Exhibition of sacred icons painted on ostrich eggs
April 15 – May 9, 2021, „Tancred Bănăţeanu” Hall
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant is waiting for you on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 17.00, at the opening of the exhibition of sacred icons decorated on ostrich eggs, During Easter, which will take place at the “Tancred Bănăţeanu” Hall.
By exhibiting the author’s collection, 60 sacred icons decorated on ostrich eggs made by Mariana Andone-Rotaru, in thematic association with sacred icons painted on glass from the collections of the Peasant Museum, we will present to the general public a unique approach to the Easter Egg, mediated by dialogue between two types of exhibits.
Mariana Andone-Rotaru is an archaeologist, museum keeper for over 15 years, a doctor of history specializing in the Roman era, being captivated by everything that is old, beautiful, and touched by the patina of time. Concerned with traditional art and crafts, Mariana Andone-Rotaru realized, in 2020, the project Icons decorated on ostrich eggs after old Transylvanian sources (XVIII-XIX centuries) – a harmonious amalgam between creation and experiment, between original and traditional crafts. She found balance by experimenting with a unique way of decorating Easter eggs, by transposing and reinterpreting on ostrich eggs the icons once painted on glass in Transylvania, taking into account the iconographic canons and the rigors of the decoration technique.
A new technique for decorating Easter eggs
The unique icons are inspired by old Transylvanian springs painted on glass and reinterpreted on ostrich eggs by „writing” with wax and successive colored baths. For the creation of these unique icons, heritage pieces (sources/models) were used, kept in different museum collections or private collections, coming from the following production centers: Nicula, the so-called Iernuțeni (reassigned Nicula), Northern Transylvania; Șcheii Brașovului; Făgăraș / Țara Oltului, Savu Moga, Matei Țâmforea, Petru Tămaș, Ana Deji.
For each spring, the right egg was carefully selected, and the design was made with melted beeswax with the help of a traditional quill. In most cases, the ovoid circumference was divided into two surfaces, the iconographic theme being framed on one of them. The border on the excerpt (belt with the twisted rope motif – Nicula, flower belt – Șcheii Brașovului or geometric motifs rendered with gold – Țara Făgărașului) closes the composition, having the role of delimiting the sacred space from the profane one. The decoration on the opposite side of the icon is a unique creation, harmoniously developed in its own compositions, starting from the elements of the field represented: stylized angels, flowers, leaves, flower vines that sometimes culminated in a lush decoration on a gold background. (eg the so-called Iernuțeni). Where the theme allowed, the representation of the scene was used on two-thirds (the Nativity) or on the entire ovoid surface (Saint George killing the dragon). The painting was done by successive color baths, being protected with wax. As can be noticed, the colors and the treatment of the drawing followed the stylistic particularities specific to the glass painting schools represented. The gilded elements were rendered with 24 k gold foil and silver foil, patinated with propolis.
The collection of 60 icons decorated with ostrich eggs illustrates the main iconographic themes specific to glass painting, as follows: Representation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity (Jesus Pantocrator, Jesus with the vine, Holy Trinity); Representation of the Mother of God (Mother of God with the Infant (Hodighitria), Mother of God Sorrowful (Poor), Coronation of the Virgin); Representation of royal feasts, feasts of the Mother of God (Birth of the Mother of God), Repentance (Bringing the Mother of God to the Temple), Annunciation, Nativity of the Lord, Circumcision of the Lord), Abstraction (Bringing the Lord to the Temple), Baptism of the Lord, Resurrection of the Lord); Representation of themes from Lent and Passion Week (The Last Supper, The Crucifixion of the Lord, The Lord’s Supper); Representations of the saints (the Table of Heaven, the Holy Pious Paraschiva, the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, the Holy Archangel Michael, the Holy Hierarch Nicholas, the Holy Martyr Haralambie, the Holy Great Martyr George, the Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul II).
The exhibition can be visited at „Tancred Bănăţeanu” Hall, until May 9, 2021, from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 and 18.00. It is closed on Monday.
Entrance ticket price: adults – 8 lei; pensioners – 4 lei; pupils and students, holders of the Euro 26 card, up to 30 years old, adults with medium or mild disabilities – 2 lei. Tickets can also be purchased online HERE.