Art Deco style villa name panel

Art Deco style villa name panel, early 1930s house, Aviatorilor area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I photographed the above panel in the low luminosity of twilight, which gave it a soft appearance. It indicates the name of a Bucharest inter-war villa, “Vila Marioara” (“Little Mary Villa”) in an interesting lettering style, with letters linked together on a background of “Southern Seas” flowery vegetation, very popular in Art Deco architectural representations of the 1930s Bucharest.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Art Deco style villa name panel

Art Deco style villa name panel, early 1930s house, Aviatorilor area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I photographed the above panel in the low luminosity of twilight, which gave it a soft appearance. It indicates the name of a Bucharest inter-war villa, “Vila Marioara” (“Little Mary Villa”) in an interesting lettering style, with letters linked together on a background of “Southern Seas” flowery vegetation, very popular in Art Deco architectural representations of the 1930s Bucharest.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Ancient Egyptian symbolism in an Art Deco panel

Art Deco bas-relief panel displaying ancient Egyptian symbolism, mid-1930s apartment house, designed by architect Georges Cristinel, Cismigiu area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

This is a photograph that I shot during last Sunday’s architectural history and photography tour in Cismigiu area of Bucharest. It is an ample bas-relief panel of about 1.2 x 1.6 m containing a theme that makes allusion to ancient Egyptian symbolisms. It adorns the top of the staircase tower of a streamline Art Deco style building designed by the architect Georges Cristinel in the second part of the 1930s. The panel probably depicts a vigorous and vitalist looking family at work (a reference to the “pure” and hard working Romanian family): father, mother and son (the personage with the ancient Egyptian style wig from the lower part). They are engaged in something that looks like building work on a pharaonic scale (signifying the engineering of a highly civilized nation, just as the old Egyptians were), blessed by sunrays bursting from the panel’s upper left hand corner. The three personages, their number is probably another reference to the ancient Egyptian symbolism, namely to the rule of threecharacteristic of the Art Deco style, wear cloth  in the “Pharaoh” manner, loosely trimmed around their waist. In my opinion this panel, through its hints at racial and civilizational purity, is a “Work and Joy” theme, a late 1930s fascist propaganda programme promoted by the Romanian authorities of that era, inspired from similar developments taking place in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, countries with political regimes that by then, in the immediate years before the Second World War, had a huge and unsavoury influence over Romania.

The next Sunday (3 July ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place inFoisorul de Foc (Fire Watchtower) quarter, east-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: in front of the Greek Church (the one like an ancient Greek temple from Pache Protopopescu square). I look forward to seeing you there!

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Phoenix bird rainsing from fire

Phoenix bird raising from fire flames motif, late 1930s Art Deco and Neo-Romanian style house, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I photographed the above Art Deco – Neo-Romanian fusion style Phoenix bird during a bitter cold day last January, and found it intensely expressive, conveying an upbeat sense of positiveness amid the winter gloom and cold. The design is remarkable in my opinion, being an work of art beautifully sculpted in a soft yellow sandstone. I like how the bird looks at the passers by, communicating its enigmatic message by eye contact with those who care to raise their head above the street level and look at the panel; at least that is my impression. I remember a similar such eye contact with and work of art when I encountered the extraordinary gaze of the ancient Constantinople bronze horses from the Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice when I visited the place more than a decade ago…

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Cheerful Art Deco panel

1930s floral and sun burst motifs Art Deco style panel, Popa Soare area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I found that the elegant Art  Deco style panel, which I encountered a few days ago adorning the street corner façade of a house in one of the central quarters of Bucharest, had a quite cheering up effect on me in this cold and overcast April month. It reminds of the luxuriant climate of the Southern Seas with which the 1930s Bucharesters were so much fascinated. I like the play between its apparent symmetry, expressed by the bold central chevron, which probably symbolises the Sun or a mountainous landscape, balanced by a rhythmic asymmetry of short sunbursts, floral motifs and two peculiar little stars.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Neo-Romanian motif expressed in an Art Deco setting

One of the most frequent Neo-Romanian decorative motif is that of the peacocks in the Garden of Eden, often represented in a Byzantine visual arts manner as a pair of such majestic birds surrounded by luxurious flowering and fruit bearing plants. The circular panel presented in the images bellow shows this motif in a less familiar, but nevertheless enthralling, Art Deco scheme, where one can recognise the delineative Art Deco design of the two birds (male and female peafowl) encompassed within a quite standard Art Deco floral theme. The panel dates from forth decade of the c20th, a period of intense interferences between the two styles that characterised the architectural scene of Romania that resulted in a fascinating hybrid style, examples of which are still surviving throughout the contemporary city. The second image bellow presents the photograph of the panel processed through a copper gradient filter, which outlines some design features harder to distinguish in the normal colour photograph.

Neo-Romainan motif expressed in an Art Deco setting, mid 1930s house, Cotroceni area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Copper gradient filter processed photograph: Neo-Romainan motif expressed in an Art Deco setting, mid 1930s house, Cotroceni area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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

Art Deco jays

Art Deco style architectural panel with jay motifs, house from the early 1930s, Academia Romana area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I very much like the Art Deco style bird theme composition from the above panel. It contains two well rendered jays surrounded by what looks like pearl or other sort of bead strings, suggesting the well known habit of these birds to steal and hoard such objects in their nest. Perhaps the symbolism of this panel refers to the character and peculiarities of the first owner-builder of this house- a person who amassed his/ her wealth constituted from precious objects (perhaps a jeweller) as the good old jays do.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.

Art Deco jays

Art Deco style architectural panel with jay motifs, house from the early 1930s, Academia Romana area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I very much like the Art Deco style bird theme composition from the above panel. It contains two well rendered jays surrounded by what looks like pearl or other sort of bead strings, suggesting the well known habit of these birds to steal and hoard such objects in their nest. Perhaps the symbolism of this panel refers to the character and peculiarities of the first owner-builder of this house- a person who amassed his/ her wealth constituted from precious objects (perhaps a jeweller) as the good old jays do.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.

Cockerel, hens and chicks in a refined Art Deco woodwork representation

Art Deco style woodwork panel dating from the late-1930s on a doorway pediment, representing a cockerel, hens and chicks symbolising the family inhabiting that house and its domestic peace. Dorobanti area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

The house hosting the exquisite Art Deco panel presented here dates from the late-1930s, displaying a mixture of styles on an Alpine chalet theme, a design popular at that time in countries that came under strong German influence, as was the case of Romania. The Alpine themes in architecture were very much favoured by the German national-socialist government against the Bauhaus and International Modernist styles that flourished before their ascension to power. In Romania that type of design was perceived as originating from a more advanced and prestigious cultural environment and did not have outright political connotations as in Germany. This particular house also contains Neo-Romanian motifs (the doorway awning ornaments, the ethnographic patterns carved on the window pillars, etc.) or even Art Deco, where the most conspicuous element is the panel from the above photograph. I like the cheerfulness and high abstraction of the design and the somehow amusing hint that the man in the house had two female partners (the official wife and the mistress).

A late-1930s Alpine chalet style house embellished with an Art Deco woodwork panel on the doorway pediment representing a cockerel's family. Dorobanti area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.

Bird and Floral Theme Art Deco Panel

A well proportioned bird (peackocks- male and female) and floral theme Art Deco panel adorning the façade of an early 1930s house in Victoriei area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

The panel presented above adorns the same building as another similar design Art Deco style panel, which I posted in June this year, containing an eagle themed representation.

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.

Art Deco panel: Is it a turkey? Is it a peacock?

Bird theme Art Deco panel on the façade of an early 1930s block of flats in the Opera area of Bucharest. (Valentin Mandache)

Is that bird a turkey, a peacock or even a dove? I would incline toward the peacock, taking into account the lush vegetation surounding its fan like tail within the panel field and the associations between the peacock and the Garden of Eden motifs in Romanian decorative arts).

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.

Rich floral theme Bucharest Art Deco panel

A very rich floral theme Art Deco style panel embellishing the street façade of an early 1930s house in the Grivita area of Bucharest, reminding of exotic, luxuriant climates in a country that often has Siberian like winters. (©Valentin Mandache)

***********************************************

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

***********************************************

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.