Never seen, considered lost or destroyed, a Brâncusi sculpture arrives for the first time in Romania

Considered lost, “Bust of a restaurant patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” was rediscovered in 2023 and will be exhibited on Brancusi Day at Artmark

“Art is a mirror in which everyone sees what they think” Constantin Brâncusi

“Bust of a Restaurant Patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” is “a work that has never been seen, (being) considered lost or destroyed”.

“Bust of a Restaurant Patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” is one of the last works made by the sculptor in the Impressionist manner, under the influence of his then master Auguste Rodin, before he began, in 1907, to carve directly in stone.

“Beauty belongs to no one, it belongs to everyone and everyone gets it according to their abilities.” Constantin Brancusi

The sculpture depicts the portrait of a man, wearing a mustache à la française. Brâncusi's work was known for a long time under the name “Portretul lui MG”, due to a confusion. In reality, it is the portrait of Achille Baldé, a waiter in the cafe where Brâncuși worked, as a dishwasher, in the first year of his arrival in Paris.

The bust also appears in the photographs of Constantin Brâncuși's workshop in Dauphine Square no. 16 from Paris, being reproduced in the most important Brâncusi catalogs, after a photograph kept at the Pompidou Center.

“Bust of a restaurant patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” is considered to be the “link” that connects the Romanian works from before the Parisian era and what would follow, starting from 1907-1908, namely “The Prayer” and “The Courtesy of the Earth,” works that pave the way for his famous modernist-abstracting masterpieces.

“Bust of a restaurant patron (Portrait of Achille Baldé)” by Constantin Brâncusi

“In art what matters is joy. You don't need to understand. You are happy to see!” Constantin Brancusi

Brâncuși National Day this year is marked by a very special event. This sculpture, recently awarded at an international auction in Paris, by a Romanian collector, arrives in Romania for the first time.

Brâncusi's work can be visited exclusively at the Artmark Galleries, starting on Saturday, February 17, at the Cesianu-Racoviță Palace (Str. CA Rosetti no. 5), from 4:00 p.m. The “Brâncuși Exclusiv” exhibition will be open to the public until February 25, and can be visited daily, from Monday to Sunday, between 10:00 and 20:00.

The unveiling event and the first meeting with the public of this work will take place in the presence of the renowned Parisian art historian, Doina Lemny, a researcher specialized in the work of the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși and one of the best-known exegetes of the work of the great artist.

“Brâncusi National Day every year involves an evocation of the personality of the artist who has become a symbol of Romanian creativity. But it rarely happens that we bring to the public's attention a work that has never been seen. This year, Artmark presents a completely new work, considered lost or destroyed – as the artist used to do. It has been represented so far by a single photograph from the collection of the English collector David Grob, which was presented at the Brâncusi exhibition in Timișoara – “Romanian sources and universal perspectives””. said Doina Lemny for Artmark.

On an extraordinary visit to Romania, Doina Lemny will hold, on this special occasion, a conference in which she will detail little-known aspects of the artist's biography, as well as the circumstances of the making of this work considered lost.

“My sculptures must not be respected, but loved. You have to feel like playing with them. Look at my sculptures until you see them” of the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși