Bernea, Horia. Triptic, 1978–1979. Pictură
Triptych by Horia Bernea in Sorin Costina’s art collection is in fact made up of three thematically distinct paintings brought together within the same frame. The artist was one of the most illustrious Romanian painters of the second half of the twentieth century, the promoter of the so-called Neo-Orthodox tendency in Romanian Art. From left to right, the three works that make up Triptych are entitled: Self-portrait, Processional Banner, and Food with Candles. All three are in oil on canvas and are of identical dimensions: 35 cm x 35 cm.
Self-portrait is signed in the lower left-hand corner and dated 15 June 1979. The painting was bought by Sorin Costina direct from Horia Bernea’s studio on 10 December 1979 at a price of 3,000 lei. This is the most well-known of Horia Bernea’s series of self-portraits. It is often included in exhibitions of contemporary art. Placed in the middle, Processional Banner is an earlier work, from 1978. Like Self-portrait, it was bought direct from the artist’s studio, for the same price of 3,000 lei. According to Horia Bernea, the painting of a religious object like the processional banner (Romanian prapor) was his silent protest at the demolition of churches by the Ceauşescu regime from 1977 onwards. The painting was bought on 21 December 1978 and has also featured in numerous exhibitions. The third piece in this thematic series, Food with Candles, was painted in July 1979 and was bought together with Self-portrait from Horia Bernea’s studio on 10 December 1979, also for 3,000 lei. Food with Candles was painted on the very day on which one of the most promising contemporary Romanian poets, Daniel Turcea, died at the age of just thirty-three. Together with the other two paintings or separately, it has also been shown in numerous exhibitions. The three paintings have a common triple frame of oak, the dimensions and material of which were indicated to the collector by the painter himself. Triptych is a defining piece for the personality and art of Horia Bernea, who began his career as an avantgardist who rejected traditionalism only to gradually redefine the avantgarde through his rediscovery and re-reading of traditional Orthodox spiritual values.
Brad, Romania 335200
- Sorin Costina Collection
- Petrescu, Cristina
- Pătrăşconiu, Cristian Valeriu
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Costina, Sorin, interview by Pătrăşconiu, Cristian Valeriu , August 10, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection