Edmond van Saanen Algi

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Edmond van Saanen Algi (ca 1 November 1882, Bucharest – 2 May 1938, Bucharest)[1] was a Romanian architect, painter, and stage designer.


He was the author of major architectural works in Bucharest: the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) building (together with Grigore Cerchez (ro) and Arghir Culina (ro)), the Istrate Micescu villa overlooking Cişmigiu Gardens, and Palatul Telefoanelor (together with the American architects Louis Weeks and Walter Froy).[1]

As an artist, he is known for his drawings of famous dancers, such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Isadora Duncan and Anna Pavlova.

Personal life[edit]

Van Saanen-Algi was the son of Robert van Saanen, a founding member of Romania’s National Church, and Louise Bruzzessi. Though the name van Saanen is of Dutch origin, his family had left Hoorn as early as 1710.[2] His grandfather, Pierre Edmond van Saanen (born Smyrna in 1813),[2] had arrived in Wallachia during Gheorghe Bibescu’s reign (between 1843-1848) and had started a dynasty active in business and the arts. His mother's family had been active in the unification of Italy before moving to Bucharest. Edmond's parents divorced and his mother remarried Alexandru Algi (from whom Edmond obtained a longer surname), and not much later Constantin C. Arion, a former foreign affairs minister and a distinguished intellectual. After finishing his studies at the Munich Polytechnicum Edmond went to study for 10 years at the Fine Arts school in Paris.[3]
Van Saanen-Algi married Aurelia Vasiliu-Bolnavu, the daughter of Romanian philanthropist Constantin N. Vasiliu Bolnavu (ro). Later (before 1914), he was married to the New York-born author Marice Rutledge (Maryse Rutledge) who from 1915 to 1918 wrote under the name Marie Louise van Saanen.[4]


  1. ^ a b Edmond van Saanen-Algi in A Century of Romanian Architecture
  2. ^ a b Dutch Emgirants of the 18th Century and Citizenship in Achtentwintig Nederlanders, pp 111-125 (in Dutch)
  3. ^ Christine Leşcu , Eugen Nasta, The Architect Edmond Van Saanen-Algi in Radio România Internaţional Encyclopaedia, 18 July 2015
  4. ^ "M. Algi, painter of motion, sees restless New York", New York Times Magazine, 10 May 1914.