Theodor Aman Museum
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In the heart of Bucharest, a few steps away from the Palace Square and the Romanian Athenaeum, a worthwhile stop is the remarkable Theodor Aman Museum that belonged to the Romanian artist Theodor Aman (1831-1891). This house, where Aman lived and had his studio, offers a glimpse into the life and work of the one who is considered the first modern Romanian artist. Moreover, by all content and features, it has a documentary value, being emblematic for the spirit of the founding era of the new Romanian nation state.
After completing his academic studies in Paris, Theodor Aman returned to his country and soon established himself as a talented artist of multivalent expression – painter, sculptor and engraver. He became one of the founders of the first School of Fine Arts in the Romanian Principalities in 1863, where he was also the first teacher and director for 25 years.
The house, whose construction started in 1868, is unique of its kind in Bucharest. Conceived in Neoclassical manner, it draws attention through the unusual exterior ornamentation. The main facade, facing the street, is adorned with a basrelief evoking the classical mythology, as well as statues and effigies of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Everything was made based on the design of Aman himself, who also decorated the walls of the lobby inside the house with historical scenes representing defining battles in Romanian history. All these exterior and interior decorations convey the concern of Theodor Aman to educate his people and instill ideals and moral values. The house embodies the belief of the artist, representative of the artists and cultural elites of his generation, that art can contribute to enlighten and educate the people and to civilization and progress. Thus, Aman Museum is a true testimony of the period of changes and modernization linked to the building of a new nation.
According to the will of Theodor Aman, his house was donated to the state after his death, and became the first residence of an artist to be turned into a museum in the Romanian Principalities.