Painter & Iconographer

Elena Murariu was born on the 29th of June 1963, in Zvoristea, Suceava district, Romania. She began to study fine arts at the age of 10 at the School of Music and Fine Arts in Botosani. She continued her studies at the High-School of Music and Fine Arts “Octav Băncilă” in Iaşi. In 1987, she graduated the Institute for Fine Arts “Nicolae Grigorescu” (actually the National University of Arts) in Bucharest, section of Monumental Art – Restoration, led by prof.univ. Ion Stendl, prof.univ. Dan Mohanu.

In 1990, she participated with graphics works at the Romanian Artist Union Fellowship Exhibition and, also in 1990, she achieves her first personal exhibition at ”Vasile Pârvan” museum in Bârlad.

After a decade in which she dedicates herself to the mural painting restoration of important historic monuments, beginning from 2001, she constantly participated to group or personal exhibitions with icons on wood and graphics on religious topics. Her works are inherently influenced by the direct contact with the art of mural painting masters whose frescoes she was restoring, as well as the profound roots of Romanian and Byzantine faith and culture.

The artist has had numerous national and international exhibitions, becoming a well-known ambassador of Romanian orthodox art of icon. Thus, she organized personal exhibitions or attended group exhibitions in Romania - Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Suceava, Barlad, Otopeni, Arad, Ploiesti, Slobozia, Craiova, in Europe - Athens, Dion, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Prague, Venice, St. Petersburg, Rome, Kiev, Belgrade and also in the US - New York.

Her paintings are considered to be full of originality and represent a new approach in the field of contemporary Byzantine art. Among her achievements there is the iconostasis of the church of former Cotroceni Monastery, dedicated to the “Dormition of Mother of God” (August 15) and to Saints Serghie and Vah (October 7), as a replica of the original iconostasis that is preserved at the National Art Museum of Romania.

Education and Certification

1973-1977

1977-1981

1983-1987

1994-1995

1999-present

2000-2012

2012-present

Music and Arts High-school of Botoșani (5th to 8th grade)

Music and Arts High-school "Octav Băncilă" of Botoșani (9th to 12th grade)

the National University of Arts in Bucharest, section of Monumental Art - Restoration, led by Prof Ion Stendl and Prof Dan Mohanu.

Mural Painting Conservation - ICCROM, Rome, Italy

Member of the National Artists Union of Romania

Painting Restorer Specialist - Certified by the Ministry of Culture of Romania

Painting Restorer Expert - Certified by the Ministry of Culture of Romania

Awards (selection)

1989

"Young Graduates Scholarship" awarded by the National Artists Union of Romania, Bucharest, Romania (for work of graphics)

2001

"The prayer of the cut wood" ,  Bancorex Galley, awarded The Great Prize, Bucharest, Romania (icon contest)

2001

2004

2006

2008

2010

2010

2014

2014

2014

2016

2018

"Best poster award", XVII CIPA Symposium, Postdam, Germany

Prize for Sacred Art of 2003, awarded by the Artists Union of Romania , Bucharest

Prize for Sacred Art of 2005, awarded by the Artists Union of Romania , Bucharest

Prize for restoration of historical monuments - mural painting 2007, awarded by the Ministry of Culture of Romania , Bucharest

Excellence Diploma awarded by the Institute of Heritage of Romania for the restoration works of the church "Intrarea Domnului în Biserică", Vioresti, Slatioara, Valcea County, Romania

Medal Holy Antim the Iberian, awarded by the Archdiocese of Ramnic for the restoration works of the church "Intrarea Domnului în Biserică", Vioresti, Slatioara, Valcea County, Romania

Homage Diploma "Sfintii Martiri Brancoveni", awarded by the Patriarchate of Romania, Bucharest, Romania

The Grand Prize, awarded by the "Niste tarani" Foundation, Horezu, Romania

Homage Diploma and Medal "Sf. Ioan Gura de Aur", awarded by the Patriarchate of Romania, Bucharest, Cotroceni Church

"Arc peste timp" Excellence Diploma, awarded by the "Niste tarani" Foundation, Horezu, Romania

Homage Diploma and Medal "Anul comemorativ al fauritorilor marii uniri", awarded by the Patriarchate of Romania, Bucharest, Cotroceni Church

Exhibitions - Personal (selection)

2019

2019

2019

2018

2017

2017

2017

2016

2016

2015

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2014

2013

2010

2009

2007

2006

2004

2003

1990

The Youth Sacrifice from December 1989 (Faculty of Theology, Bucharest, Romania)

Martyrs (Libraria Bizantina, Bucharest, Romania)

Fir Trees ("Anastasia Popescu" High School, Bucharest, Romania)

Prodigal Son - Chants of Holy Triode (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania)

The Fountain from Heavens (National Museum of Bukovina, Suceava, Romania)

Together with Avva Sisoe (Libraria Sophia, Bucharest, Romania)

 Ascension of Copper Snake (Libraria Bizantina, Bucharest, Romania) 

Over the tree Tops ("Anastasia Popescu" High School, Bucharest, Romania)

Over Carpathians and Olympus (Mediteranean Center of Mosaic, Dion, Greece)

Fir Tree (National Village Museum „Dimitrie Gusti”, Bucharest, Romania)

Martyrium (San Pau del Camp Cathedral, Barcelona, Spain)

Brancovan Roots (Golia Tower, Iasi, Romania)

Brancovan Pearls (Melina Cultural Center, Athens, Greece)

 Brancovan Roots (Romanian Cultural Institute, New York, USA) 

Living water at Fire Tower (Fire Tower, Bucharest, Romania)

Power of Vision (Romanian Atheneum, Bucharest, Romania)

Brancovan Roots (Horezu Monastery, Romania)

Power of Vision (Mogosoaia Palace, Bucharest, Romania)

Brancovan Pearls (National Village Museum “Dimitrie Gusti”, Bucharest, Romania)

Brancovan Roots (Saint Sulpice Cathedral, Paris, France)

The Brancovan Holy Martyrs’ evening (Faculty of Theology, Bucharest, Romania)

 Brancovan Roots (Romanian Peasant Museum, Bucharest, Romania) 

Founders and martyrs (Cotroceni National Museum, Bucharest, Romania)

Os cidadaos do Paraiso (Romanian Cultural Institute, Lisbon, Portugal)

Psalm and icon (Mogosoaia Palace, Bucharest, Romania)

Angel wings (Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Bucharest, Romania)

St. Stephan the Great (Galateea gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

The Icon (Mogosoaia Palace, Bucharest, Romania)

Graphics (Vasile Parvan Museum, Barlad, Romania)

Exhibitions - Group (selection)

2019

Painting, graphics and sculpture exhibition of Group 4+ (Palace of Culture, Iasi, Romania)

2018

Icons and graphic representations of Romanian rulers (Otopeni Airport, Romania)

2018

Rulers and Saints, (Cultural Center "Ion Manu", Otopeni, Romania) 

2017

Exhibition of church painters guild, Edition I(Romanian Patriarchat, Bucharest, Romania)

2017

Annual AFAPRR Exhibition (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania) 

2016

Winter AFAPRR Salon (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania) 

2016

Annual AFAPRR Exhibition (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania)

2015

Guild Feast (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania)

2015

Steps towards Light (Orizont Galleries, Bucharest, Romania)

2014

Contemporary Painters in Baltchic (Elite Art Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2014

Annual AFAPRR Exhibition (National Village Museum, Bucharest, Romania)

2014

Beyond Time and Space (Saint Sulpice Cathedral, Paris, France)

2014

Holy Saints Brancovan - new icon (National Museum Cotroceni, Bucharest, Romania)

2012

Sacred Art, Creation and Restoration (Annual AFAPRR Exhibition, Bucharest, Romania)

2012

The Gift of the Iconographer (Municipal Cultural Center, Arad, Romania)

2012

Byzantine Icon, Tradition and Modernity (Mogosoaia Palace, Bucharest, Romania)

2012

Marks of Romanian Religious Art: Art in Canonical and Personal Expression (National Library of Romania, Bucharest, Romania)

2011

Signs of eternity (Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

2011

Sacred in art (Caminul artei gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2010

We are building the history of Architecture (Culture Palace, Ploiesti, Romania)

2010

A decade of explorations in Romanian art (Mogosoaia Palace, Bucharest, Romania)

2009

Sacred in art (Orizont Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2009

Salon of Christian art (Cultural Center „Ionel Perlea”, Slobozia, Romania)

2009

Styles, symbols, techniques (Italian Institute of Culture, Bucharest, Romania)

2008

Romanian Christian art (Romanian Cultural Institute, Prague, Czech Republic)

2008

Christian inspirations (Veroniki art gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2008

Romanian Art and Spirituality (Romanian Orthodox Church, Paris, France)

2007

The icon in Easter light (Artis gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2007

Days of Byzantine icon (Theological Faculty, Bucharest, Romania)

2007

Sacred in art (Apollo gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2006

The icon in Easter light (Apollo Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2006

Faith and art (Romania Cultural Institute, Venice, Italy)

2006

Romanian Art and Spirituality (International Art Gallery, Sankt Petersburg, Russia)

2006

Faith and art (Chiesa degli Artisti, Rome, Italy)

2006

Tradition and modernity (Fine Arts Museum, Craiova, Romania)

2005

Romanian Art and Spirituality (Great Lavr, Kiev, Ukraine)

2005

Sacred in art (Artis gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2004

Romanian Art and Spirituality (National Ethnographic Museum, Belgrade, Serbia)

2004

Sacred Art (Fine Arts Museum, Craiova, Romania)

2003

A world under the sign of Cross (Simeza Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2003

St. Stephan the Great (Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2002

Prayer of the painted wood II (Mariott Hotel Gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

2001

“The Naissance of the Icon – The Icon of Nativity” (Bucharest, Romania)

2001

Prayer of the painted wood I (Bancorex gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

1990

Biennial of the Romanian Artist Union (Romexpo gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

1990

Sacred art, restoration and creation (Apollo gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

1990

Romanian Artist Union Fellowship Exhibition (Simeza gallery, Bucharest, Romania)

References (selection)

Documentaries, Interviews, Reportages (selection)

 ©ElenaMurariu 2020, Bucharest. Prior author's written permission must be obtained for reproduction. management.elenamurariu@gmail.com

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