About Brâncuși

Constantin Brâncuși was born on February 19th, 1876 in Hobița. His father was Nicolae Radu Brâncuși, a wood carver, and his mother, Maria, was a housewife. Geo Bogza said that "Brâncuși was born in Hobița and will never die."

Some call him "The Titan," others "the father of modern sculpture." Whatever he is called, the brilliant creator, recognized by the entire planet, was born, raised and left Gorj, from the village of Hobița, just 25 kilometers away from Târgu Jiu. Today, his works are sold for tens of millions of euros.

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From the first runaway to the first sculpture

He completed the first two grades of primary school in Peștișani. In the third grade, he carved his name on the wooden bench of the school with a knife. He was punished by the teacher, locked in a coop where he was arrested, he got upset and did not want to go to that school anymore. His mother had to move him to another village, Brădiceni, and there he finished the third and fourth grades.

At the age of nine, he became an orphan and at eleven he ran away from home for the first time. He went to Târgu Jiu where he was hired as a wool painter in a woolen mill.

He did not stay there for long as he was found by his mother, brought back to Hobița and remained there until November, when he ran away for the second time, this time further away, to Slatina so that he could not be found. He stayed there during the winter and worked as a servant in an inn.

After six months, he left for Craiova and was first hired as a dishwasher in the first tavern he came across, the Spirtaru brothers' tavern behind the train station. After two years, he could not take the schedule anymore and found a bigger restaurant, close to the center of Craiova, at Ioan Zamfirescu's tavern.

One evening, at the age of 17, Brâncuși made a bet with the owner and customers that he could sculpt a violin in two weeks. He took a box that contained jam, boiled the wood, sculpted the violin, put the neck from a wooden heart, strings, and even played it. The owner realized that he was a talented boy and since he only had four grades of primary school, he paid for private teachers and took the exams privately to equate an additional three grades.

At 18, he enrolled him in the School of Arts and Trades in the city, the sculpture class. He graduated from school in four years instead of five, with the bust of Vitellius, executed in plaster, the work is exhibited at the Art Museum in Craiova.

After that, he followed the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest and received his first public monument commission, the bust of General Doctor Carol Davila, which is in the courtyard of the Central Military Hospital in Bucharest.

In the same period, he created "Ecorșeu," his first sculpture, which is currently in the Brâncuși Museum in Târgu Jiu.

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The journey from Hobița to Paris

On the way to Paris, he first passed through Hobița, where he said goodbye to his mother. He continued his journey, stopping in Vienna for a while, during which he worked at a workshop as a furniture decorator. In Vienna, he began to visit art museums that were inaccessible in Romania. Here he became familiar with Egyptian sculptures that later influenced his work.

From Vienna, he left in 1904 for Munich, but after six months he set out on foot through Bavaria and Switzerland and as far as Langres, France. Near Lunéville, after a heavy rain in which he was caught, Brâncuși contracted a severe pneumonia and in critical condition, was taken in by a hospital run by nuns. After a period of recovery, he thought he no longer had the strength or time to walk to Paris, so he took the train for the last leg of the journey.

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Role in sculpture

Brâncuși is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. His sculptures stand out for their elegance of form and sensitive use of materials, combining the simplicity of Romanian folk art with the refinement of the Parisian avant-garde. The verticality, horizontality, weight, density and importance given to light and space are the characteristic features of Brâncuși's creations. His work deeply influenced the modern concept of form in sculpture, painting, and drawing.

In his work, he reflected the way of thinking of the Romanian peasant. Through his peasant origins, he found the deep roots of his work in the traditions, myths, and magical function of Romanian folk art. Brâncuși revealed to the Western world the sacred dimension of reality.

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On March 16, 1957, Constantin Brâncuși passed away at 2 am, and on March 19th, he was buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

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