Romania boasts one of the greatest sculptors in the World, Constantin Brâncuși. He has made countless contributions to the renewal of language and visual vision in sculpture, and has left a legacy of invaluable works of art.
Many know him as the sculptor with the most famous works but few know about his life and the fact that he was a good thinker. Thanks to him, philosophy in sculpture first appeared in Romania. There are a number of labels circulating among the people given to the famous sculptor, “Titan” or “the father of modern sculpture”.
He was born and raised in Gorj County, more precisely in the village of Hobita, only 25 kilometers away from Târgu Jiu. Constantin Brâncuși is considered the greatest Romanian sculptor of all time and his works are currently sold for millions of euros.
In the top of the most sought after and most beloved sculptures is “Tânăra sofisticată” or “La Jeune fille sophistiquée (Nancy Cunard)”, made entirely of bronze. The artwork was valued at $ 71 million and surpassed the work of Jeff Koons at an event held in Paris in 1932. The work by Constantin Brâncuși depicts the Anglo-American poet and activist Nancy Cunard.
“Muza adormită” or “La muse endormie” was made in 1913 in a series of six works. The sculpture was sold in 2017 for $ 57.37 million, surpassing “Femme assise, robe blueue” made by Picasso. The work was designed in bronze, being originally made of marble. As a meaning, the “sleeping muse” is a model of a head, without a body, with slight features, with hair, face, nose and mouth falling into the abstract.
“Madame LR” is one of the best rated wooden works of the “Cubist” period. Although the creator was well known for his bronze and marble work, wood caught his eye. The artwork dedicated to Mrs. LR is one of Brâncuși’s first wooden experiments. It was carved from a solid piece of wood and has a simple and unique design.
“Pasăre în văzduh” or “Oiseau dans l’espace” was made between 1922 and 1923 and sold in 2015 in New York for $ 27.4 million. The sculpture was made of marble and stone and measures 121.9 centimeters. It is part of the private art collection started in 1937 and was purchased from Brâncuși in 1928 by Léonie Ricou, being later left to the Belgian Alexandre Stoppelaere.
“Domnișoara Poganny II” is a famous and highly valued sculpture of the great Constantin Brâncuși. Her name was given to the name of the Hungarian painter Margit Pogany, whom she had met in 1911. The young woman was for several months a model for Brâncuși but also a lover. The sculpture was valued at $ 7.04 million on May 14, 1997 in New York City.
Brâncuși freed sculpture from the preponderance of mechanical imitation of nature, he refused the figurative representation of reality, he expected the expression of the essence of things, the vitality of form, he created the unity between the sensible and the spiritual. In his work he mirrored the way of thinking of the world of the Romanian peasant. Through his peasant origins, he found the deep roots of his work in the traditions, myths and magical function of Romanian folk art. Brâncuși revealed to the Western world the sacred dimension of reality.
A central figure in the modern art movement, Brâncuși is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. His sculptures are distinguished by the elegance of the form and the sensitive use of materials, combining the simplicity of Romanian folk art with the refinement of the Parisian avant-garde. Verticality, horizontality, weight, density and the importance given to light and space are the characteristic features of Brâncuși’s creation. His work has profoundly influenced the modern concept of form in sculpture, painting and drawing.
In 1957, Brâncuși called Archbishop Teofil, a priest at the Orthodox Church, to confess and share. On March 16, 1957, Constantin Brâncuși passed away at 2 o’clock in the morning, and on March 19, he was buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.