Visiting in Romania Bran Castle, Peles Castle, The Museum of the Technique or The Romania’s Art Museum, you can find works of the sculptor Gheorghe Leonida like “Eve”, “The Reader”, “The Wounded Soldier”, “Prometheus” , “The Gymnast”, “A Seated Woman”, “Saint George Killing the Dragon”.
But Gheorghe Leonida’s name became famous after his contribution at the statue “Cristo Redentor” (“Christ the Redeemer”) in Rio de Janeiro, edifice classified in 2007 as one of the seven new wonders of the world.
From a family who gave Romania also other great personalities (inventor Dimitrie Leonida and one of the world’s first women engineers Elisa Leonida), Gheorghe Leonida was born in Galati, Romania in 1893. He studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Conservatory in Bucharest, than he continued his studies for three years in Italy where he gained also a prize with his sculpture “Reveil” (the Dream). Gheorghe Leonida lived than in Paris where his work “Le Diable” (the Devil) was awarded the Grand Prize.
Becoming famous in France as portraitist, he was included by Paul Landowsky in the team that started working at the gigantic statue from Rio de Janeiro in 1922. Gheorghe Leonida contributed to portraying Jesus Christ’s face, which made him famous worldwide.
The communist regime in Romania banned Gheorghe Leonida especially for his work entitled “Queen Marie’s Bust” which depicts queen Marie of Edinburgh, the wife of King Ferdinand. That is why the work of Gheorghe Leonida was not publicized in Romania for many years.
“Cristo Redentor” (“Christ the Redeemer”)
“Christ the Redeemer” is a statue of Jesus Christ located at 700 meters altitude on the Corcova Mountain, overlooking Rio de Janeiro city. It is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world: 39.6 meters tall, 9.5 meters pedestal, 30 meters wide, 635 tones. “Christ the Redeemer” is now more than a monument is a symbol of Christianity worldwide.
The statue was designed by the local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, sculpted by the team conducted by the French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by a group of engineers and technicians in reinforced concrete after the plans of Albert Caquot. The construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931.
Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a list compiled by the Swiss-based The New Open World Corporation in 2007 and declared a protected monument by the National Heritage Institute in 2009.
photo: logoi.com, srt-zone.ro