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Museum of Sculpture “Ion Jalea”, ConstanțaCod 1148

MUSEUM OF SCULPTURE “ION JALEA” is located in the historical area of the city.

The institution is housed into a beautiful building built during the early twentieth century in Brâncoveanu style. Inside the museum are exposed over 200 beautiful works donated by the great sculptor in 1969 and by his family in 1984, after his death.

The sculptor Ion Jalea was born on 19 May 1887 in the village from Tulcea, Casimcea. Later, his parents moved to a village near Constanţa (Ciorcârlia de Jos), when the future sculptor links his destiny forever to the seaside town. In 1889 Ion Jalea begins taking classes at the Gymnasium secondary school for boys “Mircea cel Bãtrân”.

It is the period when he discovers his talent for fine arts under the guidance of one of the most famous painters from Constanţa of that time. Supported by Constanţa City Hall, which grants him a scholarship, Ion Jalea continues his studies in Bucharest, deepening fine arts. He takes his university studies in Paris, where he has as mentors some of the famous masters in fine arts. Once with the entry of Romania into the war, Jalea, who at the time was 30 years old, returns to his birthplace where he enlists in the army. A year later, the sculptor is seriously injured and, by a twist of fate, loses his left hand.

However, his passion for sculpture managed to overcome the limitations imposed by his infirmity and the sculptor continues to “shape” his works with one hand.

Throughout his career, Ion Jalea approached very different thematic areas. His sculptures embody allegorical scenes, mythological, frontline sketches, popular legends, figures of peasants, nudes, portraits, etc. Christianity was one of the favorite themes of the sculptor from Dobrudja. Evangelists, statues of Saints Peter and Paul and the portrait of St. Pantelimon are just some of the works with religious topic which can be admired in the museum from Constanţa. Also, another powerful source of inspiration came from his origins, based on the rural life. This thematic area includes the works “Plowing”, “People carrying bags,” “On the plug”, “Peasant Woman with pumpkins,” “Woman with ear”. The sculptor was not limited to materials, his works being crafted in bronze, plaster, marble and other types of natural stone.

In 1968 Ion Jalea donates to Art Museum from Constanţa 108 of his significant works. A small part of them was exhibited in the main building of the museum, the rest of works can be admired in the hall of the Sculpture Museum Ion Jalea.

The works exhibited in the two museums from Constanţa include  self-portraits of the artist,  portraits of his parents and of his two daughters, the portrait of the writer Liviu Rebreanu and a Madona head of rare value.

In the basement of the museum named after the artist is another work of  an impressing beauty and significance: a statue with a height of 3-4 meters which depicts Queen Elizabeth.

Ion Jalea died in 1983 in Bucharest, at the age of 96 years.

After the death of the artist, his family donated to the museum from Constanţa some of his works.

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