Romfilatelia offers to collectors of postage stamps on Thursday, December 15th, 2022, a new issue consisting of four stamps and two First Day Covers aimed at promoting Romanian fine art and recognized painters, noticed as masters of painting.
The theme of the issue, “Seasons in Romanian Painting”, features on stamps the reproductions of four paintings: Winter (oil on canvas) by Theodor Aman, Landscape with Tree and sheep by Nicolae Grigorescu, Landscape in Câmpulung Muscel by Iosif Iser, The Green Grove by Ștefan Luchian.
The minisheets of the issue, made in an original graphics, “exhibition painting” model, add to the images of the postage stamps the reproduction of four pictural creations belonging to the painters George Catargi (Winter – oil on cardboard), Ion Andreescu (Fair in Buzău and Field at Twilight) and Nicolae Vermont (Peasant woman with children – oil on carboard).
The postage stamp with a face value of Lei 4, depicts a painting by Theodor Aman enitled Winter. The painter was born on March 20th, 1831, in Câmpulung Muscel, Argeș County. The young Aman attended the Central School of Craiova, where he took drawing lessons in the class of professor Constantin Lecca, then enrolled in the courses of Sfântul Sava College in Bucharest in the class of Croatian professor Carol Wallenstein. Between 1850 and 1857, Aman studied painting in Paris, first with Michel Martin Drolling and then, from 1851, with Francois-Edouard Picot. He devoted himself to this art, being strongly influenced by the masters of the Italian Renaissance, Eugene Delacroix, the most important French painter, and Thomas Couture, painter and professor of French history. Between 1865 and 1881, Aman organized the “Exhibition of Living Artists”, events that can be considered the first official art salons in Romania. Theodor Aman passed away on August 19th, 1891 in Bucharest, and was buried in Bellu Cemetery. After his death in 1904, his wife, Ana Aman, donated to the Romanian state the house with the artist’s works remaining in her personal collection after his death, the artist’s objects and all the furniture. On September 10th, 1991, the Romanian Academy awarded Theodor Aman the title of post-mortem member.
The postage stamp with a face value of Lei 6.50 depicts a painting by Nicolae Grigorescu, entitled Landscape with tree and sheep. Born on May 15th, 1838 in the village of Pitaru in Dâmbovița County, he began his apprenticeship in the workshop of Anton Chladek, who inspired him, and from whom he borrowed the warmth and freshness of colour, the charm and delicacy that would later be found in his painting. He painted churches (the church of Băicoi, the icons of Căldărușani Monastery, the paintings of Agapia Monastery, the prapor (the name originates from Slavonic prapor (пpaпop), meaning flag) and the holy epitaph of Zamfira). Noticed by Mihail Kogălniceanu, he was awarded a scholarship to Paris, at the École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, the Barbizon period marking the realism then impressionism of his creation. Patriot, aware of his country’s development and the path on which it was embarking on its destiny among the other independent states, he accompanied the army to immortalise the famous scenes of the battles of Grivița and Rahova.
Between 1879 and 1890 he worked mainly in France, and later settled in Câmpina, where he devoted himself mainly to paintings with a rustic theme: landscapes, bullock carts, peasants, thus depicting “the adornments and soul of our homeland”, as Alexandru Vlahuță was to write, adding immediately that “he has thus made to our nation one of those precious gifts that take place among the active powers of a nation”. For all his work and for his contribution to the development of the Romanian school of painting, in 1899 he was elected honorary member of the Romanian Academy. He died in 1907 at the age of 69.
The postage stamp with the value of Lei 10 reproduces the painting Landscape in Câmpulung Muscel belonging to Iosif Iser. The painter was born on May 21st, 1881 in Bucharest. He was a Romanian painter and graphic artist of Jewish origin, member of the Romanian Academy. Iser attended primary school in Pitesti and secondary school in Ploiesti, which he completed in 1899. In order to gain admission to the Royal Academy of Art, he took painting lessons from professor Anton Azbe, and in May 1900 he was admitted to this prestigious institution where he was tutored by Nikolaus Gysis, Johann Herterich and Aals von Marr. He died in 1958 in Bucharest.
The postage stamp with the value of Lei 10.50 depicts a painting of Ștefan Luchian entitled The Green Grove. The painter, nicknamed “the visual poet of flowers”, was born on February 1st, 1868 in Ștefănești, a village (today a town) in Botoșani, and enrolled in 1885 in the painting class of the National School of Fine Arts, which he graduated in 1889. In the autumn of 1889 he went to Munich, where he studied for two semesters at the Akademie der Bilden Kunste and made copies of works of Correggio and Rembrandt. The following year he went to Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian and got to know Parisian artistic life in museums and exhibitions, which at that time was in full Impressionist effervescence. Back in Bucharest, in 1896 he was the main initiator of the “Exhibition of Independent Artists”. In 1900 he participated with two pastels at the “Universal Exhibition” in Paris. The painter Luchian does not know success for a long time, so that in 1900 the first manifestations of a disease of the spinal cord appear, a disease known as Multiple Sclerosis, which, after passing improvements alternating with new aggravations, leaves him crippled for the rest of his life. The artist passed into eternity on the night of 27th to 28th of June 1916, in Bucharest, and was posthumously awarded the title of honorary member of the Romanian Academy.
The other painters mentioned, whose works are reproduced in the graphic composition of the minisheets are:
George Catargi was a Romanian painter and miniaturist, born in Reni, Bessarabia, in 1899. He learned the art of miniature painting in Paris and Bucharest. He participated with works in several Official Salons. He distinguished himself through landscapes, neoclassical compositions, allegorical and miniatures. Arrested on October 4th, 1960 for plotting against the social order, he was sentenced to imprisonment and ended up in Gherla prison on May 18th, 1962.
The painter Ion Andreescu, being commemorated this year, on 140 years since the passing to eternity, was one of the representatives of Romanian Impressionism and an admirable landscape painter of the 19th century, was born on February 15th, 1850. He attended successively the primary school at the private boarding school of Andreas Apostolas, in 1863 the “Lazăr” gymnasium in Bucharest, then “Sfântul Sava” College. From 1869 he attended the newly founded “National School of Fine Arts” (1864), directed by Theodor Aman. Ion Andreescu’s public debut took place at the end of 1874, at the “Exhibition of Living Artists” in Bucharest, where he presented the painting “Currants”. The painter Ion Andreescu died of tuberculosis in Bucharest on October 22nd, 1882 at the age of 32. He was elected honorary post-mortem member of the Romanian Academy on October 28th, 1948.
Nicolae Vermont was born on October 10th, 1866, in Bacău. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest with Theodor Aman, being the first Jewish student of this institution, then in Munich and Paris. In his landscape painting, Vermont, who is related in vision to Nicolae Grigorescu, left images of Câmpulung and Oltenia, of a pure and delicate lyricism, making the most of both spontaneity and acuity of observation, and virtuosity of drawing. He excelled in genre painting inspired by the lives of simple people, which he painted with great emotional warmth (“Emigrants”, “The chimney sweeper”, “The seller of millet beer”). He was also influenced by the style of the Munich painter Fritz von Uhde. Throughout his career, Nicolae Vermont painted the church in Cernavodă, the church in Mănești (Prahova), the ceiling of the Kalinderu Palace and the ceiling of the Cantacuzino Palace in Bucharest. He has participated in a number of fine art exhibitions both in the country and abroad. Nicolae Vermont died on June 14th, 1932 in Bucharest.