The Mascarons of Bucharest: Photomontage and Slides

The mascarons of Bucharest: photomontage (©Valentin Mandache)

The architecture of Bucharest in the late c19th until the Great War was constituted in great part of locally interpreted French historicist styles that ranged from neoclassical, neo-renaissance, neo-rococo to Second Empire, which gave the Romanian capital the well known character of “Little Paris”. Some of the most conspicuous motifs of these highly decorative styles were the mascarons (grotesque or classical mithology-like ornamental heads) that embellished the top centre panoplies above windows, doorways or roof cornices. Bucharest is endowed literally with thousands of such picturesque mascarons that are also present less abundantly on Art Nouveau, Neo-Romanian and Art Deco style buildings. I made the collage and slide show presented in this post from just a very small sample of such Bucharest mascarons. Most of them are “Little Paris” style, but there are also some Art Nouveau, Neo-Romanian and Art Deco. There is also a living “mascaron”‘ among the masonry and plaster ones, I wonder if you can spot it! :)

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I endeavor through this daily series of images and small articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.