The Garden of Paradise. Preparatory drawings
The construction of the spectacular Storck house was completed in 1911; from 1913 to 1917 Cecilia Cuțescu Storck decorated the interior with numerous symbolist paintings of female figures and a lush, paradisiacal vegetation, especially in the lobby area of the house. The artist chose to paint the walls of the house in encaustic, because the colors obtained were more intense and vibrated.
The painting in the great hall of the house was probably also inspired by her travels in Spain, where she visited many noble palaces surrounded by gardens which she describes as follows: “Birds of all sizes and brightly colored sang among the branches of the trees, swaying in the fragrant wind of the southern countries. Palm trees and cacti paired with statues and reliefs in stone. Huge ferns intertwined under our steps and climbed the walls of the palace through whose windows the emerald sea called us.” To recreate this kind of exotic atmosphere the artist used as a model the lush vegetation of the greenhouses belonging to the Ministry of Public Domains.
The wall painting in the artist’s house also resonates with the work of Paul Gauguin; Cecilia Cuțescu Storck, a great admirer of the famous painter, said about him: “he followed his roads and dreams like a visionary, drawing inspiration from poetic countries, far away from civilization, where he gathered all the light and, of the curious aspects of Tahitian places and beings, he captured all the exotic beauty in his paintings.” The paradisiacal world, primitive and untouched by a civilization increasingly linked to technique and mercantile, is painted by Cecilia Cuțescu Storck in her proximity; her plastic journey is only spiritual, not physical, as is the case with Gauguin.
Unseen and very special are also the preparatory drawings for the wall painting of the house, which are now exhibited for the first time ever, right near the spectacular painted hall. It is a continuation of the exhibition concept promoting artist’s workshop houses. The concept was developed by the Art Department during 2019-2020 through medallion-exhibitions, such as: The Magic of the Line. Ligia Macovei and the Lyric of Eminescu; Travel Graphics. Cecilia Cuțescu Storck; Aman Negative or Carol Popp de Szathmari, Drawer and Watercolourist.
Dr. Elena Olariu – curator of the exhibition
The exhibition is open from May 5 to June 27, 2021