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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Issue no. 3 / 2007  

Authors:  IULIA MESEA.
  Abstract:  Theodor Glatz (1818-1887) – Drawing and Photography. Theodor Glatz was one of the foreign artists that would travel through Europe in the spirit of Romanticism that dominated the first half and the middle of the 19th century. His wandering brought him to Sibiu, where he settled. He was in the middle of a group of artists who, due to important contribution in portrait and landscape, revived the artistic life of Sibiu in the middle of the 19th century. Landscape was Theodor Glatz’s favourite genre. The graphics collection of the Brukenthal Museum comprises a series of drawings made between 1840/1842 during his travels around Budapest, Breslaw and along the Murany Valley. Most of these drawings have notices referring to the time and place of the execution. Thoroughly realized they also confess about the close relationship between the artist and nature. Sometimes he used romantic elements like contorted, rotten trees, huge fallen rocks, tempestuous waters, ruins, old, deserted castles. The human presence is very rare, nature is the only partner of the artists. Glatz’s creation has a more documentary character after he settled in Sibiu. Though he sometimes also worked in oil, most of his creation is realised as before, in graphic techniques. Sibiu and its surroundings offered him many subjects, inside / outside the walls of the old town. When he painted human silhouettes he also made suggestions about the folk costumes, bringing a picturesque atmosphere to the works. Sometimes when drawing urban motifs, his works became exclusively documentary, due to the strict mnemo-technique interest in the subject. The Brukenthal collection also preserves a series of drawings that Glatz executed for the review Illustrierte Zeitung, to illustrate a series of article about Transylvania, written by the historian Anton Kurtz. These drawings come from the collection of the historian Julius Bielz. We already mentioned the passion Glatz had for the exact and correct reproduction of reality. The interest in photography /technique reproduction was a clear consequence. The studies regarding Glatz’s activity in photography are only at the beginning, but we can already affirm, that undoubtedly he was one of the first photographs of our country, most of his activity in the domain being synchronic with the work of Carol Popp de Szatnhmary. His photography atelier is mentioned only in 1855, being probably earlier. The earliest identified photos are two landscapes, one from Brasov (1854), and one from Sibiu (1858). As a photographer who was also a painter Glatz knew how to focus, how to make frames and backgrounds, how to use light. He diversified his subjects very much: landscapes, portraits, genre scenes. After 1959 we do not know any works in oil or graphic techniques, Glatz seems to have decided himself completely for photography. Between 1860-1862 he worked with another photograph a series of photos for the album Siebenbürgischer Trachtenphotographien aus der Hermannstädter und Bistritzer Gegend, exhibited in Sibiu some years later. As a recognition of his important contribution to photography, Glatz obtained a honourable mention at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, in 1867, then in 1869 a prize at Groningen.  
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