Banat Icons


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Banat Icons

The permanent exhibition of ancient art in Banat presents to the public in 4 rooms in the Pacha wing of the Baroque Palace in Timișoara the stylistic evolution of the art of icons in this region in the XVII-XIX centuries, from the late post-Byzantine period, with artistic connections in the Central European Baroque. XVIII and the stylistic currents and iconographic schemes of the next century, providing the visitor with information about the preferences of sponsors from various cultural and linguistic communities (Romanian, Serb, Macedonian) in this province in the Enlightenment with influences of post Brancoveanu art, through icons for the wooden churches - now extinct - in Butin, Povergina, Ferendia, Herendești, Lăpușnic and Cerneteaz.

The collection of icons on wood and canvas painting with religious themes from the XVII-XIX centuries consists of over 1000 pieces from the old collection of the Banat Museum (over 100 icons), consisting of Ioachim Miloia, director of this institution during 1928 - 1940, and from acquisitions, donations or transfers made after 1960.

The oldest icon in the exhibition comes from the wooden church of the monastery in Cebza (Timiș County) and was executed in the seventeenth century (St. Nicholas receiving the episcopal insignia), an example of archaic language in the art of icons practiced before 1716, the time of the establishment of the administration of the House of Habsburg in Banat.

The art of icons from this province is illustrated by the icons of Nedelcu Popovici from the wooden church from Butin (Timiș County), Andrei Andreevici, Ștefan Tenețchi, Gheorghe Diaconovici for the 18th century, but also by the creation of little known artists from the century. 19th century like Gheorghe Murgu and the grinder Gheorghe Ungurian, during this period the transition was made from the traditional icon on wood to the works made in the technique of easel painting approached by painters from Banat, some with studies at art academies in Vienna and Munich : Mihail Velceleanu, Dimitrie Turcu, Nicolae Hașca and Nicolae Mărășescu. These religiously themed icons and paintings from the churches of Banat sometimes present unique iconographic and stylistic language solutions, forming true thematic series with specific symbolism and formal language and illustrating the two directions, traditional and westernizing, of artistic creation for sponsors from the Orthodox communities of Banat.