St. George church in Constanta – the last church painted by Tonitza

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For the believers in Constanta, an important religious landmark is the Saint George church, painted by the great Nicolae Tonitza.

The history of the church is a stormy one. It was transformed over the years into a barn, storage, laundry and then was set on fire.

However, the church resisted and today people can still admire its beauty. The story of the worship place begins a century ago, when Constanta’s mayors decided to extend the city. The first thing they thought was then to build a church on the outskirts of the city, without knowing that, over time, there will be the downtown there. “The church was unfortunately used for other purposes. It was not dedicated in the liturgical circuit and then it was also storage. Certainly, those who were then occupying the area have used the church, maybe not necessarily to mock it, but because they were lacking space,” said the priest Radu Horiceanu. After the war, works on the church resumed, and in 1930, 15 years after the cornerstone, Nicolae Tonitza received the offer to paint the St. George church.

“He made a beautiful painting alongside his colleagues. There was a group of painters, especially Moldavians, which started in this business. On one hand, it was a way to work, on the other hand to increase his income as painter in that period,” said Doina Pauleanu, director of the Art Museum in Constanta.

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