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Paul Străjescu’s Funerary Monument from Bellu Cemetery – Arch. George Cristinel, Sculptor Ion Jalea

„Șerban Vodă – Bellu Cemetery”, Calea Șerban Vodă 249, sector 4, fig. 101, 37 and 58 places
Bellu Cemetery
Starting price: €55,000
Estimate: €70,000 - €80,000
This Art Deco Style monument was projected by architect George Cristinel following the demand of Col. Paul Străjescu and his wife, Adina Străjescu, born Anastasiu, in 1931. The chapel is situated close to The Artiștilor Avenue, where actors of cinema and theatre, directors and singers such as Maria Tănase, Amza Pelea, Adrian Pintea, Gheorghe Dinică, Florian Pittiș are resting.
Adina Anastasiu was the daughter of General of Division Ioan Anastasiu and Sofia Anastasiu. She was the daughter of Ioan Anastasiu, General of Division (Infantry), decorated with orders and medals after World War I and of Anastasiu Sofia, decorated by the Romanian government for nursing the wounded. Adina Anastasiu married Colonel Paul Străjescu (d. 1931) in 1918 and after his death married Lieutenant General Ilie Creţulescu in 1941.
In the chapel were buried: General Ioan Anastasiu, Adina's father; Sofia Anastasiu, his wife and Adina's mother; General Mihail Anastasiu, Adina's brother; Colonel Paul Străjescu; General Ilie Creţulescu; Adina (born Aglae) Crețulescu.
The monument was restored in 1957, 1967, 1981, 2001, 2005 and 2017.
Architect George Cristinel (1871-1961) attended the courses of the Special School of Architecture in Paris and worked at architect Ion D. Berindey’s atelier, then at architect Ernest Doneaud. Architect George Cristinel had an original approach, a synthesis between Neo-Romanian and modern tendencies. His most representative works include The Mausoleum from Mărășești (realized with architect Constantin Pomponiu), Bucharest District 1’s City Hall and a series of interwar significant buildings from Cluj-Napoca: The Academic College, the ”Dormition of the Mother of God” Orthodox Cathedral.
In the interwar period, the cubist tendencies from the epoch’s architecture were also integrated in the monuments built in Bellu Cemetery, realized in the stylistic expression of block houses, with minimalistic games of lines and volumes. Străjescu’s family chapel makes no exception, its monumentality being emphasized by the statuary group that guards the entrance, signed by Ion Jalea. The statuary group is comprised by two oversized representations of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul. Apostle Peter is represented with the key of Heaven in his hand, and Apostle Paul with The Gospel. Copies after these two statues are encountered in the Ion Jalea Museum in Constanța.
Ion Jalea (1887-1983), a sculptor from Constanța, had as professors, at The Fine Arts Academy from Bucharest, sculptors Frederik Storck and Dimitrie Paciurea. Thereafter, he improved in Paris, where he occasionally worked at Auguste Rodin’s atelier.
Opened in 1859, “Baron Bellu’s Garden of Souls” spreads on a surface of 28 ha and harbours numerous personalities that have touched Romania’s history and over 300 historical monuments and sculptures. Pieces realized by architects such as Ion Mincu, founder of The Neo-Romanian Style, Duiliu Marcu, Petre Antonescu, Horia Creangă can be distinguished and sculptures signed by Raffaelo Romanelli and great Romanian artists as Milița Petrașcu and the Storck family, Karl Storck and his two sons, Frederik and Carol Storck, Boris Caragea and Ion Jalea.

Sources:
Oana Marinache, „Ernest Doneaud – visul liniei”, Istoria Artei Publishing, Bucharest, 2015, p. 200-201
Gheorghe Bezviconi , „Cimitirul Bellu din București. Muzeu de sculptură și arhitectură” in „Monumente și Muzee”, Academia R.P.R Publishing, Bucharest, 1958, p. 191
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Photo: Gabriel Ghizdavu

Property details

  • 16 sqm
  • the monument contains 4 crypts
  • B-IV-m-B-20118.155
  • Historical monument that is representative of the local cultural heritage, class B.
  • B55AHE-B
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