CAROL POPP DE SZATHMÁRI, DRAWINGS AND WATERCOLORS

STARTING AUGUST 6th 2020

THEMATIC EXHIBITION AT THE STORCK MUSEUM

CAROL POPP DE SZATHMÁRI, DRAWINGS AND WATERCOLORS

WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE FREDERIC AND CECILIA CUȚESCU STORCK MUSEUM

The exhibition will be open between August 6th 2020 and January 31st 2021, at the Storck Museum.

Carol Popp de Szathmári is the first painter in the Romanian space attracted by ethnographic and oriental themes. He often traveled to Constantinople, even to Asia Minor, trips that became revealing and during which he demonstrated his whole artistic talent. The need to quickly capture the details observed during the journeys of ethnographic documentation or in the search for the exotic, leads him to experience a personal way of graphic representation – minimalist, modern and extremely suggestive: in drawing and in watercolor.

Coming from Ardeal, in 1843 the artist decides to stay in Bucharest, because, as he confesses: „Bucharest is a big and beautiful city, with palaces and pompous halls. Here, we can say, on the threshold of the East, the Turkish things such as clothes, customs, food are the order of the day, perfectly matching with ours at home, so a Transylvanian finds more affinity here than in Vienna. The objective of my studies and travels will now be, for a few years, the East.” The East, which included the Romanian Countries. Charmed by the eastern air of Bucharest, Szathmári captures the picturesque places such as Manuc’s Inn or the Royal Court, or the transition between the fashion of the old regime and the western one in the Principalities. The Levantine atmosphere from the Romanian space will be captured also during his trips through the country, when he is visiting towns such as Galaţi and Giurgiu, or when he wanders through the Moșilor fair in Bucharest.

Becoming a painter accepted by several Romanian princes – George Bibescu, Barbu Ştirbei, Alexandru Ioan Cuza and Carol I -, he travels with the last of them to Constantinople.

Szathmári probably arrives for the first time in the Ottoman Empire, in 1848, in the context of the end of the European revolutions. It is known that the sympathy for Lajos Kossuth, whom Sultan Abdul Medjid the 1st refused to extradite, attracted much of the revolutionary fugitives from Hungary and all over Eastern Europe to Constantinople. Even in 1848, Szathmári created for this exquisite Sultan, who spoke fluently several languages, including French, a military-themed painting – an image of Ottoman troops.

In the country, the artist creates numerous landscapes, drawings and watercolors with peasant costumes, various human typologies, remarkable through their picturesque costumes.

At the Frederic Storck and Cecilia Cuțescu Storck Museum there is a remarkable collection of graphic art by Carol Popp de Szathmári, works from the collection of spouses Ortansa and Alexandru Satmari, the latter being the only son of the artist.

Ortansa Satmari was the sister of Cecilia Cuțescu Storck, which explains the presence of this valuable collection in the patrimony of the Frederic Storck and Cecilia Cuțescu Storck Museum.

Within the current exhibition, around 20 works from this important collection will be presented, inside the museum, as a continuation of the exhibition concept of promoting artist’s workshop-houses. The concept was developed by the Art Section during 2019, through medallion-exhibitions, such as: “The magic of the line. Ligia Macovei and Eminescu’s lyric”, “Travel graphics. Cecilia Cuțescu Storck”or “Negative Aman”.

Dr. Elena Olariu, Deputy Manager – Art, Restoration, Conservation

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