Romania Travel Guide
Arts of Romania
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Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest was opened in 1888
The Romanian literature began to truly evolve with the revolutions of 1848 and the union of the two Danubian Principalities in 1859. The Origin of the Romanians began to be discussed and in Transylvania and Romanian scholars began studying in France, Italy and Germany. The German philosophy and French culture were integrated into modern Romanian literature and a new elite of artists led to the appearance of some of the classics of the Romanian literature such as Mihai Eminescu, George Coşbuc, Ioan Slavici. Although they remain little known outside Romania, they are very appreciated within Romania for giving birth to a true Romanian literature by creating modern lyrics with inspiration from the old folklore tales. Of them, Eminescu is considered the most important and influential Romanian poet, and is still very much loved for his creations, and especially the poem Luceafărul. Among other writers that made large contributions around the second half of 19th century are Mihail Kogălniceanu, Vasile Alecsandri, Nicolae Bălcescu, Ion Luca Caragiale, and Ion Creangă.
The first half of the 20th century is regarded by many Romanian scholars as the Golden Age of Romanian culture and it is the period when it reached its main level of international affirmation and a strong connection to the European cultural trends. The most important artist who had a great influence on the world culture was the sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, a central figure of the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction, the innovator of world sculpture by immersion in the primordial sources of folk creation. His sculptures blend simplicity and sophistication that led the way for modernist sculptors. As a testimony to his skill, one of his pieces, "Bird in Space" , was sold in an auction for $27.5 million in 2005, a record for any sculpture. In the period between the two world wars, authors like Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga, Eugen Lovinescu, Ion Barbu, Liviu Rebreanu made efforts to synchronize Romanian literature with the European literature of the time. From this period comes also George Enescu, probably the best known Romanian musician. He is a composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, teacher, and one of the greatest performers of his time, in whose honor is held the annually in Bucharest, the classical music George Enescu Festival.
After the world wars, communism brought heavy censorship and used the cultural world as a means to better control the population. The freedom of expression was constantly restricted in various ways, but the likes of Gellu Naum, Nichita Stănescu, Marin Sorescu or Marin Preda managed to escape censorship, broke with "socialist realism" and were the leaders of a small "Renaissance" in Romanian literature. While not many of them managed to obtain international acclaim due to the censorship, some like Constantin Noica, Tristan Tzara and Mircea Cărtărescu had their works published abroad even though they got jailed for various political reasons.
Some artists chose to leave the country entirely, and continued to make contributions in exile. Among them Eugen Ionescu, Mircea Eliade and Emil Cioran became renown worldwide for their works. Other literary figures who enjoy acclaim outside of the country include the poet Paul Celan and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, both survivors of the Holocaust. Some famous Romanian artists musicians are the folk artist Tudor Gheorghe, and the virtuoso of the pan flute Gheorghe Zamfir - who is reported to have sold over 120 million albums worldwide.
Romanian cinema has recently achieved worldwide acclaim with the appearance of such films as The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, directed by Cristi Puiu, and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, directed by Cristian Mungiu (Cannes 2007 Palme d'Or winner). The latter, according to Variety, is "further proof of Romania's new prominence in the film world."
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia