National Landscape and Agrarianism in the Romanian Painting at the End of the Nineteenth and in the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Studies about the cultural meanings of landscape paintings demonstrate that in the key nation-building centuries nature was attributed symbolic functions in the process of imagining a common and unified territory of the nation. Based on the assumption that nations are, not only „imagined communities" but also in a continuous process of changing, being the product of „various groups, social movements, cultural needs, intellectuals and individual artists", the different ways in which the Romanian painters depicted the rural landscape, at the end of the nineteenth and in the first decades of the twentieth century, offer the possibility to understand their specific contribution to the creation of a „predominantly rural" Romanian model. The present study focuses on the interaction between the cultural and ideological Romanian agrarian currents of thought, that emphasized the central value of the rural civilization for the Romanian nation, and the painterly production and discourse at the end of the nineteenth and in the beginning of the twentieth century. It emphasizes the changes occurred in landscape paintings showing the national geography under the influence of artistic as well as political, ideological, cultural and nationalist ideas.
Key-words: Romanian national landscape, agrarianism, cultural nationalism.