Calin Stegerean, Director – National Museum of Art of Romania
For the purposes of the current management program that provides attracting acquisitions and donations of artworks in favor of the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR), approaches have been conducted in order to allow two paintings by Anton Chladek (1794-1882), ranked in the Thesaurus category, to be admired again in the National Gallery of the museum. This was possible through the purchase for donation purposes that Bonte Foundation has made in the favor of the National Museum of Art of Romania.
The works were part of the Manu collection and have been included in the MNAR heritage until their restitution to the former owners in 2015. This initiative materializes for the first time a public-private approach to recover an important heritage of Romanian art.
Starting from Sunday, January 15, 2017, the National Culture Day, the paintings representing Alexandrina G. Manu and Anica Manu in Polish costume are exhibited in the Modern Romanian Art Gallery, at Mezzanine.
The portraits of Alexandrina G. Manu and Anica Manu, ordered by the Manu family to strengthen their social status, combine the tradition of the votive portraits (Chladek was painting for the Manu family the portraits of its members in the Church from Budesti-Ilfov) with the new neoclassical and even Biedermeier trends, which enter into the Romanian art of painting. Openness to novelty, which is obvious in the outfit of the young ladies, in their less rigid stances, and in particular in their elegance, coexists with the conformism of the representations in the mural paintings. But this two portraits of Chladek are remarkable by the manner in which the artist succeeds to assimilate and transpose the new taste of the time, and especially by the skill in which he gives the objects’ materiality.
The donation was possible due to the involvement of Mr. Alain Bonte, businessman and President of the Bonte Foundation; headquartered in Romania, the foundation has objectives that include promoting Romanian art at the national and international level. In this context, MNAR relies on the exemplary character of this approach, to be replicated by other partners and patrons.