(18 March 1909 - 14 January 2008)
Barbu Brezianu was an art historian, poet, short-storywriter and translator, who belong to the Romanian famous 30's Generation of the 20th Century: Mircea Eliade, Eugen Ionesco, Emil Cioran, Mircea Vulcănescu, Constantin Noica, Petru Comarnescu, Ionel Jianu, Eugen Schileru.
He published poems collections Nod ars and Zăvor fermecat, prose volumes Jaf în dragoste and Desferecare, he made an exemplary translation of the Finnish national epic Kalevala, he translated writers and poets like Balzac, Kipling, Molière, Villon, Ronsard, Nodier and others, he wrote monographic studies on main Romanian artits: Karl Storck, Nicolae Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza, he signed chronicles on music and theatre in the inter-war press.
Barbu Brezianu was the most dedicated researcher of Constantin Brâncuși' work. Starting from the 60's press articles about the sculptor's beginnings, his contribution counts over a hundred studies and articles in Romanian and foreigner reviews: Art Journal, Les Lettres Françaises, One, Neue Literatur, Revue Roumaine d’Histoire de l’Art, Studii și cercetări de istoria artei, Arta, Secolul 20, Gazeta literară, Luceafărul, Viața Românească, Ramuri, Familia, Revista Muzeelor, România literară, Contemporanul, Manuscriptum etc.
Brancusi in Romania, the masterpiece of Barbu Brezianu, with its four editions (1974, 1976, awarded by the Romanian Academy, 1998, 2005), is aknowledged as a rigorous and refined historiographic approach, a landmark in the international brancusian exegesis.
His researches were focused upon connections between the Est and the Vest understanding of the universal Brancusi, in times when contrasts seamed to be insuperables on both sides of the iron curtain. His sustained effort was to fill the informational and perspectival gaps, for a closer vision to the truth of the complex Brancusi's work and personality, wich questioned the art concept itself.
The passion and devotion of his approaching to Brancusi's life and art, defending his works of art with the most fine and persuasives writing instruments against forgetfulness, mystification or destruction, speaks about the amplitude of his spiritual adventure that he practiced almost a half of his existence. By his classical scholar profile, the finesse and the amenity of his character, Barbu Brezianu remains a symbol of spiritual resistance in troubled times wich stamped the Romanians history from the last century.
1909 18 March – is born, in Bucharest, Barbu Basile Brezianu, son of Barbu V. Brezianu, magistrate, and of Ioana Brezianu, dauther of the colonel Eftimie Ulescu.
1917-1925 – graduated from the High School ”Spiru Haret” , where he was coleague with Mircea Eliade, Constantin Noica, Arșavir and Haig Acterian, Tiberiu and Corneliu Axentie, Nelu and Alexandru I.Ciorănescu, Grigore Moisil, Mircea Mărculescu and others.
1924-1925 – first chronicles published in ”Filmul” and ”Cinema” magazines, using ”Judex” and ”b.b.b.” as pennames.
1928-1932 - graduated from the Law Faculty of University from Bucharest, following patrilineal of judges.
1928 5-6 April – published poems, alongside Eugen Ionescu and Constantin Noica, in ”Vlăstarul” review, whom editor was Mircea Eliade.
1929 2 March – first appearance with poems in ”Ultima Oră” , newspaper edited by Mihaela Catargi and Petru Comarnescu.
18 March – published collection of poems Nod ars, an anniversary gift from his fellows Ionel Jianu, Petru Comarnescu, Constantin Noica and Arșavir Acterian, book edited by ”Acțiune și reacțiune”, sponsored by the father of the future art critic Ionel Jianu.
1929-1932 – collaboration with Contimporanul review, alongside Marcel Iancu, Ion Vinea, Milița Pătrașcu, Dan Botta, Marcel Avramescu (Jonathan X Uranus), were he published poems and prose, as well as the first lines on Brancusi's sculpture.
1934-1949 - practiced as magistrate, attorney and judge at Courts of Law from Pitești, Turda, București, Budești.
1938 - participated at the competition, launched in 1935 by Institute of International Cooperation near by Nations League for ”the best translation of the Finnish epic Kalevala, translation awarded with the Finnish Order ”White Rose”, with Knight rank.
1941 – war registrar, with sergeant rank, in Martial Court from Odessa.
1942 - published Kalevala, țară de viteji. Epopee națională finlandeză, foreworded by Ion Marin Sadoveanu, Gorjan Publishing House, Bucharest.
1947- as a magistrate he founded by chance the Ioan Andreescu's Schetches Note-Book, published by Ionel Jianu in the art review ”Lumină și Culoare”; in the last issue, from the three of published ones, he reviewed the V.G. Paleolog' book, C.Brâncuși, Maravan edition, 1947.
- published the volume of poems Zăvor fermecat.
1949 – dismissed from the attorney position in Budești, becamed under the new regime accountent in a wire factory, were he worked a little time, before being arested and sended to the Canal, on the yard from Cape Midia.
1953 – with the help from painter Jean Al.Steriadi, friend of his father, he is employed by George Oprescu at the Institute of Art History of the Romanian Academy, on a half norm researcher post; here had coleagues: Ion Frunzetti, also a „purified” of communist system, Radu Bogdan, Remus Niculescu, Theodor Enescu, Mircea Popescu, Amelia Pavel, Petre Oprea and others.
1955 – published monography Karl Storck, State Edition of Literature and Art, Bucharest.
1956 – December - participated with the painter M.H.Maxy, director of the National Musem of Art and the painter Camil Ressu, to the organisation of the first personal Brancusi's Exhibition in Bucharest, with the occasion of the Brancusi's birthday anniversary; exhibition without a catalogue.
1959 – published biographical study Nicolae Grigorescu, edited by Tineretului, Bucharest.
1960 – illustrated with verses Nicolae Tonitza's drawings and published Desenul alfabetului Viu pentru oameni mici și oameni bătrâni, beneficiary of a Tudor Arghezi's foreword.
1964 – the dawnings in the brancusian research: Începuturile lui Brâncuși, în ”Secolul 20”, Les Débuts de Brancusi, în ”Revue Roumaine d’Histoire de l’Art”, (RRHA) nr.1 și Pages inédites de la correspondance de Brancusi, în RRHA, nr.2.
1965 - The Beginnings of Brancusi, în Art Journal, New York, XXV, no. 1.
1967 - published monography Tonitza, The Romanian Academy Publishing House, a major study which consacrated him on the field of art historiography.
- curratorial activity for the first International Colloque Constantin Brâncuși, when among participants were: Carola Giedion Welcker, Sidney Geist, Fr. Teja Bach, Eric Shanes, Jaques Lassaigne, Giulio Carlo Argan, Werner Hoffman, Ionel Jianu – a lot of them were constant correspondants with him over time.
1968 – honored with the prize ”Meritul Cultural” of the Socialist Republic of Romania, for ”special activity in the field of arts”.
- 17 April - 12 August – study and documentation voyage, with the professor's support George Oprescu; he traveled to Austria, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Swiss, Italy și Yugoslavia; mainly researches were at the Brancusi's archivesfrom Paris, Zürich and Venice.
1969 – published in ”Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France” , no. 1, from Paris, the article Le Secret du ”Baiser” de Brancusi.
1970 – June – curratorial activity for Brâncuși's Exhibition held at National Museum of Art, signed the catalogue, edited by State Commision for Culture and Art, foreword by M.H.Maxy.
1972 – October - January 1973 – traveled for documentation in England, invited by The Art Council of Great Britain.
1973 – Sidney Geist, wich represented for him the most important American commentator on Brancusi's works, with which he had a long and beautiful friendship, reflected in a major correspondance, published his book Brancusi, a study of sculpture, Meridiane Publishing House, version translated in Romanian by Barbu Brezianu's son, the writer Andrei Brezianu.
1974 – published the first version of the analitical catalogue Opera lui Constantin Brâncuși în România, the Romanian Academy Publishing House.
- the second edition of Kalevala, with foreword by Șerban Cioculescu.
1976 – participated at the second International Colloque Brancusi in Bucharest, Centenar 1876-1976.
- published the second edition of catalogue, Brâncuși în România, added and revised, With French and English versions, book awarded with the ”Ion Andreescu” Romanian Academy's Prize.
1977 – documentation visit to United States of America, at the New York Museum of Art and the Art Institute from Chicago, city were he met again Mircea Eliade.
1978 – accomplished in collaboration with his wife, Irina Fortunescu, also an art historian, the major volume on N.N. Tonitza's Correspondance, edited by Meridiane.
1981 – invited Isamu Noguchi, the American sculptor with Japan origin, to make a trip in Romania, following his master's traces Brancusi in a pilgrimage to Târgu-Jiu, Hobița, Curțișoara, Hurezi and Craiova, significant occasion for the exchanges between them of memories and opinions about Brancusi, reflected after on a rich correspondence.
1990 – with the beginning of 90's he was actively implied in public debates around the restauration of the ”Endless Column” from the Targu-Jiu Ansamble, taking position everytime against the demolishment.
1993 – published the prose volume Jaf în dragoste, Cavallioti Edition.
1997 – awarded with the the Great Prize of Fine Arts Union for the entire activity.
1998 - published the third edition of Brâncuși în România, with a presentation of Sidney Geist, All Publishing House, Bucharest.
- published prose volume Desferecare, with a foreword by Lucian Boz.
1999 – republished Kalevala, revised edition, foreword by Mikko Heikinheimo, Finnish writer and diplomat
- participated at the Translators Congress in Helsinki, were he was awarded with the ”Finnish Lion” Order, Comandor rank.
- Târgu-Jiu accorded him the title ”Citizen of Honor”.
2000 – awarded with Bucharest City's Prize for the extraordinary presence in the city's cultural life.
2001 – published Arhiva C.Brâncuși. Noguchi, ucenic al lui Brâncuși, foreword by Radu Ionescu, Destin Publishing House, Deva.
- on the occasion of the Brancusi International Year, the Franco-Romanian Association and Ministry of Cultures and Cults declared him „The Man of the Year 2001”.
2005 – Brancusi in Romania is published for the fourth time, English version, Alfa Publishing House.
2006 – National University of Arts from Bucarest accorded him the title Doctor Honoris Causa.
2008 – 14 January – he passed away.
2009 – the writer Andrei Brezianu donated to the „G.Oprescu” Art History Institute a part of his father's library and personal archive.
2010 – 9 December – the „G.Oprescu” Art History Institute organized in his memory Symposium The Living Archive – Around the Donation of Art Historian Barbu Brezianu (1909-2008).