Ștefan Luchian

Ștefan Luchian (Romanian pronunciation: [ʃteˈfan lukiˈan], last name also spelled Lukian; 1 February 1868 – 28 June 1916) was a Romanian painter, famous for his landscapes and still life works.

Ștefan Luchian
Luchian - Un zugrav
A Housepainter (self-portrait), 1909
Born1 February 1868
Died28 June 1916 (aged 48)
EducationWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau, Nicolae Grigorescu
Known forPainting, and modernism
MovementImpressionism, Post-impressionism, Symbolism
Patron(s)Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești, Take Ionescu
Stefan Luchian - Anemone (0)
Anemona Flowers [1911 - 1913].


Early life

He was born in Ștefănești, a village of Botoșani County, as the son of Major Dumitru Luchian and of Elena Chiriacescu. The Luchian family moved to Bucharest in 1873 and his mother desired that he would follow his father's path and join the Military School. Instead, in 1885, Luchian joined the painting class at the Fine Arts School, where he was encouraged to pursue a career in art by Nicolae Grigorescu, whose work was to have a major effect on his entire creative life.[1]

Starting in autumn of 1889 Luchian studied for two semesters at the Munich Fine Arts Academy, where he created copies of the works by Correggio and Rembrandt housed in the Kunstareal. After his return to Romania, he took part in the first exhibition of the Cercul Artistic art group.

He showed himself unable to accept the academic guidelines imposed by the Bavarian and Romanian schools.[2] The following year, he left for Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian, and, although taught by the academic artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau, became acquainted with impressionist works of art.[3] Luchian's painting Ultima cursă de toamnă shows the influence of Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas, but also echoes of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, Modernism, and Post-impressionism (also obvious in works created after his return to Bucharest).[4]

Chronic illness and death

In 1896, together with Nicolae Vermont, Constantin Artachino, and the art collector, Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești, Stefan Luchian was one of the main founders of Bucharest's Salonul Independenţilor, which was opened in front of the official Salon (the Romanian equivalent of the Paris Salon).[5] Two years later, the group led to the creation of Societatea Ileana and its press organ, Ileana,[6] with Luchian as the original illustrator.[7] From then on Luchian began integrating Symbolist elements in his work, taking inspiration from various related trends: Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and Mir iskusstva (see Symbolist movement in Romania).[8]

In 1900, Luchian contributed two pastels to Romania's Pavilion at the World Fair, and in the same year suffered the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, the disease which, after some initial improvements, was to haunt him for the rest of his life. Nonetheless, he continued painting and, until 1915, had his works displayed in numerous exhibitions, albeit to a largely indifferent public.[9] At his 1905 exhibition, the only buyer of a painting was his former teacher Grigorescu. Despite being appreciated by a select few (including the writer Ion Luca Caragiale),[10] Luchian lived in poverty (the large fortune he had inherited was progressively drained).[11]

Stefan Luchian - Interior
Interior (Lorica), Luchian's last painting (1913)

Paralysed from 1909, he had to live the rest of his life in an armchair.[12] This did not prevent him from working on an entire series of landscapes and flowers. He had begun flower paintings earlier, but from 1908 he concentrated all his creative energy into the subject. Toward the end of his life, Luchian was no longer able to hold the painter's brush with his fingers, and was instead helped to tie it to his wrist in order to continue work.[13]

At the time, he had begun enjoying considerable success — a phenomenon which the writer Tudor Arghezi attributed to the momentary rise of Take Ionescu as a politician (Ionescu had become the center of a fashion and subject of imitation, and he was among the first to buy more than one of Luchian's paintings).[14] As his disease became notorious, a rumor spread that Luchian allowed someone else to paint in his name; the scandal brought about Luchian's arrest under charges of fraud (he was released soon after).[15] Arghezi took pride in being one of his few defenders.[9]

One of the last events in Luchian's life was a visit paid to his house by composer and violinist George Enescu. Although the two had never met before, Enescu played his instrument as a personal tribute to the dying artist.[16]

He died in Bucharest and he was buried at the Bellu Cemetery.


By the 1930s, Luchian's impact on Romanian art was becoming the subject of disputes in the cultural world, with several critics claiming that his work had been minor and the details of his life exaggerated.[17] Arghezi was again involved in the polemic, and wrote passionate pieces which supported Luchian's art and attributed adverse reactions to jealousy and to Luchian's voiced distaste for mediocrity.[12]

In 1948, Luchian was posthumously elected to the Romanian Academy. An art school in Botoșani bears his name.

His life was the subject of Nicolae Mărgineanu's 1981 film, Luchian,[18] where his character was played by Ion Caramitru (Maria Ploae was Luchian's sister; other actors starring in the film where George Constantin, Ștefan Velniciuc, Florin Călinescu as Arghezi, and Adrian Pintea as Nicolae Tonitza).


Click on an image to view it enlarged.

Stefan Luchian - Safta Florareasa (1895)

Safta the Flower Girl, 1895

Stefan Luchian portrait of a woman

Portrait of a Woman 1901

Stefan Luchian The Well on Clucerului Street

The Well on Clucerului Street 1902-1904

Stefan Luchian - Mos Nicolae cobzarul

Old Man Nicolae the Fiddler, 1906

Stefan Luchian - Lunca de la Poduri

The River Meadow at Poduri, 1909

Luchian - Anemone

Anemona Flowers, 1908

Stefan Luchian - Lautul

Hair Washing, 1911-1912

Stefan Luchian - Alecu literatu

Alecu the Literary Man

Stefan Luchian - Rosior

The Mounted Red Hussar

Luchian - Dumitrite


The Millet Beer Seller

Ștefan Luchian - Spălătoreasa

The Laundress


  1. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.174
  2. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.173
  3. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.173-174, 179
  4. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.168, 174, 179
  5. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.167-168; Ionescu
  6. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.168; Ionescu
  7. ^ Ionescu
  8. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.168
  9. ^ a b Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.620-621
  10. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.621
  11. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.622-623
  12. ^ a b Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.617
  13. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.618-621; Drăguţ et al., p.175
  14. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.617-618
  15. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.617, 620-621
  16. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.623
  17. ^ Arghezi, Din zilele lui Luchian, in Scrieri, p.616-617
  18. ^ "Stefan Luchian". 1 January 2000 – via IMDb.


External links

1916 in Romania

Events from the year 1916 in Romania.

Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești

Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești (Romanian pronunciation: [alekˈsandru boɡˈdan piˈteʃtʲ]; born Alexandru Bogdan, also known as Ion Doican, Ion Duican and Al. Dodan; June 13, 1870 – May 12, 1922) was a Romanian Symbolist poet, essayist, and art and literary critic, who was also known as a journalist and left-wing political agitator. A wealthy landowner, he invested his fortune in patronage and art collecting, becoming one of the main local promoters of modern art, and a sponsor of the Romanian Symbolist movement. Together with other Post-Impressionist and Symbolist cultural figures, Bogdan-Pitești established Societatea Ileana, which was one of the first Romanian associations dedicated to promoting the avant-garde and independent art. He was also noted for his friendship with the writers Joris-Karl Huysmans, Alexandru Macedonski, Tudor Arghezi and Mateiu Caragiale, as well as for sponsoring, among others, the painters Ștefan Luchian, Constantin Artachino and Nicolae Vermont. In addition to his literary and political activities, Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești was himself a painter and graphic artist.

Much of Bogdan-Pitești's controversial political career, inaugurated by his support for anarchism, was dedicated to activism and support for revolution. He also had an interest in the occult, and maintained close contacts with Joséphin "Sâr" Péladan—sponsoring Péladan's journey to Bucharest (1898). He was detained by the authorities at various intervals, including an arrest for sedition during the 1899 election, and was later found guilty of having blackmailed the banker Aristide Blank. Late in his life, he led Seara, a Germanophile daily, as well as a literary and political circle which came to oppose Romania's entry into World War I on the Entente Powers' side. He was arrested one final time upon the end of the war, by which time he had become the object of public hatred. The enduring mysteries and contradictions of Bogdan-Pitești's career have since drawn interest from several generations of art and literary historians.

Argeș County Museum

The Argeș County Museum (Romanian: Muzeul Județean Argeș) is a government institution and visitor attraction based in Pitești, Romania. Formally inaugurated in 1955, it is headquartered in an 1890s palace in the city center. Topics of its permanent exhibits include history, ecology, folk art and minerals. Additionally, a fine arts gallery is located in the former city hall, while three other sites elsewhere in the county are also administered by the museum.

Bellu Cemetery

Șerban Vodă cemetery (commonly known as Bellu cemetery) is the largest and most famous cemetery in Bucharest, Romania.

It is located on a plot of land donated to the local administration by Baron Barbu Bellu. It has been in use since 1858. It has 54 acres and it is one of the most authentic cultural attractions in Bucharest.


Botoșani (Romanian pronunciation: [botoˈʃanʲ] (listen)) (Hungarian: Botosány, Polish: Botoszany, German: Botoschan) is the capital city of Botoșani County, in the northern part of Moldavia, Romania. Today, it is best known as the birthplace of many celebrated Romanians, including Mihai Eminescu, Nicolae Iorga and Grigore Antipa.

Botoșani County

Botoșani County (Romanian pronunciation: [botoˈʃanʲ] (listen)) is a county (județ) of Romania, in Moldavia (few villages in Bukovina), with the capital city at Botoșani.

Bucharest National University of Arts

The National University of Arts in Bucharest (Romanian: Universitatea Naţională de Arte) is a university in Bucharest preparing students in fine arts.

The National University of Arts is a higher education institution in Bucharest.

Craiova Art Museum

The Craiova Art Museum (Romanian: Muzeul de Artă din Craiova) is an art museum in the city of Craiova, Oltenia, Romania.

The museum is housed in the Constantin Mihail Palace, built from 1898 to 1907 according to the plans of French architect Paul Gottereau. The palace once belonged to Michael Constantine (1837–1908), a member of one of the richest families in Romania. The palace is decorated with Carrara marble stairs, Lyon silk walls, Murano glass chandeliers, painted ceilings, partly gilded stucco, and Venetian mirrors. It has hosted kings of Romania, in 1939 the exiled Polish president Ignacy Mościcki (1867–1946), and the former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980).The museum was founded in 1954. It is the main art museum in Craiova and is a significant tourist attraction for the city. A major attraction of the museum is the gallery dedicated to Constantin Brâncuși, exhibiting six of his early sculptures (including variants of his best-known works): Vitellius (1898), Miss Pogany (1902), The Vainglory (1905), Boy's Head (1906), The Kiss (1907), and Woman Torso (1909). It also has a variety of paintings by important Romanian masters such as Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Vasile Popescu, Ștefan Luchian, and Theodor Pallady, together with some Romanian icons.

The palace is listed as a historic monument by Romania's Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs.

February 1

February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 333 days remaining until the end of the year (334 in leap years).

Frederic Storck

Frederic Storck (19 January 1872, Bucharest - 26 December 1942, Bucharest) was a Romanian sculptor. His father was the sculptor Karl Storck. His brother, Carol Storck, was also a sculptor and his wife, Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck was a painter.


Hakham (or chakam(i), haham(i), hacham(i); Hebrew: חָכָם‬ ḥaḵam, "wise") is a term in Judaism, meaning a wise or skillful man; it often refers to someone who is a great Torah scholar. It can also refer to any cultured and learned person: "He who says a wise thing is called a hakham, even if he be not a Jew." Hence in Talmudic-Midrashic literature, wise gentiles are commonly called hakme ummot ha-'olam ("wise men of the nations of the world").

In Sephardic usage, Hakham is a synonym for "rabbi".

Ipolit Strâmbu

Ipolit Strâmbulescu, known as Ipolit Strâmbu (18 May 1871 in Bratilovu, Mehedinți County – 31 October 1934 in Bucharest), was a Romanian painter best known for his portraits of women, which ranged from domestic scenes to nudes.

List of painters from Romania

This is a list of Romanian painters.

List of sculptures in Herăstrău Park

This is a list of sculptures in Herăstrău Park, a park in Bucharest, Romania.

Marin Georgescu

Marin Haralambie Georgescu, sometimes known as Mehașgeorgescu (30 September 1892, Bucharest - 4 August 1932, Bucharest) was a Romanian Post-Impressionist painter; primarily of landscapes and buildings. Some sources give his year of birth as 1886, although this seems too early in light of his school attendance dates.

Nicolae Gropeanu

Nicolae Orval Gropeanu or, in French, Nicolas Gropeano (28 November 1863, Bacău - 6 January 1936, Paris) was a Romanian painter, pastelist and illustrator; probably of Jewish ancestry. He is known primarily for genre scenes, portraits and figures. Other variations on his name as it appears in official documents include Nicolae Gropper, Naia Groper and Noah Gropper.

Tudor Arghezi

Tudor Arghezi (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈtudor arˈɡezi]; 21 May 1880 – 14 July 1967) was a Romanian writer, best known for his unique contribution to poetry and children's literature. Born Ion N. Theodorescu in Bucharest, he explained that his pen name was related to Argesis, the Latin name for the Argeș River.

Ștefănești, Botoșani

Ștefănești (Yiddish: שטעפנשט‎, Hebrew: שטפנשט‬) is a small town in Botoșani County, Romania. It administers four villages: Bădiuți, Bobulești, Stânca and Ștefănești-Sat.

The painter Ștefan Luchian (1868–1916) was born here, as well as Vlad Onicescu, the father of the mathematician Octav Onicescu (1892–1983). The town is also the birthplace of the Shtefanesht Hasidic dynasty and as such its name is still known in present-day Israel.

Stânca is a border checkpoint to Moldova.

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