“A stellar encounter: Dimitrie Gerota-Constantin Brancusi. The story of Ecorche”, volume launched by Prof. Irinel Popescu

Two of the great Romanian personalities who lived at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the doctor Dimitrie Gerota and the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, were evoked on Wednesday evening at the National Museum of Art in Timisoara (MNArT) on the occasion of the launch of the volume “A stellar encounter: Dimitrie Gerota – Constantin Brancusi. The story of Ecorche,” coordinated by Prof. Dr. Irinel Popescu.

“It is an auspicious event, because we can present the launch of a book by Prof. Irinel Popescu as part of the exhibition ‘Brancusi: Romanian sources and universal perspectives’ (displayed at the MNArT from 30 September 2023 to 28 January 2024 – editor’s note). The publication of this volume, which he has been very keen on, seems to me a nice coincidence. The book contains a collection of texts by doctors, anatomists, medical specialists and the sculptor Elena (Bobi) Dumitrescu, all of which relate to the ecorche,” Doina Lemny, art historian and exegete of Brancusi’s work, former researcher at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, told AGERPRES.

“Ecorche” is the work that opens the exhibition space “Brancusi: Romanian sources and universal perspectives” in the MNArT and represents the surprise of the exhibition.

According to Doina Lemny, Brancusi’s “Ecorche” is very important as it shows the sculptor’s solid training at the National School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, which was preceded by his training at the School of Arts and Crafts in southern city of Craiova. For Romania, it is a source of pride that at that time we had a school of fine arts taught by specialists trained in Germany and France, and Brancusi attended this school, she added.

Prof. Irinel Popescu pointed out that the “Ecorche” is a work of youth of Constantin Brancusi, the inscription of whom on both the horizontal plane and on the vertical front of the base reads: Worked after nature by Prof. Dr. D. Gerota and Brancusi 1902.

“Being part of the Romanian surgical corps, my presence is justified by the fact that Dimitrie Gerota was one of Romania’s great surgeons and anatomists and was Constantin Brancusi’s professor of artistic anatomy at the National School of Fine Arts. This work is science and art. It is also an opportunity to promote Romania’s image, which had a very solid medical and artistic education at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, which knew how to promote its values, some of which had universal resonance. It is a stellar encounter, because it is very hard to believe that two personalities with universal impact could meet and create such a work together,” said Prof. Irinel Popescu.

Made by student Constantin Brancusi at the National School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, “Ecorche” was begun in 1901 under the guidance of anatomist Dimitrie Gerota and was completed in 1902 as the graduation piece.