ARTS & LEISURE

Grigorescu’s “Colombina in Green” up for auction

The famous painting, which disappeared during the Soviet persecution of the ‘50s, has recently been recovered from a French family near Montpelier and repatriated.

“Colombina in Green”, a painting by Nicolae Grigorescu, is the star item at the Artmark’s Spring Auction at J.W. Marriott Grand Hotel, March 20. The estimated price is EUR 150,000 to 250,000, according to an Artmark release.Artmark experts and French collectors negotiated the painting’s repatriation for no less than 11 hours. Grigorescu’s painting can therefore be admired at Cesianu-Racovita Palace in Bucharest, starting today, part of the Spring Auction Exhibition, along with another 150 works by such Romanian great painters as  Gheorghe Petraacu, Theodor Pallady, Octav Bancila, Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpana, Iosif Iser, Corneliu Baba and Stefan Caltia.”Colombina in Green” was most likely painted in Rome, in the winter of1873, during the renowned Roman carnival roman, and was preceded by many studies, now part of the asset fund of the National Museum of Romanian Art.The painting appears to have been owned originally by Gheorghe (Gogu) Iliescu, a great Buzau landowner and politician who owned the famous domains of Candesti. Nicolae Grigorescu and Gogu Iliescu came to know each other during the painter’s 1900 personal exhibit at the Romanian Athenaeum, when the  din 1900, when the Candesti landlord bought a large number of  Grigorescu’s works. It was poet ?tefan O. Iosif who introduced Grigorescu to Gogu Iliescu, an encounter that market the beginning of a close friendship between the two. In the summers of 1902 and 1903, Grigorescu visited the Candesti estate and manor, often accompanied by   playwright I. L. Caragiale, Al. Vlahuta and Barbu Stefanescu Delavrancea. Later on, the painting became part of the collection of Eugen Iliescu-Candesti (1893-1953), Gogu Iliescu’s son, a right-wing politician and head of the Buzau legionnaire movement in 1940, met a tragic end, being disposed of his property by communists and detained at Gherla, where he died in 1953. His wife, Madeleine, had to flee Romania, taking two Grigorescu paintings with her, one of which was the famous “Colombina in Green”.While in Paris, Madeleine Iliescu sold the painting to a French couple from Carcassonne, whose descendants are now the owners of the Nicolae Grigorescu-signed painting.The items up for sale at the in Artmark Spring Auction can be seen during March 5 – 19 at Cesianu-Racovita Palace. In Constanta, the most representative items in the Spring Auction can be seen At the Casino, March 7-9, and in Ploiesti, at Hotel Central, March 14-15.

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