Nicolae Tonitza

Nicolae Tonitza is yet another famous name in art auctions. Along with Grigorescu, Tonitza’s work features among the most expensive by Romanian painters. Born in the last part of the 19th century, Tonitza was only briefly a contemporary of Grigoescu. By the time Grigorescu died, in 1907, Tonitza was in his university years and had recently started to paint. In 1908, he left for Munich, where he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He then spent the following years in Paris, where he visited artists’ studios, and studied famous paintings. Similarly to Grigorescu, Tonitza too painted Orthodox churches. While being a painter, he was also a newspaper editor, as well as a columnist. Inspired by the Impressionist movement, Tonitza was critical of Grigorescu, back then a trend-setter in Romanian art, and owed much of his style to his predecessor, Ștefan Luchian. Tonitza is known for his child portraits, as well as for potraits of young girls and for his flower paintings. His most expensive painting ever sold in Romania, In the bedroom (Iniatac) sold for EUR 290,000 at a local auction in 2012, which ranked him first among the most expensive Romanian painters in 2012.