Constantin Brancusi Biography

(b. 19 february 1876, Hobita, Gorj — d. 16 march 1957, Paris)
Brancusi youth

Born on 19 February 1876 in Hobita, Gorj County, constantin brancusi Constantine is the fifth child of Nicholas and Maria Brancusi. As a child he learned to carve wood to manufacture different tools and household items. Romania, household items, pillars and facades of the houses were often decorated with wood carvings. These ornamental style will influence Brancusi's work. In his memoirs the artist said that his lifestyle was influence by his country of origin, namely: simplicity, common sense, love of nature.

In the year 1883, he leaves home, but he is found by his mother in Targu-Jiu and brought back to Hobita.He begins his first grade at Pestisani.
In 1884, during his second grade at the school in Pestisani, he is punished for scrathing the desk with a knife; he leaves and takes a job as an apprentice at a barrels merchant.
In 1885 the death of his father occours, Nicolae Brancusi; he continues his primary school in Brediceni.
In 1887, he runs away from home for the third time just before finishing his primary school and runs back to Targu Jiu and takes a job at Ion Mosculescu's dye house but he is brought back to Hobita. His childhood is marked by frequent departures from home and long years of apprenticeship in dye houses, workshops, shops and so on. At the age of 12, Brancusi left home again and went to Slatina were he began work and self sustaion himself.
In 1889 he went to Craiova and began to work at the Spirtaru brother'bar situated in the Station Square were he sometimes work 18 hours a day in order to gather money. He will remain almost 9 years in the capital of Oltenia.
In 1892, he takes a job at the "shop of goods and colonial" owned by Ion Zamfirescu. He begins to attend the courses of School of Arts and Crafts, and in 1894, helped by his boss and his clients, signs up at the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova. Here he learns, besides mechanic, carpentry, foundry, metalworking and wood sculputre.
He obtain excellent grades. Between 1894-1898, he continues his studies, he is also recive a scholarship and is admitted to ward specializing in wood sculpture. He shapes Gheorghe Chitu's bust , founder of the school.
During the summer of 1897 he travels to Vienna where he engages in an artistic finishing department furniture factories, where he obtaines a certificate of capacity. After having attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova (1894 - 1898) Constantin Brancusi went to Bucharest to join the National School of Fine Arts. During college, even in the early years makes:
-Vitellius receive "onorable distinction"
-Head of Laocoon in 1900, bronze medal
-Studiu din 1901, silver medal

For two years, between 1900 and 1902, with Dr. Dimitrie Gerota help, he makes Ecorseu, a study made to represent the human body, a work for wich he is awarded a bronze medal. Because of the precise details made on this work, the Ecorseul will be used in the Romanian schools of medicine, after a few copies are made, and Marcel Duchamp will include the photography of Ecorseului in the exhibition that will be hold at the end of 1933 at the Brummer Gallery in New York City .

In 1903, he receives the first order of a public monument, The Bust of General Doctor Carol Davila,which will be installed at the Military Hospital in Bucharest and is the only public monument of made by Brancusi in Bucharest. During this period, Brancusi is captivated by the work of Auguste Rodin (whose concepts intrigued the new commers and displeased the academic people) and by the artistic movement outside Romania, which makes him go to Paris.
In 1904,he begins his route, going on foot to Paris, staying briefly in Budapest, then Vienna. He remains a time in Munich where he frequently join the Royal Academy of Fine Arts courses, and to sustain himself he takes a nurse's job. He passes thourgh Rorschach, Zurich and St Bernard cross step; near Basel he is taken by surprise by a heavy rain, and falls ill and is hospitalized in a hospital owned by a church, for which he sculpts a crucifix. He passes Alsace reaching Langres (Haute-Marne) from where he leave by train to Paris.
After arriving in Paris, he will live for a while on the 9th floor in the Cité Condorcet House , together with a transylvanian named Daniel Glade. He works at Moilard tavern. He later moves into an attic room in the Place de la Bourse 10. He becomes a sexton of the romanian church in Paris. In 1905, he moves in the attic of the house in the Place Dauphine 16. Also in the Place Dauphine lives the painter Theodor Pallady, Otilia Cosma, and one of his protector, the state advisor Herbette Louis, to whom Brancusi asks his help in order to be admitted at the Ernest Dubois workshop. In the same period, he obtains a new scholarship, the Ministry of Public Education in Bucharest grants him from the Fund-Symonide Raducanu "600 lei(currency) in order for him to continue his studies.
In 1905, he passes the admission exam and joins the prestigious Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where he works in Antonin Mercie's workshop until 1906. In the French capital, he will find a community of artists and intellectuals who will receive him with open arms, recognizing his talent and giving him ideas for future works.