The National Museum of Art of Romania
Aman - Party with Musicians
Artwork description
Theodor Aman
(Câmpulung Muscel, 1831 – Bucharest, 1891)
Oil on canvas
51 x 90 cm
Inv. 3617
Artwork location
Romanian Modern Art Gallery, room 1

More than a family portrait or an episode in the visual chronicle of Bucharest high society in the 1880s, Party with Musicians is a statement of modernity.

The painting depicts a family gathering that takes place in the family’s home garden, be it real or imaginary. Brothers, friends and in-laws are engaged in light, after-noon conversations while nephews and nieces play around, listening to the music of a traditional band. French fashion rules among family members: women’s mostly lightly-coloured summer dresses display tight bodices and skirts with ample tails at the back, while men’s costumes consist of black coats and light trousers. Musicians are dressed in loose fitting, long, ample, caftan-like vestments remindful of the way local boyars used to dress half a century earlier. Only the cellist wears a Western-style costume, the sign he is schooled musician.

Everyone is relaxed. Take for instance Zina de Norÿ, Aman’s stepdaughter and an opera singer of international reputation who is sitting casually on the base of a column to the right of the painting. Surrounded by the family, Ana, the painter’s wife, is the only one to look straight to us.

Following in the footsteps of Impressionist painters like Monet, Bazille or James Tissot, Aman uses his family and friends to explore the contemporary local lifestyle without any constraints, his paintings a genuine pictorial chronicle of the local highlife. Other paintings on display in the gallery such as On the Terrace at Sinaia, View from Câmpulung, Soirée (Ball in the Studio) also reflect Aman’s approach and his genuine interest to stay in touch with European artistic developments.

See more works in the Romanian Modern Art Gallery

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