Maria Tanase and the Spirit of Romanian Folk Music

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Maria Tanase is often hailed by Romanians as the Edith Piaf of Romania. Even today her music is still popular and often copied, though she debuted already in 1937 when she represented Romania also at the International Exhibition in Paris, France (together with Constantin Brancusi) and was first aired on radio. Besides her career as singer, Maria was also a film and theatre actress and singer at the opera. But it were her interpretations of Romanian folk songs, which made her unforgotten after her relatively early death.

This article covers two sections: the first with a biography of Maria, the second about her art and music.

Category : Art | Articles | Culture of Romania | Romanian Music | Blog

Nicolae Grigorescu and the Dawn of Romanian Modern Art

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Nicolae Grigorescu was born in 1938 in the Romanian village Pitaru, county Dâmboviţa. The family relocated to Bucharest soon, though, where he got early in touch with painting. At the age of 10 he started to paint icons. Religious paintings and paintings of monasteries were main topics for a longer time. Only in 1861 he left to Paris and attended the École des Beaux-Arts after obtaining a scholarship. One of his new classmates was by the way Renoir.

Grigorescu however, was impressed by the Barbizon school, fancied en plein air painting (i.e. painting outdoors) and become friend and co-worker with Rousseu, Corot, Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet. His art was appreciated in France (he contributed several paintings in Paris to the Universal Exposition or even the Paris Salon).  Many of Grigurescu’s works were exhibited later in the Romanian Atheneum, Bucharest. Grigorescu dies in 1907.

His style is obviously most close to impressionism. For Romania, Nicolae Grigorescu is one of the most important founders of modern art in Romania. In 1990 a Metrou Station in Bucharest was renamed to Nicolae Grigorescu.

See the gallery below for some of his paintings…

Category : Art | Romanian Painters | Blog

Romanian Culture

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When it comes to the culture of Romania most people will think first of folklore, and even Romanians sometimes tend to do so. Then again culture always means much more than just folklore, traditional costumes, fancy dances and some hand-painted Easter eggs. This for Romania-Central has opened a new section where resources on the culture of Romania will be posted and collected. This post is the start of the new series and a short introduction about the articles to come.

Of course, folklore has its place in every culture and the Romanian culture has especially rich folklore and traditions. But Romania has also a literature, famous writers and poets, musicians – both classic and popular. Romania has its own painters which contributed to modern European art, Romania has a very amazing cinematographic scene and famous sportsmen.

What makes Romania’s culture in particular interesting are the various influences Romania was exposed to during history and which had their impact. For a long time there were strong Slavic influences, as well as the impact of the Byzantine Empire, later on followed by the Ottoman Empire. However, the Romanian style was always unique. Later on, Western influences prevailed, especially France was an important cultural partner.

However, culture began to consolidate significantly after 19859 when Wallachia and Moldovia united. New universities were established in Bucharest and Iaşi. Several cultural establishments should follow.


Category : Articles | Culture of Romania | Blog