we talk about revolutionary painters in Romanian art history, some of the most important names can be found in the XX and XIX centuries. This period of time comes with many important changes, not only in the painting field, but also in architecture and sculpture, by adopting diverse modernist western currents.
Following the information above, the majority of Romanian painters of the XX-XIX centuries finished their studies in Paris, München and Bucharest. Among them, Nicolae Grigorescu is one of my favorites amazingly innovative painters, that everyone should know about.

Early life and studies

Nicolae Grigorescu was born in May 1838 and started his apprenticeship at only 10 years old under the guidance of the Czech painter Anton Chladek. The young Nicolae Grigorescu starts by painting religious images and will soon be known as one of the most impressive church painters, one of the most suggestive being Agapia Monastery. In 1861 he leaves with a scholarship in Paris, where he will be a colleague with Pierre-Auguste Renoir at Sébastien Cornu’s studio.

He will also be admitted at the Belle-Arte School where he will study the artwork of Rembrandt, Rubens, or Géricault. After a while he will join the group of Barbizon painters, who were preoccupied by the rural landscape and lifestyle. Nicolae Grigorescu develops here a passion for the painting en-plain-air which will allow him to capture the warm natural sunlight and the bright colors and tonalities of the clouds, forest and other natural elements, in his artworks.

the amazingly innovative Romanian painter
The Spring (Detail)
Source: www.wikiart.org

Artwork and style

After the arrival in his country, Nicolae Grigorescu produced a profound modernization in Romanian painting. He was truly passionate about Romanian country-life and landscape and he illustrated in his most famous painting, peaceful scenes with shepherds, peasants’ portraits, or cows. His technic consists in using spots of color in energetic and fast brush strokes.

Nicolae Grigorescu – the amazingly innovative Romanian painter
Oxcart 1899
Source: www.wikiart.org

The light is a very important element in Nicolae Grigorescu’s painting, as he managed to capture the torrid summer days and the Romanian country landscape in a dreamlike, peaceful atmosphere.

Nicolae Grigorescu – the amazingly innovative Romanian painter
Girls Working By The Gate 1885
Source: www.wikiart.org

In 1877 he will go on the battlefield of The Independence War where he will realize the monumental painting Atacul de la Smârdan, where he captured the moving of a soldier by just a few lines.

Nicolae Grigorescu – the amazingly innovative Romanian painter
Smârdan Attack 1878
Source: www.wikiart.org

In 1899 he received the title as Member of Honor of the Romanian Academy. He died in 1907 and he left behind 4000 artworks.

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