Greatest Romanians Of All Time (2)

Greatest Romanians - Page 2

This series of posts about the most important Romanians of all time does not have a predetermined and limited number of people. We are eagerly looking forward your proposals! It will not be a ranking, but rather a gallery of great personalities of Romania, whether they are known or unknown.They will not be presented in a certain order, by domain, importance or other criteria, but in a random way.

5. Mariana Nicolesco (1933 – present)

Greatest Romanins - 5

World-famous soprano Mariana Nicolesco

  • Nationality: Romanian
  • Ethnicity/Origins: Romanian
  • Short presentation:
  • Fields: Music, Theatre, Philanthropy
  • Notoriety level: international
  • Achievements:
♦ one of the world’s greatest sopranos of the 20th century;
As a supreme recognition of such prodigious accomplishments, at the 2012 Gala of the Laureates of the Hariclea Darclée International Voice Competition, the wellknown Italian opera stage director Flavio Trevisan offered the celebrated soprano the tiara beard by Darclée in 1900 at the world premiere of Puccini’s Tosca and then by Callas in 1954, saying in the ovations and tears of the public: “Nothing more legitimate that this crown which belonged once to Queen Hariclea Darclée, then to Queen Maria Callas, goes now to Queen Mariana Nicolesco“.
 Invited by Pope John Paul II, she sung Romanian carols in the First Christmas Concert in the Vatican (1993) which was followed through Mondovisione by one billion people. She performed the soprano part, composed for her voice, in the world premiere, in 1997, of Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Seven Gates of Jerusalem”, presented for the three thousand years of the Holy City.
♦  the soprano who appeared in the greatest number of absolute premieres at La Scala in the history of this world-renowned opera house located in Milan, Italy (in more than two centuries). (source)
♦ Mariana Nicolesco founded one of the most important opera competitions in the world, the Hariclea Darclée International Voice Competition and Festival at Brăila. (source 1, 2)
  • Admirers:

 Pope John Paul II

Andy Warhol (world-famous American artist)

Salvador Dalí (prominent Spanish surrealist painter)

♦ Yehudi Menuhin (renowned American violonist)

6. Renée Perle (unknown – 1977)

Greatest Romanians - 6

Romanian beauty icon Renée Perle

  • Nationality: Romanian
  • Ethnicity/Origins: Jewish
  • Fields: Modelling and Fashion
  • Notoriety level: international
  • Achievements:
♦ one of the greatest beauty icons of the 20th century (source 12, 3, 4)
 one of the most famous muses in art history (source)
 the first and the most famous muse of the French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), who is considered one of the leading photographers of the 20th century (source) “Around her,” Lartigue wrote, “I see a halo of magic.”

Read more about Renée’s influence on today’s fashion here.

  • Admirers:

♦ Jacques Henri Lartigue (French photographer and painter)

♦ John Galliano (Gibraltar-British fashion designer, head designer of Givenchy and Christian Dior)

7. Evanghelie Zappa (1800 – 1865)

Greatest Romanians - 7

Evanghelie Zappa, the Greek and Romanian benefactor who was one of the most active promoters of the revival of the Olympic Games

  • Nationality: Greek and Romanian
  • Ethnicity/Origins: half Greek, from his father’s side, and half Romanian (Aromanian), from his mother’s side
  • Short presentation: He is known in both Greece and Romania as a national benefactor, thanks to the foundation of several institutions and schools as well as sports and exhibition facilities.
  • Fields: Sports, Politics, Philanthropy
  • Notoriety level: international
  • Achievements:
♦ Zappa sponsored the first Olympic Games in 1859, which was held in an Athens city square (source)
♦ one of the most active promoters of the revival of the Olympic Games (source)
♦ the only major sponsor of the modern Olympic Games revival of the 19th century (source)
♦ one of the biggest sponsors for the development of Romanian culture in history (source)
♦ one of the richest men of Southeastern Europe in the 19th century (source)
  • Admirers:

 Pierre de Coubertin (French educator and historian, and founder of the International Olympic Committee)

♦ Otto, King of Greece (the first modern King of Greece)

♦ Prince Alexander John Cuza, Ruler of the Romanian United Principalities (one of the most important figures in the history of Romania)

  • Quote about Romania or the Romanians:
I loved and I still love the Greeks, I respected and still respect them. Not less than I love and respect the Romanians, whose land I adopted as my second Mother Country and I chose the shadow of its traditions to live under.

8. Theodor Aman (1831 – 1891)

Greatest Romanians - 8

Autoportret of Theodor Aman

  • Nationality: Romanian
  • Ethnicity/Origins: Armenian (and probably Romanian)
  • Short presentation: Theodor Aman was a Romanian patriot, teacher, academician and painter, whose style is often considered to be a predecessor of Impressionism.
  • Fields: Painting
  • Notoriety level: national
  • Achievements:
♦ one of the greatest Romanian painters of the nineteenth century
♦ the first modern artist in the history of the Romanian fine arts (sources 1, 2)
♦ the first major Romanian painter, being a part of same distinguished family as Whistler, Corot and Pissarro (source)
♦ Aman founded the first schools of fine arts in Romania, in Iași and Bucharest.
♦ Theodor Aman is considered the greatest Romanian portrait painter ever, making historical portraits (the famous portrait of Tudor Vladimirescu), portraits of political figures of his time, of family members and of a whole series of faces whose identity has been lost over time. (sources 1, 2, 3)
 Theodor Aman was tasked with drawing the crown and scepter of the first king of Romania.
The steel crown was first used by Carol I during the proclamation of the Kingdom of Romania on May 10, 1881. The crown designed by Theodor Aman had been for nearly a century on the coat of arms of Romania. (source)

The Steel Crown designed by Theodor Aman

Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Romania

  • Admirers:

♦ Prince Alexander John Cuza, Ruler of the Romanian United Principalities (one of the most important figures in the history of Romania)

♦ François-Édouard Picot (French painter)

♦ Carol I, King of the Romanians

  • Quote about Romania:
The artist must belong to his country.
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