Nume: VLASCEANU Mihaela

Tema: Patrimoniul istoric şi artistic din România – Valori ale patrimoniului cultural european

Partener: Academia Română – Filiala Cluj a Academiei Române, Istitutul de Arheologie şi Istoria Artei – Academia Germană pentru protecţia monumentelor, Görlitz

Proiect: European values of Baroque art from Banat (cultural exploitation of the heritage)

Date de contact


Mihaela Vlăsceanu completed her studies in History and English Language and Literature at the University of the West, Faculty of Letters, Philosophy and History from Timişoara where she teaches since 1995 mainly two topics related to European and Romanian art for undergraduate and graduate students, while at the same time acts as researcher of the art from Banat. She has received her Ph.D degree in 2004 from Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj with a thesis on Baroque Sculpture from Banat supervised by Academician Marius Porumb. Her main scientific interests and subjects of research in recent years are in connection with the Baroque European Art History, and published studies revealing different aspects of the style found in Banat such as: Baroque Sculpture from Banat, Excelsior Art Publishing House, 2005, 239 pages + illustration, ISBN 973-592-130-8, M. Vlăsceanu, Considerations in regard of the Catholic Cathedral side altars sculpture from Timişoara, in ARS TRANSSILVANIAE, Academy Publishing House, no. IX, 2000-2001, p.159-164.and other contributions concerning the art of this area in collaboration: M. Vlăsceanu, Petru Bona, Lucian episcopul Caransebeşului, St. George Martyr Cathedral from Caransebeş, Mirton Publishing House,Timişoara, 2007, (148 pages + illustrations) ISBN 978-973-631-370-7, The Birth of John the Baptizer Church from Caransebeş, Brumar Publishing House, Timişoara, 2008, 100 pages +illustrations, ISBN 978-973-602-340-8 or teaching support materials such as: M. Vlăsceanu, Ellements of European Art History. A Notebook, Aura Publishing House, Timişoara, 2002, 113 pages. ISBN 973-86014-1-X

European values of Baroque art from Banat (cultural exploitation of the heritage)

The title proposed for the project: European values of Baroque art from Banat (cultural exploitation of the heritage), is aimed to follow particular aspects of the Central European style, that developed in the border province of Banat as a local variant of that style. The research will extend to the territory of what use to be the province of Banat (area naturally delimitated by the Mureş river at North, Tisa at East and the Danube at South) before1919, when a consistent part became territory of the Serbian Croatian Kingdom, taking into consideration that previous studies never extended to this area, reevaluating local, particular aspects of the art, and bringing up to date information on the matter.

The research is scheduled to follow methodological setups of the domain, mainly a documenting phase, consecrated to the acquirement of information (written and published sources) found in the national local archives from the Timiş County, Serbia, Hungary, archives of the parochial churches, bishopric centers archives and libraries.

Secondly, the stage dedicated to the analysis of the material gathered in these places, will concentrate on underlining the particular aspects that make the style found in Banat, a natural continuation of the European style.

In the Baroque art from Banat we can observe the rigor of the Austrian academism, towards which one should take into consideration the following ideological aspects: the relation existing between the model and its representation, knowing that the life of forms is the most complex phenomenon in art history, from an architectural program where we can see forms imposed as models (even the settlements were arranged according to the Shackbrettdorf model), endowed with churches having a standard planimetry, or typology, elaborated by special workshops where imperial architects and engineers worked. The ornamentics is another manifestation of the form, the rhetorical gestures of the saints martyrs involved in the Baroque iconography like: Sebastian, Carlo Borromeo, Rocchus and Nepomuk, with their special iconography and iconology adapted to the ideology of the period, performing in sacred church interiors developed according to the new scenography, where the interior of a church became a stage, the decoration being done in order to impress by means of devotional acts, the so called theatrum sacrum processions so familiar to the 18th Century people.

The Baroque stage is not found only in the interiors of the Catholique church but the stage is set in the 18th Century every day life setting, which is created and redefined according to requirements. By studying ornamentics, one can observe the abstractization capacity of the art, a reflection of the imaginary world of forms, thus with the study of iconography and iconology we may bring inputs of scientific value to the study.

The morphological analisis of the Baroque art from Banat would not be valued if we were to present only the most important characteristics, for a better illustration the totality of forms specific to this age animated by persuasion, reevaluation of the antique carpe diem, Memento mori, as daily presences of human life can be traced in the art of the province.

Stylistically connections with central European centers, in particular with the Austrian area must be pointed out, as the style that evolved in Banat is different in style and manner than the initial artistic model, comparison required to underline European origins of all artistic manifestations from Banat.

A special attention will be dedicated to artists, artisans, form circulation, model copybooks, historical engravings, subjects approached for a better underlinement of a valuable image in which the Baroque had an important involvement. The relation between Baroque and the human nature of Banat people found under constant threats of different nature: wars, pest, famine, can establish spiritual ethnographies for this area in connection with the general European phenomenon.

The fact that in Banat we encounter multiconfessional entities configured this space accordingly, each one having a strong identity. Evidentiating these interferences are required for a better understanding of the local specificity, the Romanian community managing to integrate itself in the European community by keeping alive traditional aspects. The Baroque style became in Banat a bonding factor, in a society united by the modernity phenomenon initiated with the conquest of the province in 1716, by the Habsburg Empire. What happened was a polarization of sentiments manifested in different aspects in regard to the attachment to the Catholic Austrian world, in the way this area aligned at the European life style, a proof of this being the radical transformation of the province that followed immediately after the conquest.

The baroque as a style created an unity in diversity as one may express, throughout the multiplicity of its multicultural aspects setting the stage for future contacts, influence penetration, even establishing dialogue between two worlds separated by hundred of years of evolution, the province of Banat being situated at crossroads between Orient and Occident.