Romania’s National Peasant Museum is opening its doors for an exhibition of painted eggs, a craft that has been raised to the level of art and gets its own chapter in the book of national culture in the East European country.
Some 60 intricately painted ostrich eggs will go on display at the “Time for Easter” exhibit. It will run from Thursday until May 9. Romanians celebrate Orthodox Easter on May 2.
The painted egg is an integral part of Romanians’ Easter.
Households traditionally put a basketful of red-painted eggs on the table. Family members or guests crack an egg with another person. The person who initiates the cracking exclaims „Christ is Risen!” to which the response is: „He is Risen indeed!”
The eggs in the upcoming exhibition have been painted by Mariana Andone-Rotaru, who’s been influenced by icon painting themes found in the National Peasant Museum and the Brasov Ethnographic Museum in Transylvania.
The museum said the exhibition would show “the general public a different take on the traditional Easter Egg. (cq)”
Ms Andone-Rotaru is an archaeologist and historian who specializes in the Roman Empire. She is “captivated by all that is old and lovely and touched by the patina the of time.”
Last year, she staged an exhibition of painted Easter eggs that imitated the Transylvanian art of the 18th and 19th centuries. She was inspired by old Transylvanian customs and designs from private and public collections.
She said she starts off by finding the right ostrich egg and then covers it with beeswax using a traditional pen.The eggs usually have two parts to their design, with different imagery on the front and back of the egg.
One side is decorated like an icon with religious themes, while the back features intricate patterns and abstract shapes, or sometimes flowers or leaves. Each region has traditionally had its own designs, patters and colors.
Some ostrich eggs are covered with a layer of gold leaf or silver as sign of reverence for Easter.
The 60 eggs that will be unveiled on Thursday show Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity, his mother Mary, and important moments from Jesus’ life including the Resurrection. Important saints also feature in the designs.
The exhibition is open every day apart from Monday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Tickets cost 8 lei for adults (less than two euros), 4 lei for children, retirees and other groups. Adults with disabilities pay 2 lei.