The National Museum of Art of Romania
Join us for a pet-led tour!

Join us for a pet-led tour!

From 07 April 2020 08:11 until 31 May 2020 18:00
Categories: Events
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Staying at home? Discover the museum’s collection from a new perspective!

As people bond even closer with their pets we thought we would introduce you to other people’s companions.
Once the museum will reopen don’t miss the opportunity to look them up close …
Until then, just enjoy browsing while staying at home.


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G.D.Mirea - The Goodwin Children, 1885
Romanian Modern Art Gallery, MNAR

Ernest Goodwin, a British banker, was married to Maria Suțu, a Romanian Princess; their three children, portrayed in typical 1880s manner, show how well-connected local high-society was to what was fashionable among members of European social elites of the time, from the manner of dressing to pets. While the overall setting is suggestive of the family’s social status, the Labrador dog and the basket lend the picture a less formal, more domestic character.

A trained academic painter, George Demetrescu Mirea (1852 – 1934) was one of the top Belle-Epoque portraitists of the Bucharest elite.






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Niccolo LivadittiPortrait of a Lady
Romanian Modern Art Gallery, MNAR

Born in Trieste, Italy, Niccolo Livaditti (1804-1858) settled in Iași sometime around 1830. Livaditti’s practice as a portrait painter flourished in the capital city of the Romanian Principality of Moldavia, the artist contributing significantly to the modernisation of local painting.

This Biedermeier portrait featuring a lady doing some needlework displays many of the staple characteristics of contemporary painting such as attention to detail and the material qualities of surrounding objects; the artist includes fashionable composition and perspective elements such as the background landscape, and manages to capture something of the sitter’s psychology.

The lap dog depicted behind the sitter, to the left, is sympathetically rendered and is certainly more than a means to balance the overall compositional design, lending the picture an intimacy in line with contemporary middle-class expectations.

A range of red, ochre, purple and blue hues set in stark contrast to the deep black of the woman’s velvet dress give the painting a certain freshness.



7 Slingelandt



Pieter Cornelisz van Slingelandt (1640 –1691) – Woman in an interior (Woman Knitting)
European Art Gallery, MNAR

This typical Netherlandish interior combines a true-to-life rendition of everyday life with a possible moralising message. The young woman knitting is gazing at the spectator; the dog at her feet may suggest fidelity, whereas the cage hanging from the ceiling may hint at the closed circle of domestic life.

The open door in the background contradicts the idea of the interior as a closed space of domestic virtue although the door looks onto a balustrade; the outside space is that of an enclosed garden rather than the street, which may be indicative of some sort of seclusion. The two paintings within the painting represent the Adoration of the Shepherds and probably St. George. It is therefore possible to read this genre scene as an allegory of desirable, adequate female behavior.





8 Brekelenkam



Quiringh Gerritsz. van Brekelenkam (after 1622 – ca.1669) - Interior, 1660
European Art Gallery, MNAR

The genre scene is based on three characters, a couple of intriguing details and an interesting visual plot: an elderly woman calls on a young woman, and the maid spies on them. The setting is not devoid of ambiguities, and is complemented by rather obvious symbolic figurative details such as the dog in the mistress’s lap.

The dog is customarily read as an emblem of marital fidelity; on the other hand, the map on the wall, frequently featured in Dutch Golden Age genre scenes, may be interpreted as a shorthand sign for temporary separation and erotic adventures.





9 Gortzius




Geldorp Gortzius (1553 – ca. 1619) – Girl with a Cat
European Art Gallery, MNAR

A specialist portrait painter, Geldorp Gortzius approached his sitter with a keen interest in capturing not only her posture and childish facial features, but also something of her inner world. Although the girl’s identity remains a mystery, the painting has all the attributes of a genuine portrait - a mimetic representation of a real person.

The cat, on the other hand, is something of a rare presence and therefore more difficult to ‘label’ – could it be some sort of allusion to the sitter’s character, an emblematic detail, or merely an anecdotal addition?





sirato femeia cu pisic



Francisc ȘiratoWoman and Her Cat
Art Collections Museum

Paintings of a single female character range high among the favourite subjects of Francisc Șirato (1877 – 1953); every so often the sitter is Lila Nădejde, the artist’s niece. Paintings bear simple yet clear titles, as in the case of Woman and Her Cat.

The female figure dominates the sketchy landscape in the background while acting as a backdrop for the sleepy grey cat in the foreground. The picture echoes the inter-war Paris School interest in colour as a backbone of composition design.

Painter, graphic artist and art chronicler Francisc Șirato was also a member of the so-called ‘Group of Four’, the name under which painters Nicolae Tonitza, Ștefan Dimitrescu and sculptor Oscar Han exhibited together between 1925 and 1933. Then as later, regardless of subject, Șirato’s paintings revolve around colour and light, core elements of his artistic quest.



Petracu Mariana cu pisica



Gheorghe Petrașcu - Mariana with a Cat
The K.H. Zambaccian Museum

Though greatly influenced by Nicolae Grigorescu and impressionist painting, Gheorghe Petrașcu (1872 – 1949) developed a highly individual style, based on the tactile quality of the rich paints he employed. The artist focuses primarily on landscape and still-life, doubled by a range of more intimate subjects featuring the family environment and the studio, in which he really excelled.

Petrașcu tackled human face rather rarely and then only to paint people he felt really close to, such as family members and friends.

The sitter in this painting is Mariana, the artist’s daughter, holding the family cat in her lap. The painting speaks of the innocence typical of young age resorting to a virtuoso handling of colour.




Theodor Aman Femeia cu cainele MNAR


Theodor AmanWoman with Her Dog, 1862
Romanian Modern Art Gallery, MNAR

Theodor Aman(1831-1891) mastered large historical canvases as well as small portraits and genre scenes. The latter speak to us with a type of directness unmatched in his formal, large-size compositions, and allow the artist to attune his fine visual sensitivity to the subjects depicted: his rendering of genre scenes is fresh and assumedly unpretentious, a genuine tribute to intimacy.

Woman with Her Dog realistically depicts the female sitter – presumably Frosa, Aman’s favourite model –, in what is a free, somewhat dreamy, rather absent posture, far from the stern rendering typical of the artist’s contemporary formal, official portraits. The black dress enables Aman to quietly prove his painterly prowess.
A dynamic brushwork, remindful of a late romanticist approach, matches the broad treatment of the painting surface whereas some details are more freely rendered, showing Aman’s openness to open-air painting.

The little furry dog, presumably a family pet, sits quite alert at the woman’s feet. The same dog also features in a canine portrait at the Theodor Aman Museum as well as in Lady Painting at the Art Museum in Craiova.





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