Nicolae Grigorescu nn06
oil on canvas
National Art Museum of Romania,
Ox Cart at Oratii Romanian Painter, 1838-1907
From 1848 he trained in Bucharest with various church painters, producing icons and religious mural decorations. These works, which soon attracted attention, were influenced in style by the Viennese classicism widespread in the Romanian principalities in the early 19th century and by the Italian academicism established there after 1850 by Gheorghe Tattarescu. The earliest of his known paintings are in the church of SS Constantin and Elena at Baicoi, where his signature can be seen beside that of Nita Pereescu on the icon of St George (1853). He subsequently painted a series of icons (1854-5) at Caldarusani Monastery. In the later ensembles he was assisted by his older brother Georghe Grigorescu, who participated under his direction in the decoration of churches, such as those of the Zamfira (1856-8) and Agapia (1858-60) monasteries. In Nicolae's paintings at Agapia, classicism in Romanian art reached its highest point. The royal icons are distinguished for the elegance of the figures, both in their attitudes and in their drapery.