The Art Department of “Țării Crișurilor” Museum is organized in four main collections: painting, sculpture, graphics (with a small subdivision of small graphics) and decorative art. On 31st of December 2019 the Art Department counted 12.919 pieces.
The painting collection
The Romanian painting collection contains works from the 20th century. From the first half of the 20th century there are: Gheorghe Petraşcu, Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Tonitza, Ştefan Dimitrescu, Francisc Şirato, Camil Ressu, Iosif Iser, Jean Al. Steriadi, Marius Bunescu, Vasile Popescu, Aurel Popp, Lucian Grigorescu, Hans Mattis-Teutsch etc., and from the late 20th century there are: Corneliu Baba, Dimitrie Gheaţă, Alexandru Ciucurencu, Ion Ţuculescu, Magdalena Rădulescu, Horia Damian, Henri Catargi etc.
The world painting collection holds valuable works of art from the 15th – 19th century signed by artists from the Flemish, German, Austrian, Italian schools: Federico Barocci, Adam Elsheimer, Şcoala lui Frans Snyders, Peter Veredaelf, Pietro Marchesini, Hans Canon, Carl Moll, Peter Herwegen etc.
The Graphics collection (old and modern)
The Romanian graphics collection from early 20th century is registered in Dr. Ana Martin’s catalogue, Omonim. The collection contains well-known names such as: Theodor Pallady, Jean Al. Steriadi, Iosif Iser, Nicolae Tonitza, Ştefan Dimitrescu, Gheorghe Petraşcu, Francisc Şirato, R. Iosif, Aurel Ciupe, Leon Alex, Balogh István, Macalik Alfréd, Mottl Roman (the last four of them being from Oradea).
The Stamps cabinet contains 533 etchings made by artists from the German, Dutch Flemish, French, Italian schools from 15th to 18th centuries. Gravura europeană din secolele XVI – VII, (European Engravings from 16th to 17th Century), “Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor”, publishing house, Oradea, 1974 and dr. Ana Martin, în Stampa veneţiană din sec. XVIII. Difuziune europeană şi frecvenţa în colecţiile româneşti, “Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor”, publishing house, Oradea, 2005, (The Venetian Stamp in 18th Century. European Diffusion and Frequency in Romanian Collections) contain research and inventories of the etchings. Among the authors there is Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Sfînta familie cu cinci îngeri (1505), Întîlnirea lui Ioachim cu Ana (1509), Fecioara Maria cu pruncul; Lucas Cranach cel Bătrîn (1472-1553), Punerea în mormînt, Iisus Hristos în rugăciune pe Muntele Măslinilor; Marcantonio Raimondi, Hans Schaufelin (1480-1540), Pogorîrea Sfîntului Duh; Hieronimus Cock and others belonging to engravers families such as Sadeler, De Iode, Gallé, Müller, Van de Passe, Philippe Thomassin, Jean Morin, Robert Nanteuil, P. Giffart, Nicolas de Larmessin etc.
The 18th century Venetian school is represented by Francesco Bartolozzi, Marcus Pitteri, Joseph Wagner, Giovanni Volpato, Pietro Monaco, Fabio Berardi, Giacomo Leonardis, Marco Pelli, Francesco del Pedro, Francesco Ambrosi etc.
Among the engravers in Rome during Settecento, the Museum holds works by eleven authors (G. Bossi, G. Carattoni, Francesco Cecchini, Cunego Aloysio, G.B. Dasori, Al. Mochetti, R. Morghen, G. Petrini, C. Tinti) who transpose in the Vatican’s Loggia Raphael’s frescoes, named by specialists Raphael’s Bible.
The Sculpture collection
The Romanian Sculpture collection contains great works of the most representative classic and modern sculptors such as Dimitrie Paciurea – Portretul lui Ibsen, Ion Jalea – Lucifer, Mamă şi copil, Cornel Medrea – Portretul Serovei Medrea, Oscar Han – Femei din Caşin, Militza Petraşcu – Portretul Cellei Delavrancea, Claudia Millian, Ion Irimescu – Fata cu idol, Odihnă, Ovidiu Maitec – Pomul, Iulia Oniţă – Cap de studentă, Tors.
Iosif Fekete (1903-1979) is one of the representative plastic artists of the 20th century, who was noted for his contribution in the making of the Air Heroes Monument from Bucharest and Obelisque, in Alba Iulia. “Țării Crisurilor” Museum holds 79 sculptures signed by Iosif Fekete, 35 of which coming from a donation made by the artist to the city of Oradea.
The World sculpture collection holds valuable works of artists such as J.A. Houdon (1741-1828), one of the most important French sculptors of the 18th century, a scholar of Pigalle, whose Diana is the manifesto of the neoclassic art, through the purity of the shapes and perfection of the execution. The same characteristics can be found in Diana’s bust, in “Țării Crisurilor” Museum’s collection. Claude Michel (1783-1814) with his Dansul bacantelor (Bacchantes’ Dance), is the author of small sculptures, defined by grace and sensuality (bacchantes, satyrs, Bachian scenes); J. Brian with his Molière, author of sculptures characterized by realism and psychological deepness.
The Decorative art collection
The Contemporary Romanian Decorative art collection holds a particular role in the work of several professors and former students of the Plastic and Decorative Arts Institutes in Bucharest, Cluj, in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Many of them used to participate to the national and international exhibitions with works of tapestry, ceramics, porcelain, glass and wood.
The Zoe Dancovici Collection has 109 pieces of which, 102 ceramics, 3 traditional icons, 2 metal icons and a tapestry – the most representative by a thematic point of view.
Starting with the 80’s there is an inflow of postmodern, conceptual works, that announce the era of the electronic information after a period of experimentation (Costel Badea and Marta Jakobovits).
The Art department of the Museum has a rich decorative art collection coming from the most diversified domains and styles. Through these works we are able to trace back the evolution and the development of the manufacture workshops and artistic crafts in Europe and Asia.
Renaissance is illustrated by the sculpted furniture, Italian faience, Venetian glass and ceramics and tin objects from Transylvania. Baroque and Rococo are represented by cult objects, such as the tabernacles and the Ludwig XV hall, the Viennese mirrors, the porcelain pieces of Meissen, Folkstadt, Neapole, Strasbourg, Fontainbleu and the engraved ant painted crystals and glasses from Bohemia.
The neoclassic styles appear at the end of the 18th century with the cobalt table (Sèvre manufacture), the clocks and porcelains in Empire style (the Napoleon period). The eclecticism flooding the arts is under the strong influence of the world exhibitions from London, Paris, München and Vienna and the Arts and Crafts movement, the era of Modernism and mass production. This is how oriental influence furniture and carpets appear along the original ones, furniture, Central Asian and Small Asia carpets and Transylvania, glass objects, crystals, porcelains, faience from England, Italy, Germany, Austria and Hungary.
The secession decorative art collection is richly represented by valuable pieces of E. Gallé and A. Daum from Nancy School, Zsolnay Vilmos (Pécs, Ungaria) or Iosif Reichenbach (Timişoara, Romania).
The Ex libris Collection is made of 7621 pieces, entered by acquisition in the first half of the 80’s, coming from private collections. The collectors themselves used to be ex libris creators, among them, a particular place is held by Gábor Dénes (with 210 pieces), Varga Mária (with 724 pieces), Mottl Roman – Paul Senior (with 775 de pieces) and Radványi Roman Károly (with 5912 pieces). In most of the cases, the collectors procured the objects by exchanging them with foreign partners – a fact that explains the foreign componence of the collection, which one of the greatest in Romania. Most of the works were done in the first half of the century. The thematic and techniques are extremely diverse.
The value of the collection was harnessed over time through thematic exhibitions such as: the originating countries, secession ex libris, heraldic ex libris, ex libris and the human body, Radványi Károly creator of ex libris and graphic techniques of making ex libris.