Constantin Brâncuşi

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Constantin Brâncuşi (Romanian pronunciation: [konstanˈtin brɨnˈkuʃʲ]; February 19, 1876 – March 16, 1957) was an internationally renowned Romanian sculptor whose works, which blend simplicity and sophistication, led the way for numerous modernist sculptors.


Early years

Brâncuşi grew up in the village of Hobiţa Romania, Gorj, near Târgu Jiu, near Romania's Carpathian Mountains, an area known for its rich tradition of folk crafts, particularly woodcarving. Geometric patterns of the region are seen in his later works.

Parents Nicolae and Maria Brâncuşi, were poor peasants who earned a meager living through back-breaking labor, and from the age of seven he herded the family's flock of sheep. He showed remarkable talent for carving objects out of wood. Strong-willed and determined, he often ran away from home to escape the bullying of his father and older brothers.

At the age of nine, Brâncuşi left the village to work in the nearest large town. At 13 he went to Craiova, where he worked at a grocery store for several years. When he was 18, impressed by Brâncuşi's talent for carving, his employer financed his education at the School of Crafts(Scoala de meserii) in Craiova, where he pursued his love for woodworking, graduating with honors in 1898.[1]

He then enrolled in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, where he received academic training in sculpture. He worked hard, and quickly distinguished himself as talented. One of his earliest surviving works, under the guidance of his anatomy teacher, Dimitrie Gerota, is a masterfully rendered écorché (statue of a man with skin removed to reveal the muscles underneath) which was exhibited at the Romanian Athenaeum in 1903.[2] Though just an anatomical study, it foreshadowed the sculptor's later efforts to reveal essence rather than merely copy outward appearance.

Working in Paris

In 1903 Brâncuşi traveled to Munich, and from there to Paris. In Paris, he was welcomed by the community of artists and intellectuals brimming with new ideas.[3] He worked for two years in the workshop of Antonin Mercié of the École des Beaux-Arts, and was invited to enter the workshop of Auguste Rodin. Even though he admired the eminent Rodin he left the Rodin studio after only two months, saying, "Nothing can grow under big trees."[1]

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