The National Museum of Art of Romania
Baba - The Chess Player
Artwork description
Corneliu Baba
(Craiova, 1906 - Bucharest, 1997)
Oil on canvas
100,8 cm x 93 cm
Artwork location
Romanian Modern Art Gallery, room 11

Corneliu Baba chose The Chess Player to make his debut at the official 1948 Bucharest Art Salon.

In the corner of the artist’s studio a man in his 50s sits bent over a chess board, his hands resting on his knees. From his attitude and posture we can tell he is deeply engrossed in the move underway, most likely a black knight’s attack over a white pawn. These are two of the seven pieces we can see on the board. The close-range, steep angle view is particularly intriguing: the painter (Baba was a tall, well-built man) is also the invisible partner in this chess game. He alone can run the narrow line between inside and outside, between an active player and an attentive observer.

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