Spiridon Georgescu (Romanian 1887-1974) "Tigani" Bronze sculpture of a Romanian windswept Roma in a characteristic felt hat, jacket collar raised, cupping a match in his right hand as he lights a cigarette - his left hand holding a match box and raising his coat to shield the flame from the wind. His clothes are tattered and he stands barefoot and with his shirt open to the waist. The sculpture is signed and dated 1925 and has incised foundry marks for Tunatoria- I.Alexe & I.Danila. The present model is an exemplary cast, superbly modeled with a rich brown patina - and is quite possibly unique. In 1907 Spiridon Georgescu traveled to Italy and studied sculpture there but had to return to Bucharest because he ran out of funds. After saving money and working in the architectural sculpture field he returned to Italy in 1911 and lived in Carrara where he first studied at the Academia with the virtuoso sculptor Augusto Polina -- who advised him after a year to continue his studies at the Institute of Fine Arts in Rome under the guidance of Cesare Aurel. After three years of great success he returned to Bucharest. In 1916 Romania entered the war and the artwork of Spiridon Georgescu chronicled the Balkan theater of World War I. In 1919 he exhibited over 25 patinated sculptural plaster works at the Athenaeum Hall in Bucharest. This exhibition was so aclaimed that he won a competition to create a memorial to the Heroes of the Military Engineers' Army of the first Great War. The sculpture was unveiled in June 1929, and is the most important of his many public works. This sculpture is often referred to as "The Lion" -- located at the intersection of Bulevardul Geniului and Bulevardul Iuliu Maniu, across the street from Cotroceni Palace Bucharest and is the most recognizable sculpture in all of Romania. Four life-sized bronze statues represent troops from the Military Engineers' Army and above these presides a statue of a lion --whose front paws trample the barrel of a cannon.The lion symbolizes the majestic endurance of the Romanian Army.
Dimensions: Height 18&3/4 inch by h 8&1/2 inches in width by 7 &1/2 inches in depth.