Old Banat Paintings

Expozitia - Pictură veche bănățeană

Old Banat Paintings Gallery

The painting exhibition in Banat (1780 - 1914) proposes to the public an incursion in the plastic art of this province through works under the influence of the late Baroque and neoclassicism, the Biedermeier current and the academism practiced by the Academy of Art in Vienna, pieces belonging to some families who wrote the history of this province in the modern era, after the incorporation of Banat into the Kingdom of Hungary in the late eighteenth century, crossing the nineteenth century with Banat as an integral part of Austria-Hungary until the threshold of World War I.

The sponsors of the portraits in this Central-South-Eastern European province are under the influence of Viennese fashion, their effigies being made by pilgrim painters. The portrait was the most common type of painting among the representatives of the various cultural-linguistic communities of Banat (Johann Jakob Stunder, Anselm Wagner, Sava Petrović, Mihail Velceleanu and Károly Brocky). Only in the middle of the 19th century did the landscape appear in the thematic repertoire frequented by artists at the request of the Banat sponsors in the form of the narrative landscape that transmits to the viewer information about the beauty of nature in this province and the folk costume (Joseph Krämer, Imre Vizkelety). In the third and fourth decades, a number of artists settled temporarily in the cities of Banat (Lugoj, Caransebeș, Oravița, Becicherecu Mare, Biserica Albă, Vârșeț, Timișoara), some with studies at the Art Academy in Vienna.

In the Biedermeier era and the first half of the 19th century, there was a major interest in the art of portraiture in which Constantin Daniel, Gábor Melegh and Komlóssy Ferenc excelled, respectively the first scenes of genre and still lifes as independent works (Ludwig von Bersuder , Anton Fialla). Along with the academic painters, the provincial artists who trained in the workshops in Banat are also active.

In the second half of the 19th century the influence of classical academicism in art in Banat continues, while the repertoire of themes agreed by the sponsors of Banat diversifies with the genre of landscape under the influence of the romantic current (Carl Pelz) and static natures present with portraits made by Elek Szamossy, Béla Schäffer, Nicolae Popescu, Ion Zaicu and Johann Wälder.

At the end of the 19th century, the academic period saw a decline, and the Vienna Academy of Art was no longer the main educational institution for artists from Banat, heading to Rome, Munich, Düsseldorf and Paris (Adolf Humborg, József Ferenczy and Stevan Aleksić), using a different approach to topics in relation to Viennese academism.

The Timișoara Art Museum offers through this exhibition a sequence from the history of arts in Banat that could be completed by visiting the museums in Novi Sad, Zrenjanin and Vârșeț, cities located on the current territory of Serbia.