Constantin Brancusi, Romanian artist, Christian sculptor, born Hobita, Gorj county, Romania
Constantin Brancusi was born on 19 February 1876 in the Hobita town, Gorj county, and passed away on 16th March 1957 far from his homeland, in Paris, France. The Romanian state has refused repeatedly return, depriving themselves thus so many of his priceless works, and also by his grave.
Brancusi is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the twentieth century. He released sculpture of all secondary elements, that suffocating, choosing to present realities in their essence. All his works have a strong spiritual legacy of Romanian village life. Without we say wrong, we can say that Brancusi revealed to the Western world deeply spiritual dimension of every thing.
Constantin Brancusi, Christian sculptor
Constantin Brancusi was born on 19 February 1876 in the town Hobita, Gorj County. His parents, Radu Nicolae and Maria received from God five children, the future sculptor being the smallest of them. The first years of school spent in schools from Pestisani and Bradiceni. Even as a young, the artist used to leave home, spending more time in paint workshops and other shops of his time. While he was in a workshop in Craiova, working as an apprentice, Constantin built his first violin from boards of orange boxes.
Between 1894-1898, the young artist attends the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova, with scholarship. Constantin Brancusi was also minister of the Church, as a singer and church sexton. While studying at the School of Arts in Craiova, he was singer at Madona Dudu Church. Although poor material, Brancusi was rich spiritual, having, besides the artistic sense, a lot of faith and a special talent in religious singing.
Brancusi went to Vienna, where, for a year, working in a carpentry workshop. Back in the country, between 1898-1902, he attends the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest. He sold his home, in Hobita, wash dishes in some restaurants, sculpts and sells some of his works to be able to pay for studies. While studying at the School of Fine Arts, he was a singer at Mavrogheni church.
Constantin Brancusi made his first works while is still a student. Thus, in 1898, finish the work “Bust of Vitellius” which is awarded to mention, in 1900 finish the work “Head of Laocoon”, which receives a bronze medal, and in 1901 with “study” win a silver medal.
In the last years of study (1900-1902), it is helped by Dr. Dimitrie Gerota, the artist from Gorj performs a work called “Ecroseu” a plastic representation of the human body, which receives a bronze medal. Because of the precision with which finished, long time, this work made by Brancusi was used in medical schools. Later, in 1933, French painter Marcel Duchamp included this work in a photograph exhibition organized in Brummer Gallery in New York.
In 1903, soon after graduation, through the intercession of the doctor Dimitrie Gerota, Brancusi was asked to undertake the bust of the doctor Carol Davila. Then, in 1912, this work was placed in the courtyard of the Central Military Hospital in Bucharest. Until now, it remains the only monument made by Brancusi and placed in a public place in Bucharest. With proceeds from the sale of this artistic monument, Brancusi wanted to pay his way to Paris, but because of some superficial assessments made to the monument, the artist left town before he get all the money.
In 1905, through a difficult competition, Constantin Brancusi is admitted to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Arriving in Paris, Brancusi will continue to serve in the church sexton and working as a singer in the church Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. At the same time, for a year, he will work in the studio master Antonin Mercie.
In 1906, at age of thirties, the age limit allowed, Brancusi left the famous Parisian School. Also now it is accepted to work in the studio of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, but refuses, saying the famous phrase: “In the shadow of big trees nothing grows than grass.” When he heared French artist Brancusi’s answer would have said this: “Basically, he is right, is as stubborn as me.”
In 1906, Brancusi begins to exhibit gis works public in the National Society of Fine Arts in Autumn Salon in Paris. In 1907, the artist rented a space at Montparnasse street, where he arranged the workshop. Then, starting in 1907, when he realizes the first paper titled “The Kiss”, and culminating in 1940, when he realizes his famous work “The Kiss Gate”, located in the central park in Targu Jiu, Romanian artist resumed several times this theme. Also now, Brancusi began working in opera called “Prayer” order for a monument that would be placed in “Grove Cemetery” from Buzau.
In 1909, for some time, Brancusi returns to his homeland, where he exhibits several works. Among the works presented, “Sleep” is bought by the collector Anastasie Simu and “The bust of the painter Nicolae Darascu” was bought by the Ministry of Public Instruction. By 1914, the artist will attend more shows organized in Paris and Bucharest, with the works “Magic Bird”, “Sleeping Muse” and “Miss Pogany”.
In 1914, Constantin Brancusi organizes a first exhibition in America, in an art gallery in New York. Although his works are highly valued, many of which are purchased, a committee of the Interior Ministry in Romania, rejects the work commissioned in the previous year, for a monument dedicated to Spiru Haret. This work, called, after that moment , “Fountain of Narcissus” was placed in the workshop in Paris.
Since 1915, the artist from Gorj will perform first works in wood, unlike previous ones, worked in stone; Now works are founded “Caryatids” and “The Prodigal Son”. Then, until 1940, among other works, the works are completed “Bird in Space” and “oval”. During this period Brancusi exhibits in most famous art galleries in France, England, America, Switzerland and Netherlands.
Its international appreciation is due, in large part, toand the artistic ensemble from Targu Jiu, completed in 1938. It made up of “Table of Silence”, “chairs”, “Gate of the Kiss” and “Infinite Column”, which was dedicated to Romanian heroes in October 14, 1916, fell in the battle of Jiu against the Germans. This work proves to be the realization of an old wish of Brancusi, which is to let the Romanian land in bronze and stone embodiment of all that he thought more deeply and longer.
Much of Brancusi’s works and tools, over 1,200 photographs and 215 sculptures, is in the National Museum of Modern Art, in Paris. Romanian sculptor keeps until the end a great love of nation, wanted to bequeath Romania all his works unsold, and its all his tools, but authorities at that time refused, remaining in ignorance and thinking that Brancusi is “a representative of decadent bourgeois”.
Until the last moments of life, Brancusi lived as a Romanian peasant or, rather, as an ascetic, in spite of the fact that he have a huge amounts of money. In the spring of 1957, Constantin Brancusi call after the Archbishop Teofil Ionescu, servant at the Orthodox church in Paris. After the confession and sharing, the sculptor from Gorj confesses this: “I diewit my heart grieved that I could not return to my country.”
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Constantin Brancusi, Romanian artist, Christian sculptor, born Hobita, Gorj county, Romania.