From July 15th 2020



The Bucharest Municipality Museum invites you to admire from July 15th to August 16th 2020, at the Suțu Palace, a number of six paintings of Nicolae Grigorescu adding and completing, in a special medallion, the thematic exhibition Still Life, Living Life. Masterpieces from the Collection of the Bucharest Pinacotheque.

«Nicolae Grigorescu left Romania to continue his artistic training in Paris, in 1861, when he enrolled at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, studying here for a short time. Very quickly he joined the group of painters from Barbizon, showing a special vocation as a landscape painter.

At Barbizon, the Romanian painter worked with the elite of European artists of the time: Jean-François Millet, Narcisse Virgilio Diaz de la Peña, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Charles Jacques, Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Paul Huet, Charles-François Daubigny and Gustave Courbet. In France, Grigorescu also painted in Brittany, at Vitré, and in the Fontainebleau forest, while living in the small town of Marlotte. For 11 years he owned a painting workshop in Paris, where he sometimes came and painted.

At the time, the closeness of Impressionism to nature would take almost all European painters out of the workshops, in the forests and gardens near the big cities. In our country, Nicolae Grigorescu defined the genre of landscape and practiced, on an extended scale, the painting outdoors, en plein air. His compositional scheme gained depth as his lyrical sense developed, and the painter is conceiving extremely suggestive images of the harmony between man and nature. The great master approaches the landscape in an idealistic but also realistic way, speculating on the multitude of shades of green and obtaining a visual effect of progressive retreat, thus suggesting much more clearly the perspective effect. Outdoor work, careful study of light, realistic interpretation generated by direct observation of nature, of the rural world and domestic animals are practices and theories that have merged into a very modern interpretation of the landscape. Combining the rural landscape with the ethnographic detail of the costumes presented in nature, Grigorescu defined in the local painting the characteristic of the national specificity.

Nicolae Grigorescu approached still life less often, especially in his youth, gaining success with his static natures with flowers and having a special predilection especially for white flowers. Participating in the 1868 exhibition, along with other painters from Barbizon, his painting captured the attention of the imperial couple, Napoleon III and Eugenia. They bought the work „Apple Blossoms”, for their collection at the Tuileries.

Grigorescu brought in Romanian art a new poetics of image reproduction, an original formal and lyrical sensibility of matter, thus gaining the appreciation of the experts, but also the adulation of the public. From a dense painting, with a strong armature of short touches and an incredible density of green tones, as in the work „Forest Landscape”, Grigorescu evolves towards an increasingly bright chromatic structure, built in shades of white, gray and ocher, which renders the illusion of diffused light, which balances the structure of the entire landscape, as in the work „In the clearing”


Dr Elena Olariu, deputy director of the Art Section, Bucharest Municipality Museum.