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Maxy - Electric Madonna
Artwork description
Max Hermann Maxy
(Brăila, 1895 – Bucharest, 1971)
Oil on cardboard
70,5 x 46,5 cm
Inv. 8100
Artwork location
Romanian Modern Art Gallery , room 6
Sign language video
Sign language video

Maxy’s Electric Madonna is in fact a portrait of Florentina Ciricleanu, a young actress who, by the mid-1920s, used to attend avant-garde events organised by the Contimporanul magazine. This was most probably how she met artists such as Maxy, Miliţa Pătraşcu, Petre Iorgulescu Yor and Corneliu Michăilescu, for whom she sat as a model during the following decade. The painting is dated 1926, the year Florentina Ciricleanu played in productions of the Bucharest Jewish theatre Barasheum for which Maxy made stage designs.

The picture is nothing short of a genuine geometrical puzzle. An electric colour range sets the painting along some of Maxy’s avant-garde paintings of the 1920s. One of the best known such portrait is that of Tristan Tzara, founding father of the Dada movement. Though to various degrees, both portraits reveal Maxy’s indebtedness to Cubism.

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