Eighty-five years since the death of painter Nicolae Vermont and 151 years since his birth, the “Nicolae Vermont” exhibition opened in June 2017 features eight works of art from the Bucharest Municipality Museum Pinacothèque collection that mark key moments from the artist’s creative process, from his early stages to the more mature phases, researched and restored in the Painting restoration laboratory of the Bucharest Municipality Museum.

The exhibition opened on Thursday June 15th 2017, 15h00, at Suțu Palace – The Bucharest Municipality Museum.

Through research done in the laboratory, a part of the “hidden”/ the unseen, can be now viewed by the public. The “Nicolae Vermont” exhibition from the “Miraculous Healings” project, aims to highlight the paintings of a great artist, who was formed towards the late 19th century in the Fine Arts School of Bucharest. Alongside artists such as Ştefan Luchian and Constantin Artachino, he supported the freedom of expression regarding artistic creation, in overt opposition towards the Academism that dominated official art.

Born in 1866 in Bacău, in the family of Professor Iosif Grünberg, Isidor takes on the pseudonym Vermont from his father, the French translation of the German term for “green mountain”, and, later on, when converting to Orthodoxy, changes his forename to Nicolae. With an obvious penchant for art, he turns to the Fine Arts School of Bucharest, becoming the institution’s first Jewish student. He forms as an artist with Theodor Aman, graduating in 1886. Supported by Nicolae Grigorescu, he studied at the Munich Art Academy in 1893 and in Paris. This shaped his work and creative process.

Ever since his apprenticeship in Munich he adheres to the progressive ideas of the Artistic Youth, joining a movement in open opposition to Academism, along with Ștefan Luchian, Arthur Verona, Kimon Loghi, Ipolit Strâmbu, Marius Bunescu, Alexandru Satmari, Oskar Späthe, Jean Alexandru Steriadi. Like many who joined the movement, he was influenced by painter Nicolae Grigorescu in his early stages.

Attempting to change Romanian art through the amendment of dogmas as well as edifying the particularity of art with profound national roots, Nicolae Vermont, with Ștefan Luchian and Constantin Artachino, as well as with the support of art collector Bogdan-Piteşti, establishes the Independents’ Salon, an echo of the French Société des Artistes Indépendants, in 1896, and the Ileana Society in 1898. Like Luchian and Artachino, Vermont aims to capture and represent that part of society that to most was “invisible”, that of the devotees of fate and the wanderers of life.

Feeding off the teachings received and receptive to social, artistic, political and economic effervescence from the late 19th century and early 20th century, structuring his artistic preoccupations in accordance to the surrounding reality, and with the aim to portray subjects as close as possible to the common quotidian of the simple man, tied to the activities that defined them or the environment they resided in.

Simona Predescu