Camil Ressu (January 28, 1880, Galaţi – April 1, 1962, Bucharest) was a Romanian painter and academic, one of the most significant art figures of Romania.
Born in Galaţi, Ressu originated from an Aromanian family that migrated to Romania from Macedonia at the start of the 19th century. His father, Constantin Ressu, who was a journalist and had studied law in Brussels, was an artist in his spare time. From 1897 to 1899 Camil Ressu studied at the Fine Arts School in Bucharest with Professor G.D. Mirea. He continued his studies at the Fine Arts School in Iaşi, where he studies with painters Gheorghe Popovici and Gheorghe Panaiteanu Bardasare, and finished his studied in Iaşi in 1902, being awarded a silver medal. In 1902, after a visiting tour of the Munich museums, he would go to Paris for studying at the Julian Academy as an apprentice to Jean Paul Laurens.
After coming back to Romania in 1908, he contributed satirical drawings for such publications as "Adevărul", "Furnica", "Facla" and "Cronica". Soon he joined the "Artistic Youth" events, participating in official salons and other group exhibitions in the country or abroad. During his life he had two personal exhibitions in Bucharest (in 1914 and 1955 respectively). In 1917 he was one of the founding members of the "Romanian Art" Society, to include painters Nicolae Dărăscu, Ştefan Dimitrescu, Iosif Iser, Marius Bunescu and the sculptors Dimitrie Paciurea, Cornel Medrea, Ion Jalea and Oscar Han. Also he was on the initiative taken in 1921 for setting up the Romanian Plastic Artists' Trade Union he was to preside over for two years. He founded the Art of Romania association in Iaşi.
He was Professor and Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest so far as 1941. Starting with 1950, he was honorary president of the Plastic Artists' Union, to resume at the same time his academic position as professor at the "N. Grigorescu" Arts Institute. He was awarded in 1955 the People's Artist title, to become one year later a member of the Romanian Academy. Being largely exercised in studies of human body, of landscapes and objects under his eyes, he would, conscious of the drawing and colors performance, dare to innovate the art language while keeping the traditional values intact. His attachment to traditional values was mainly proved by his pictures of the village world seen as an immemorial preserver of those traditions.
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