Still life with Flowers
Property from a Private Collection
1868 - 1916
Still life with Flowers
signed S. Luchian lower left and indistinctly inscribed and signed Luchian on the reverse
oil on board
Unframed: 50 by 40cm., 19¾ by 15¾in.
Framed: 70 by 60cm., 27½ by 24in.
The board is in good condition, flat and even. There are a few specks of paint loss visible upon close inspection, the most noticable of these are in the background in the upper right quarter of the composition (visible also in the catalogue illustration). There are no signs of retouching visible under ultra-violet light. Overall this work is in good original condition.
Please note that Condition 12 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers is not applicable to this lot.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
In the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when Romanian society and its arts were undergoing a process of modernisation and harmonisation with the West, painting in Romania was dominated by three artists, Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Aman and Gheorghe Tattarescu. Aman and Tattarescu were the founders of the Romanian school of painting and proponents of academic painting. Grigorescu, who had been educated in France, at Barbizon, used the techniques and concepts he had learned there to paint a somewhat freer Romantic portrait of the Romanian rural world.
A graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, where he studied under Aman, Tattarescu, and Grigorescu, Luchian stood out among his contemporaries as a rebellious, avant-garde painter who rejected the rigidity of academic painting. Following his studies in Bucharest, Luchian furthered his education in Munich and Paris. He rejected the Academic art of both the Bucharest and Munich schools and sought inspiration in reality, which was unusual in 19th century Romanian art. Luchian instinctively rejected the artificial forms of expression, irrespective of their nature. Instead he was fascinated and drawn to the modern currents of French art, and in particular the works of Degas, Manet, the post -impressionists and other ‘independants’.
Upon his return to Bucharest in 1892, Luchian quickly established a reputation as the first modern Romanian painter, achieving celebrity status and embodying the strong francophile and cosmopolitan tendencies of Romanian society of the time. He found himself at the forefront of an emerging new aesthetic, that soon adopted the imagery of the Munich and Vienna Secessions in addition to Symbolism, further underlying the international ambitions of various artistic currents of fin de siècle Romania.
At the height of his artistic success, in 1900, Luchian's health started to deteriorate as he suffered the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, yet despite crippling pain, he continued to paint. As his illness got worse, he became paralysed, which prevented him from moving his hand and holding his brush. Like Renoir, he had his brush tied to his hand and continued to paint. Confined to his studio from 1909, Luchian found refuge in painting still lives, as flowers became his only connection to nature and only model. A major subject in the artist's oeuvre since 1903, his still lives of flowers carefully arranged in traditional Romanian earthenware pots, have become his hallmark style and best loved compositions.