Din biografia pictorului Sava Albescu (1885-1957), cu specială referire la două documente din 1949


Muzeul Naţional al Unirii Alba Iulia


Muzeul Naţional al Unirii Alba Iulia

Cuvinte cheie: pictură, maestru al picturii, pastel, biografie, autobiografie, Nicolae Grigorescu, G. D. Mirea, François Flameng, secolul al XIX-lea, secolul al XX-lea

Keywords: painting, master of painting, pastel, biography, autobiography, Nicolae Grigorescu, G. D. Mirea, François Flameng, XIXth century, XXth century

Prin intermediul studiului de faţă se editează o autobiografie a pictorului Sava Albescu şi alte două texte adresate de artist în 1 februarie 1949 consilierului cultural Dumitru Ciumbrudean. După eşecul financiar al amplei expoziţii personale din 1947, vernisată la sediul Băncii Comerciale din Alba Iulia, la o vârstă apreciabilă, de 64 de ani, artistul realizează faptul că nu va putea în viitor să subziste ca pictor independent, în noile condiţii politice şi sociale instituite în ţară. De aceea, făcând un compromis moral evident, îi solicită noului lider politic al momentului, Dumitru Ciumbrudean, pe care cu siguranţă îl cunoştea de mai demult, din perioada interbelică, sprijinul pentru a fi admis în Sindicatul artiştilor plastici din zona Alba Iulia, precum şi acela de a obţine o pensie din partea Ministerului artelor. Autobiografia redactată cu acest prilej de către artist aruncă o lumină suplimentară asupra întregii sale existenţe şi activităţi de până atunci, relevându-ne şi câteva interesante date biografice inedite.

Fragments from the Biography of Painter Sava Albescu (1885-1957),

with Special Reference to Two Autographed Documents from 1949


The present study attempts a better correlation between the biography and artistic activity of painter Sava Albescu (1885-1957) and the documentary information of actual value to historic research. The biographic knowledge gather so far was not based on firm documentary support and due to that reason several incongruences have been perpetuated, generated by the assumption that the painter was born October 26th 1883, whereas, in reality, as it was proven recently, in 2007, by Gheorghe Fleşer and certified by the documents enclosed in the Annexes of the present study, his birth date was in fact October 1st 1885. This misconception has triggered a series of errors, respectively dating his first trip to Bucharest at age 15 in 1898 instead of 1902 etc. The autobiographical documents edited in the present study contribute to a better understanding of the artist’s biography while offering inedited information on the same topic. Therefore, several aspects of Sava Albescu’s biography can be revealed to the public for the first time , such as the his primary school years in his native village (Boiţa), his apprenticeship in Brăila under the guidance of master Matache Orăşanu between 1899 and 1901, the considerable material support received in 1908 from Iosif Sterca Şuluţiu (1827-1911), the president of Astra between 1904-1911 and later on in 1910 from the Bassarabian philantropist Vasile Stroescu (1845-1926), who has bought two of his paintings for the great amount of 2000 Kroners, or the incomfortable period of 1947-1949 when he was forced to a moral compromise by the new political authorities and their cultural representatives in the territory etc.

All these facts of novelty as well as the reanalysis of several previously known biographical information offer an improved view over the artist’s life and activity which leads to a more focused reception of the value of his plastic creation, which was previously more related to amateurism rather than professionalism (since he was characterized as a „small master of the Transylvanian pastel”). By reevaluating his activity and reiterating his lengthy apprenticeship conducted either inside the country on in Paris where he resided between 1910 and 1914 and painted as the student of the master François Flameng (1856-1923), even participating with personal creations in all the official painting salons between 1911 and 1913, a more accurate reevaluation of the painter’s creative universe can be acheived which offers it a more profound individuality and exhibits the unique seal of the painter’s spirituality more clearly.

The present study especially highlights the relations between the artist and Dumitru Ciumbrudean, cultural advisor and inspector promoted by the new political regime established in Romania after 1945, a cultural animator from Alba Iulia of whom Sava Albescu was clearly aware since his settling down in Feneş, in 1919. However the relations between the two take a new twist and seem to be rekindled, on the background of the the artist’s dispair after his financial failure due to his grand personal exhibit organized in 1947 at the Commercial Bank in Alba Iulia, when the revered painter realised that, at the age of 60, he was no longer capable of supporting his existence as a freelance painter as he did before. Threfore he was constrained to reach for the support of the local cultural consultant who helped him to be accepted in the local Artist’s Union and to obtain, as a professional artist, a well deserved pension from the Ministry of The Arts despite the moral compromise he was forced to make in the mentioned year out of an obvious spirit of selfpreservation.

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