The National Museum of Art of Romania
Facing Memory. Sixteenth- to Eighteenth-Century European Portraiture.

Facing Memory. Sixteenth- to Eighteenth-Century European Portraiture.

From 14 December 2018 10:33 until 31 March 2019 18:00
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Famous artists who often lent their name to a school of painting, such as Agnolo Bronzino, Rembrandt van Rijn, Antonis van Dyck, Aegidius Sadeler, Diego Velasquez, Francesco Zurbaran, Pierre Mignard, Jean-Baptiste Greuze or Rosalba Carriera, are among the authors of the exhibition Facing Memory. Sixteenth- to Eighteenth-Century European Portraiture. More than one hundred-twenty paintings, prints, drawings and pastels from the collections of the museum and the Prints and Drawings Room of the Romanian Academy Library represent many of the geographical areas in which portraiture played an important role; they also feature the variety of portrait types and the vast array of human characters one comes across from the early days of the Renaissance until the 18th century.

Artists enter the ranks of the latter, their portraits introducing (self)-reflection as a very powerful message. Figures of the higher clergy and “portraits” of saint often borrowing the features of anonymous models highlight the relationship with the divine.

Austere, at times even “set in stone”, portraits begin to “open” up, become more human; eyes gaze furtively to one side, hands reach out of the frame in an open invitation to explore and engage. Studies, grotesque heads and sketches, precursors to many a fine portrait regardless of the sitter’s social or professional status add a final expressive touch to an extensive journey through European portraiture and the confrontation with time and memory.


Curator: Cosmin Ungureanu
National Gallery (groundfloor)
14 December 2018 – 31 March 2019
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 -18.00
Tickets: 10 lei
Free: every first Wednesday of the month