Neoromanian tree of life panel

Neo-Romanian style tree of life and house name decorative panel dating from mid 1930s, Nerva Traian area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

This decorative panel embellishes the street wall of a Bucharest mid-1930s Neo-Romanian style house. It contains the representations of the tree of life and the Garden of Eden, both symbolised by grape vine plants, inspired from the decorative panoply of the late medieval Wallachian church architecture. The three of life springs up from the base of the panel in waves of leaves symbolising cycles and pivotal moments in life, while on the Garden of Eden sector contains a grape fruit symbolising abundance surrounded by vine leaves that serenely fill the space in all directions. The pairs of peacocks on both panel sectors are representations of peace and harmony and an allusion to the couple that built and made that house their home. I very much like the simple rectangular geometry of the panel sectors and the highly abstract symbols contained within them, which together with the style of the letter rendering of “Vila Maria”, the name of the house, point toward influences from the Art Deco and Modernist styles, very much in vogue in the Bucharest of that period.

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I endeavor through this daily series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

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