The National Museum of Art of Romania

The Hidden History of a Symbolic Portrait: Tristan Tzara

Curator: Monica Enache
Romanian Modern Art Gallery – Prints and Drawings Exhibition Room
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 -18.00 hrs.
Last admission: 17.00 hrs.
Free entrance with National Gallery ticket.

Wherever did it disappear, for over 50 years, the portrait of the avant-garde poet Tristan Tzara painted by M.H. Maxy in 1924?
Throughout this period, the portrait lay hidden in plain view, in the collections of The National Museum of Art of Romania, covered by another portrait of the same poet, painted by Maxy after almost 40 years.

An excellent X-ray analysis of the painting, made by the National Institute for Research and Development in Opto-Electronics – „INOE 2000” confirmed the hypothesis of curator Monica Enache: the two artworks are one and the same.

The exhibition investigates the available evidence and documents the process of how the famous painting was (re)discovered. Visitors can study both the portrait of Tristan Tzara and the images of the painting made in raking and fluorescent light, as well as X-rays. Alongside still images, footage of M.H.Maxy’s1965 retrospective exhibition held at the Dalles Hall in Bucharest is also presented. This gives visitors the opportunity to better understand the context in which the portrait was shown to the wider public for the first time after its overpainting by the artist.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first issue of the museum’s new bilingual publication series, ‘Notebooks’ of the Gallery of Romanian Modern Art, dedicated to Maxy’s Portrait of Tristan Tzara.

Curator: Monica Enache
Romanian Modern Art Gallery – Prints and Drawings Exhibition Room
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 -18.00 hrs.
Last admission: 17.00 hrs.
Free entrance with National Gallery ticket.