|Born||27 February 1903|
|Died||29 October 2005 (aged 102)|
|Education||Dimitrie Paciurea, Joseph Bernard|
|Known for||Sculpting, Sketching|
|Notable work||George Enescu - portrait|
Acad. Prof. Dr. Honoris Causa Ion Irimescu (27 February 1903 – 29 October 2005) was one of Romania's greatest sculptors and sketchers as well as a member of the Romanian Academy. In 2001 he was awarded the Prize of Excellence for Romanian Culture. He is often referred to as the "patriarch of Romanian art and sculpture".
The Romanian artist was the son of Petre Irimescu and Maria Cazaban; he had two brothers: Alexandru and Verona. After the graduation of Primary School No. 1 Fălticeni in 1915, he follows the secondary course at "Nicu Gane" College from the same city (1915-1924), where he takes part in the exhibition of some plays, creating the decorations. Between 1924-1928, he is student at Bucharest National University of Arts, where he was taught by the likes of Dimitrie Paciurea and Oscar Han. While being a student, he painted the "Saints Archangels Michael and Gabriel" Church from Oprişeni, Fălticeni. In 1928, after the graduation of Bucharest National University of Arts, he is named Arts teacher at "Ştefan cel Mare" Normal School, Fălticeni. In 1933, he married Eugenia Augustina Melidon, teacher. He is Arts teacher at the Paşcani Secondary School (1933). In 1936, he is named Arts teacher at the C.F.R. "Aurel Vlaicu" College, Bucharest until 1939, when he becomes Arts and Calligraphy teacher at "Radu Greceanu" Boys College from Slatina.
Works, exhibitions, collections, museums
In 1928, at the graduation of the Academy, he makes his debut at the Bucharest Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, where he displays his work "Eden". In 1929, he participates at the Official Salon of Painting and Sculpture, where he exhibits his works "Nud de fată", and at the French Artists' Salon. In 1930, he goes to Paris after receiving a scholarship from the Fontaney-Aux-Roses Romanian School and he enrolls in Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where he works under the guidance of the teacher Joseph Bernard, being especially influenced by the sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle. In 1932, he gets the Honorary Mention of the French Artists' Society for the work "Autoportret", exhibited at the Spring Salon in Paris. At the Autumn Salon in Paris from the same year he participates with the work "Portret de fată". From 1933, the year in which he comes back to Romania, Ion Irimescu participates in all the organised exhibitions inside and outside the country. In 1940, he is named as teacher at Belle Arte Academy, Iaşi, later (1950) at Cluj-Napoca, and from 1966 he is a sculpture teacher at "Nicolae Grigorescu" Plastic Arts Institute, Bucharest.
In 1942, he participates at Moldavian Official Salon, Iaşi, where he is awarded with the Culture and Arts Ministry prize. In the same year, 1942, he takes part in the Romanian Arts Exhibition, which is part of the biennial events taking place in Venice, with the work "Cap în stil florentin".
In 1956, he participates in the Venice biennial events, where he exhibits in the Romanian Pavilion 15 works and, in 1961, he exhibits at the Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, organised next to Rodin Museum, Paris. He also exhibits his works at Bern, Helsinki, Budapest, Dresden, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Paris, Stockholm, London, Rome, Berlin, Bonn, Istanbul, Ankara, Tel Aviv, Damascus, Cairo, Alexandria.
In 1975, he donates an impressive number of sculptures and drawings to the Fălticeni Museum, with which it is created the "Ion Irimescu" Collection. He is named as in 1978 the president Romanian Plastic Artists' Union, where he activates until 1989.
In 27 February 2003, the Romanian Academy celebrates him with the occasion of his 100th anniversary.
At the end of his life, he retreats to Fălticeni, where he took care of the museum that has half of his works. Ion Irimescu donated his works (approximately 300 sculptures and 1000 drawings) and, as a result, it was created the biggest permanent collection of an author from Romania. One of his works, the statue of Dimitrie Cantemir, is at Ambrosiana Library, Milan, between the statues of Dante and Shakespeare.
Ion Irimescu said that, during one meeting with Nicolae Ceauşescu, he expressed his intention to sculpt a life-size bronze statue of Mihail Sadoveanu, but he did't have enough material to finish his work. To his astonishment, Ceauşescu sent him as a gift the statue of Stalin. Under these circumstances, the statue of Stalin shaped by Dumitru Demu was transformed in the statue of Mihail Sadoveanu, designed carefully by Ion Irimescu.
In 28 October 2005, Ion Irimescu dies and is buried in Oprişeni Cemetery.
- Dimitriu, Eugen (2004). Cazabanii O cronica de familie. Regia Autonomă Monitorul Oficial. p. 52.
- Dimtriu, Eugen (2004). Cazabanii O cronică de familie. Regia Autonomă Monitorul Oficial. p. 56.
- Dimitriu, Eugen (2004). Cazabanii O cronică de familie. Regia Autonomă Monitorul Oficial. p. 57.
- Dimitriu, Eugen (2004). Cazabanii O cronică de familie. Regia Autonomă Monitorul Oficial. p. 58.
- Buzatu, Gh. (2011). Nicolae Ceauşescu-biografii paralele, stenograme, agende, cuvântări secrete, dosare inedite, procesul şi execuţia. Iaşi: TipoMoldova.