Constanta Art Museum

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

„The Attack of Smârdan”

Nicolae GRIGORESCU (1838–1907)

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Romanian authorities instituted the practice of gathering authentic artistic documents regarding military events. During the War for the Independence of Romania (1877–1878), the Romanian army was seconded by a group of artists, as “front painters”, including N. Grigorescu, whose mission was to capture live battle or camp scenes on the front. Nicolae Grigorescu made drawings and sketches on the spot, real transcripts about the development of battles and life on the front, which were the basis of great compositions. The painting shows a scene from the battle of Smârdan. The foreground of the composition captures a Romanian infantry soldier with a bayonet, in an advanced attack position. In the corner on the right side is the outline of a female face, on which falls a marble light, caught in a solemn and dignified attitude. Monochrome suggests exactly the tumultuous atmosphere of war.

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