Constanta Art Museum

Nicolae Grigorescu, Flori de nalbă, ulei pe carton, 300 x 170

„Constantin Brîncoveanu”

Giuseppe MARCHETTI (1721–1801)

The painting represents a portrait of Constantin Brâncoveanu, ruler of Wallachia between 1688–1714. During his reign, there was a period of great stability in Wallachia, mainly developing culture, and art was enriched with a new style, namely the Brâncoveanu style. Giuseppe Marchetti, an Italian painter, painted a posthumous portrait of the ruler. Most likely, the artist learned about Constantin Brâncoveanu from writings published in Italy, an example being “Istoria delle moderne rivoluzioni della Valachia”, written by Antonio Maria del Chiaro Fiorentino (Italian language secretary of the Wallachian prince), published in Venice, in 1718. The painting is made in the style of the Italian Baroque, being obviously the intense chiaroscuro. Ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu sits on a chair and holds a scepter in his left hand, a sign of power and authority. The clothing details, which belong to oriental fashion, with the exception of the beret specific to Italian fashion, illustrate the social status of the prince: he wears a caftan adorned with an expensive fur, and underneath a shirt with ornamental motifs. The lack of expressiveness of Brâncoveanu’s face is reminiscent of Byzantine icons.

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Constanta Art Museum
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administration: +40 (241) 617 012

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