The National Museum of Art of Romania

Romanian Medieval Art Gallery

Over 900 icons, mural paintings, embroideries, manuscripts, silverware, woodcarvings, many of them unique, amply survey Romanian art from the 14th – to the early 19th century. Items on display showcase developments in Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania, reflecting the intricate manner in which a traditional Byzantine layer blended in Oriental as well as Western influences to generate original local art forms.

 

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The Romanian Medieval Art Gallery features the most comprehensive and complex museum presentation of art and culture in the Romanian Principalities from the fourteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. The display comprises hundreds of icons, mural paintings, embroideries, manuscripts, books, silverware, jewelry, ceramics, woodcarving and sculpture which offer visitors the unique opportunity to follow local Byzantine and post-Byzantine tradition and its peculiar interplay with Eastern and Western influences.

The gallery’s holdings rely primarily on collections acquired and organized following the unification of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1857. Other items originate in collections set up in the inter-war period (such as the Al. Saint Georges and Anastasie and Elena Simu museums) and in the partial restitution by the Soviet Union of Romania’s Treasure in 1956. More recently, archaeological excavations and the safeguarding of fragments from monasteries and churches demolished in the 1970s and 1980s (such as Cotroceni and Văcăreşti in Bucharest) have provided another source for the gallery’s growth.

A Treasury section comprises secular as well as religious gold and silverware items while the Lapidarium at the Art Collections Museum (Calea Victoriei nr. 111) shows stone-carved decorative architectural elements from long-disappeared historical monuments.