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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Issue no. 3 / 2002  

  Abstract:  The Feminine Images in Aman’s Graphic Works. Romanian culture in the 19th century underwent a process of including different trends of western civilisation. A task that proved difficult to achieve due to the “land” between status of the country. In Romanian painting of the second half of the 19th century Theodor Aman represent a good example for this phenomenon. The artist was also an important engraver. He is generally considered an academic artist, but he has produced a considerable number of works that are not strictly speaking academic. Much to the contrary anti-academic schools such as the Barbizon school influence some of his works. In Aman’s graphic works a number of themes and types related to the feminine image are to be noticed. Of them many overlay clichés of the time, sometimes transformed in a personal manner by the artist. The image of the female bourgeois is one of the most frequent to appear. It has been associated in western European culture with that of the home. In Aman’s works the bourgeois image is associated with urban interiors, where women appear more as a decorative element, often lacking individual characters. Two major types can be distinguished: the portrait and the genre scene. Another important type of scenes are those picturing fashionable gatherings. Although a scene that has been very popular in the so-called “bourgeois realism”, Aman ads a personal touch to his works. In these works women become the most important motive in the scene, while men are more likely to be found in the background. The “Orthodox marriage” a motive frequently used by Aman creates an opposition between the Oriental milieu and the European attire of the women and men pictured. Most women of this category are young and their figures idealized. The image of the Oriental costume worn by women, often as cross-dressing constitutes another major category on Amman’s works. The theme appeared frequently in the 19th century both in Romantic and academic painting, often having an erotic connotation. Amman’s works are generally different. A famous painting of his “The Boat on Bosforus” showing himself dressed in a Turkish costume rowing a boat carrying a group of women in oriental attire. It is yet another example of cross-dressing. The women in the boat belong to Bucharest’s high life. The artist creates an image of “western-oriental” women in most of his works. These works are also created in the style of bourgeois realism with romantic echoes. Both categories the bourgeois woman and the “oriental” have much in common in the way Aman deals with these topics. The later having a more erotic content.  
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