Creating the Image of Bucharest in art (1850 – 2017)

Key words: , , ,
Issue: Volume 12, Issue 1, 2018


‘Kunstgeographie’ – the study of the geographical dimension of art is a relatively undeveloped field, at least in English language studies. This article, which is developed from art history research at Sussex University, studies the images of Bucharest in art as it grew from a loosely organised collection of village-like groups to the capital of a new state – over the same period that Romanian art broke away from the religious art of the Orthodox church to become westernised as exchanges with western Europe grew. The growth of Bucharest has been analysed by Guiseppe Cina (2010) in four distinct phases, and these are used as the basis of this analysis.

Full text

Permalink (doi)

Authors Affiliations

Bob Jarvis
University of Sussex, United Kingdom
* Correspondence address. Email:


Adameșteanu, G. (2011/1984), A wasted afternoon (Dimineaţă pierdută), Translated by Patrick Camiller, Northwestern University Press.
Angel, J. (2004), “Mobility is my only way of being around…An interview with Calin Dan”, Idea: Arte +Societa, no. 17, 5 September 2017, (
Armanca, A. (2012), Subreal reality, 11 May 2007, (
Badica, S. (2014), ‘Forbidden images?’ Visual memories of Romanian Communism before and After 1989.
Boia, L. (2001), History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness, Budapest: Central European University Press.
Busuioceanu, A. (1930), Iser, Craiova: Ramuri.
Călinescu, G. (1986) Istoria literaturii române de la origini pînă în prezent, Bucharest: Editura Minerva
Cârneci, M. (1989), Lucian Grigorescu, Bucharest: Editura Meridiane.
Cărtărescu, M. (1989/2005), Nostalgia (translated by Julian Semilian), New Directions.
Chirulescu, M. (2010), “Films by Ion Grigorescu – film screening on the occasion of the exhibition by Marieta Chirulescu”, Kunsthalle Basel, 26 October 2010, (
Cina, G. (2010), Bucureşti, de la stat la metropolita/Bucharest, from village to metropolis, Bucharest: Capitel Collectia Biblioteca de Architectura/Memoria Oraselor.
Ciupala, A. (2009), “Romania Shrugs Off Reminder of Its Past New York in Art & Design”, Times, no. February 25.
Costinaş, C. (2012), Surplus, Value Art, no. August 13.
Deac, M. (1962), Jean Al. Steriadi, Bucharest: Meridiane.
Ehituskunst (2013), Construction Arts, Estonian Academy of Arts, 26 October 2010, (
Eliade, M. (2016), Novel/diary of a short sighted adolescent (Romanul adolescentului miop) (translated by Christopher Moncrieff and Christopher Bartholemew), London: Istros Books.
Fearns, R. and Marinescu, R. (2006), Off the map film, Romanian Cultural Institute 2006.
Florea, V. (1983), Romanian Painting, Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
Florian F. and Florian M., (2010), The Băiuţ Alley Lads, (Translated by Alistair Ian Blyth), University of Plymouth Press.
Fowler, M. (2017), ‘How 7 Dictators Used Buildings to Influence and Intimidate’, ArchDaily, 12 June 2017, (
Hoberman, J. (2011), The Good Old Days: Tales From the Golden Age and “Ostalgia”, New York: Village Voice.
Iancu, M. (2010), Bucharest and its utopia (originally Towards an Architecture for Bucharest 1935) translated and edited by N Lascu and F Vogel, 2010 Handlung: on producing possibilities – reader of Bucharest Biennale 4, Bucharest: Pavillion, p. 362- 373.
Ionescu, N. (ND), Adevărul despre Micul Paris în fotografiile lui Nicolae Ionescu, 12 June 2017, (
Janco, M. (1926), ‘The Bucharest of Accidents’, Contimporanul, vol. 70, no. 9 (in translation). The Romanian original (Bucureştii accidentelor ), 12 June 2017, (
Kaufmann, T.D. (2000), “Borders In Art: Revisiting ‘Kunstgeographie'” K Murawska-Muthesius (ed), Proceedings of the Fourth Joint Conference of Polish and English Art Historians, Norwich: University of East Anglia.
Kaufmann, T.D. (2004), Toward a Geography of Art Chicago, University of Chicago Press
Kessler, E. (2011), Retroguardia in E. Kessler and I. Vlasiu (eds).
Kessler, E. and Vlasiu, I. (eds) (2011), I colori delle Avanteguardie Arte in Romania 1910-1950 /The Colours of the Avant Garde in Romanian Art 1910-1950, Rome: Gangemi Editore.
Light, D. and Young, C. (2010), “Reconfiguring socialist urban landscapes: the ‘left-over’ spaces of state-socialism Bucharest”, Human Geographies – Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography, vol. 4, no. 1, p. 5-16.
Machedon, F., Machedon, L. and Scoffham, E. (1999), “Inter-war Bucharest: city in a garden”, Planning. Perspectives, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 249-275.
Magda, R. (2007), “Art and Politics: considering some of Ion Grigorescu’s films and photographs”, Paper presented at Technology and photography in transition – International Symposium (Conference – New Europe College, Bucharest), 11 May 2007, (
Mansbach, S. (1998), Modern Art in Eastern Europe Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Members of the Central Research Institute for Building Architecture and Planning (ISCAS) (1972), “Urban Development in Romania” in E.A. Gutkind (ed) (1972) Urban Development in Eastern Europe, New York: Free press.
MNAC (2012), subREAL Retrospect, Bucharest: National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Muncenic, C. (2004), Străzi, Pieţe, case din Vechiul Bucureşti, Bucharest: Editura Vrema XXI.
Mungiu, C. (2009), Tales from the Golden Age (Amintiri din epoca de aur), film France/Romania, Distributor Wild Bunch.
Murawska-Muthesius, K. (ed) (2000), “Borders in Art: Revisiting ‘Kunstgeographie'”, Proceedings of the Fourth Joint Conference of Polish and English Art Historians, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 1998, Warsaw: Institute of Art.
Pandele, A. (2008), Martorul – Surpriză: fotografii necenzurate din comunism/Surprise Witness – uncensored photos from the Communist years, Bucharest: Compania.
Pavel, A. (1996), Pictori evrei din România, Bucharest: Editura Hasefer.
Pevsner, N. (1956), The Englishness of English Art, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Prut, C. (2016), Dicţionar de artă modernă şi contemporană, Bucharest: Editura Polyrom.
Purcar, C. (2015), “At Home by the Tracks. Domesticity in Proximity of Railway Space in (Early) Modern Art 1”, Acta Technica Napocensis: Civil Engineering & Architecture, vol. 58, no. 4.
Reed, J. (1916), The War in Eastern Europe, 11 May 2007, (
romania-insider (2010), Book Insider: Forbidden photos and personal images by Andrei Pandele, 11 May 2007, (
Sandquvist, T. (2006), DadaEast, Boston: MIT.
Savonea, V. (1980), Arta Naiva in Romania, Bucharest: Meridian.
Sebastian, M. (1936/2016), For two thousand years, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Serban, A.(ed) (2013), Ion Grigorescu – the man with a single camera, Berlin: Sternberg Press.
Sterian, M. (2008), “Century journal – Margareta Sterian”, EU – Screen, 11 May 2007, (
Tiron, S. (2007), “Nicolae Comănescu does not remove dust”, HotNews, 11 May 2007, (
Todorova, M et al. (2014), Remembering Communism Budapest, CEU Press, p. 201-216.
Tudor, O. (2000), Bucureştiul Interbelic/Calea Victoriei, Bucharest: NOI Media Print
Tzipoia, G. (1997), Alexandru Tipoia, 1914-1993, Paris: Alp impr.
Uniunea Arhitecţilor din România (1994), Bucureşti anii 1920–1940: Între avangardă şi modernism Bucharest.
Vatamanu, M. and Tudor, F. (2004), The palace/ Persepolis 2020 Home Gallery, Bucharest, 14 April 2004, (
Vatamanu, M. and Tudor, F. (ND), Văcăresti, 14 April 2004, (
Vlasiu, I. (2011), “City life versus rural life in Interwar Romanian Painting” in E. Kessler and I. Vlasiu (eds) 2011.

This post has already been read 1011 times!