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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Ediţia nr.3 din 2007  

Autori:  VLAD ŢOCA.
  Rezumat:  Wooden Churches’ Architecture of the Romanians of Transylvania, a Fundamental Part of Coriolan Petranu’s Writing. Among the works of Coriolan Petranu those regarding the wooden architecture of the Transylvanian Romanians are a very peculiar apparition. Two books are the most important output of his endeavor: Bisericile de lemn din judeţul Arad. Les églises de bois du départament d’Arad. Sibiu: Krafft & Drotleff, 1927 and Monumentele artistice ale judeţului Bihor I. The wooden churches of the Bihor County. Sibiu: Krafft & Drotleff, 1931 added to which are a number of articles of lesser importance. They differ profoundly from his other works in many ways. First of all, it is virtually the only chapter of his writing that is a proper research undertaking. Most of his other works are articles disseminated within a large number of publications and bare a strong polemical and propaganda mark. Petranu’s works regarding the wooden architecture are also very different in their approach and conclusions. Reading his polemic papers it seem that his lifelong struggle has been to demonstrate the value and supreme originality of Romanian art. This later attribute is emphasized so much so as to almost negate any influence received by Romanian art from other peoples of the region. On the other hand, it augments the role that the art of his people has had on the development of other national arts in the region but also of more distant areas. The two books dealing with Romanian wooden architecture have a very different style: cold, severe, and scientific. Never pressing too far in their conclusions and admitting many things denied in his other writings, such as influences received from Hungarian art. His methods of investigation carried on with almost surgical precision in the good tradition of the Viennese art historical school of Josef Strzygowski and Hans Tietze. Every aspect of the monuments is observed, analyzed and put in order. It is in fact this approach that saved him from falling into the trap of romantic nationalism, as it did save many other researchers in central Europe. Why are there these big differences between his two categories of works? The answer lies in his belief that an art historian in Transylvania must be at the same time a scientist, a defender of the national patrimony and to spread the knowledge about the art of the province. He wrote that although a Transylvanian art historian is free to choose the subject of his research, it is his patriotic duty to study and deal with the Transylvanian art. He was painfully aware of the fact that the art of his nation was so little researched. Therefore he was at the same time the champion of spreading knowledge about the art of his people, the defender of Romanian art and a very serious researcher and scholar.  
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