LANGUAGE
   
CULTURE

Fine Arts. The scope and brilliancy of the frescoes decorating the monasteries of Northern Moldavia (15th-16th cent.) - Voronet, Moldovita, Sucevita, Arbore, Humor, or Patrauti, have made the great Byzantine culture scholar André Grabar consider this artistic phenomenon "an illustrated book open on all its pages." Also famous are the old local icons, painted in churches in sub-Carpathian Oltenia - Cozia, Hurezi, Tismana and others – and the famous folk icons painted on glass in 18th-19th century Transylvania.
 

Preserving the ties with the Byzantine stock and with folkore, the culture of the Romanian Modern Age is increasingly connected to the European artistic world which in turn sends back echoes of the Renaissance, Romanticist, Academist or Impressionistic trends.
 

The founders of modern Romanian painting are Nicolae Grigorescu and Ion Andreescu (who worked for a time in France, at Barbizon, alongside the artists who pioneered the Impressionist movement), together with Stefan Luchian - who contributed elements akin to Art Nouveau. They were followed, in the first half of the 20th century, by great personalities who, having come into touch with the new French, German and Italian art, opened as many new vistas in Romanian painting: Theodor Palady, Nicolae Tonitza, Gheorgeh Petrascu, Jean Al. Steriadi, Nicolae Darascu, Camil Ressu, Francisc Sirato, Iosif Iser and others.
 

An explosion of vitality in Romania was determined by surrealist avant-gardism (Victor Brauner), futurism or constructivism. Having made their debut before World War II, several artists also continue their activity in the following decades, succeeding, despite all adversities in the postwar totalitarian period, to enhance the substance of the national artistic heritage: Ion Tuculescu, Henri Catargi, Catul Bogdan, Alexandru Ciucurencu, Victor Mihailescu, Lucia Dem. Balacescu, Paul Miracovici, Margareta Sterian, Micaela Eleutheriade, Corneliu Baba. Some of the prominent Romanian artists of the time worked mostly abroad.
 

The past few decades have bred new generations of remarkable personalities, such as Ion Bitzan, Ion Gheorghiu, Ion Nicodim, Ion Pacea, Virgil Almasanu, Ion Popescu-Negreni, Viorel Marginean, Gheorghe Saru, Ion Murariu, Constantin Piliuta, Sabin Balasa, Ion Salisteanu, Paul Gherasim, Horia Bernea and Camilian Demetrescu.