Places of interestThursday 12 April 2018

The face of one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world.

Gheorghe Leonida - the Romanian sculptor who gave the face of the symbol of Brazil.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

After he graduated the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, the sculpture section, and after three years of study in Rome, Gheorghe Leonida received the first prizes for his artistic talent.

Works such as "Reveil" in Rome and "Le Diable" in Paris are just the beginning of an artistic journey crowned with success.

The fate brings together, in Paris, Gheorghe Leonida and Paul Landowski, a French sculptor of Polish origin, when the last one was ordered to create the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer. The ingenuity with which the artist could achieve the expressiveness of the faces he carved justified the choice of the Polish artist to prefer Leonida over the others to create the face of Christ the Redeemer.

For the construction of the statue were committed artists from around the world and lasts for nine long years, but the most important task was given to Gheorghe Leonida, and that was to create the face of Christ with the features recognizable worldwide.

According to art critic Pavel Şuşară, the artistic style of the sculptor was strongly reshaped by techniques used by August Rodin. More exactly, the style of the Romanian sculptor is enrolled in the ''expressiveness of the stylistic Impressionism."

The statue of the Corcovado Mountain is considered to be the tallest statue in the Art Deco-style sculpture and among the existing statues of Christ is considered the fifth largest in the world.

And beyond the statue from Rio de Janeiro, Gheorghe Leonida has made various statues for the Royal Family of Romania, being much appreciated by Queen Mary and her family. Unfortunately, this success was followed by a total removal of his fame during the communism.

Gheorghe Leonida’s works are exhibited at the Bran Castle and the National Museum of Art in Bucharest but also in other important museums of Bucharest.  

D.K.

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