Antim Monastery

Antim Monastery is an architectonic, sculptural and pictorial complex that represents the synthesis of an artistic evolution in art and one of the 18th century’s most representative monuments of Romania. The Antim Monastery is located in Bucharest, on Mitropolit Antim Ivireanu Street, no. 29. The monastery was erected between 1713 and 1715 by the metropolitan bishop of Wallachia, Antim Ivireanu.

Sacred to "All Saints", the church was built after architectural plans drawn by Antim Ivireanu himself, a connoisseur of the arts of drawing, sculpture, architecture and printing. Two of the monastery plans, executed on paper and parchment, can be admired in the State Archives nowadays. Because of his artistic skills, it is assumed that the frescoes of the Antim church were executed under his direction, after his drawings, or that he took part in the painting of the ensemble, along with the artist Preda Zugravul. A testimony to this assumption is Antim Ivireanu’s manuscript, located at the Romanian Academy, where hundreds of painted medallions of biblical characters prove his talent as a painter.

Between 1860 and 1863, due to earthquakes, floods and poor maintenance, Antim Monastery entered a complex process of restoration, including the conservation of the interior mural painting. Next to significant architectural interventions such as the reconstruction of the two towers, the addition of a neo-gothic rosette in the narthex and the iconostasis replacement, the original mural painting was removed due to its advanced state of degradation and the church was redecorated with oil paintings by Petre Alexandrescu. The scene "Descent from the Cross" by Petre Alexandrescu is a copy of Daniele da Volterra’s famous painting, made in 1541 in the Trinita dei Monti chapel in Rome. By comparison, almost no distinction can be found between the two artworks in terms of design and general composition.

The most recent restoration of the church took place between 2004 and 2006 and focused on the conservation of the interior paintings. The restoration was based on a project made by conservator-restorer Gabriela Stefăniţă and the works were coordinated by architect restorer Claudiu Moldoveanu. The monastery also hosts a museum with religious objects and facts about the life of Antim Ivireanu. (after e-conservation magazine)


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