Our one piece of artwork for today turned into a multitude of artworks by one artist in particular. Blame it on the book we found which captivated us for a few hours because, well, Nicolae Tonitza evokes everything.
I made a collage of four different paintings by Tonitza to compare his depiction of faces.
The way he paints faces always blurs the eyes. Depending on the viewer, this might appear morbid. Max and I both agreed that it made the figures appear innocent and doll-like.
Mother and Child by Nicolae Tonitza.
The Bread Line by Nicolae Tonitza, 1920.
We found this study for The Bread Line by Nicolae Tonitza in our book. It would make an excellent coloring or watercolor painting page to encourage children to explore shading and layering in paints. I think I'm going to print a copy and let them have a go at it.
Nicolae Tonitza (1886-1940) was a Romanian painter, engraver, lithographer, journalist and art critic. Drawing inspiration from Post-impressionism and Expressionism, he had a major role in introducing modernist guidelines to local art. Like most artists of his day, Tonitza spent the requisite years in Paris and, drawing on a Romanian tradition, spent a few years painting monasteries and churches (an example of one of these church paintings).
Tonitza's health remained precarious after fighting in World War I. As an artist, his compassion for the suffering emerged most clearly in his graphic work, which bordered on the furious. His graphics and sketches were published by numerous contemporary political magazines, often with a leftish lean. In 1921, Tonitza opened the door to a whole new medium by painting prototypes for a ceramics factory and organizing a ceramics exhibition. A few months later, he moved to Vălenii de Munte, and ended his fliration with journalism and political illustration. His new experiences as a father, husband, and rural dweller contributed to the development of his characteristic style and themes.
In the Red Corner by Nicolae Tonitza.
The tragic effects of World War I on Tonitza and his generation are revealed in this undated painting, Dupa Razboi (or After the War). Tonitza's compassion for the female experience of war is elicited through the harrowing expression on her face and the crosses in the background- every soldier is someone's child or father or husband.
The House in Doborgea by Nicolae Tonitza, currently held by the Museum of Art in Brasov, along with many other beautiful paintings by Romanian artists.