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April 19, 2024
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Brancusi Sculpture ‘Portrait of Achille Baldé’ for the First Time in Romania

A work made by famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi in 1905-1906, “Bust of a Restaurant Patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé),” is arriving for the first time in Romania and will be available exclusively at the Artmark Galleries. It is about “a work that has never been seen, (being) considered lost or destroyed.”

A Romanian collector recently awarded the sculpture at an international auction in Paris.

Bust of a Restaurant Patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)

The unveiling event and the first meeting with the public of this work will take place on Saturday, February 17, at Palatul Cesianu-Racoviță from 4 p.m., in the presence of Mrs. Doina Lemny, Parisian art historian and researcher specializing in the work of the sculptor Constantin Brâncusi and one of the most famous exegetes of the work of the great artist, on an extraordinary visit to Romania.

Mrs. Doina Lemny will hold, on this particular occasion, a conference in which she will detail little-known aspects of the artist’s biography and the circumstances of the creation of this work considered lost. “Brâncusi Exclusiv,” an exhibition that will be open to the public until February 25 and can be visited daily, from Monday to Sunday, between 10:00 and 20:00.

Brâncusi National Day every year involves an evocation of the artist’s personality who has become a symbol of Romanian creativity. But it rarely happens that we bring to the public’s attention a work that has never been seen. This year, Artmark presents an entirely new work, considered lost or destroyed – as the artist used to do. So far, a single photograph from the English collector David Grob’s collection has been represented so far, presented in the Brâncusi exhibition in Timișoara – “Romanian sources and universal perspectives.

Doina Lemny for Artmark

“Bust of a Restaurant Patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” is one of the last works made by the sculptor in the Impressionist manner, under the influence of his then master Auguste Rodin, before he began, in 1907, to carve directly in stone. This bust also appears in the photos from Constantin Brâncuși’s workshop in Dauphine Square no. 16 from Paris.

The sculpture depicts a male portrait sporting an impressive moustache à la française and was long known as the ‘Portrait of M.G.’ out of some confusion. It is, in fact, the portrait of Achille Baldé, a waiter in the cafe where Brâncuși worked as a dishwasher in the first year of his arrival in Paris. The work is reproduced in the most essential Brâncusi catalogues, after a photograph kept at the Pompidou Center.

It is a “link” that connects the Romanian works from before the Parisian era and what followed starting from the years 1907-1908, namely ” The Prayer” and “The Goodness of the Earth,” works that paved the way for his famous modernist-abstracting masterpieces.

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