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George Matei Cantacuzino

Bucharest, Romania
1 of 2G.M. Cantacuzino at the opening of its latest exhibition in Bucharest, October 3, 1956 (Archives Marie-Lyse Cantacuzino-Ruhemann and Sherban Cantacuzino, London)

George Matei Cantacuzino (1899, Vienna -1960, Iasi) was a complex personality, at the same time an artist, architect, writer, painter, philosopher and university professor. Through his paternal and maternal paths, and later on his wife, he was associated with a number of outstanding personalities such as Martha Bibescu, Prince Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbey, Nicolae Ghika-Budesti and the painters Theodor Pallady, Puvis de Chavannes and Theodore Chasseriau. He designed some of the most significant edifices of the day - the Chrissoveloni Bank in Bucharest, the Kretzulescu blocks in Amzei Square, and gathered the restoration project of the Mogosoaia Palace. He also published numerous theoretical works, including "Introduction to the Study of Architecture" (1926), "Arcades, Fiddles, Lespezi" (1932) and "About Aesthetics of Reconstruction" (1947). The Communist regime sentenced him to hard labor between 1948 and 1953 and was forbidden to leave the country after he was released. In 1956, a painting exhibition G.M.Cantacuzino was opened in the exhibition hall of Herastrau Park, with 150 paintings. In the opening speech, Tudor Arghezi said: "Before I was dared to go out in public with such marks on a paper, I came to see what could have come to fruition after so many years of pallet silence, the architect , and I left his paintings, concentrated as sonnets, cleaner and younger. Each of the colorful poems around us captures sensibilities and speaks, like whispers, the charm of the Romanian earth. " The exhibition gathered so many people that suspicious authorities closed it after a few days. G.M. Cantacuzino died in Iasi, Romania in 1960.

Bucharest, Romania
lchiselef, January 23rd, 2018