The groundbreaking ceremony of The University Palace took place on May 23rd 1893, in the presence of Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern- Sigmaringen and in the same place where The National Theatre had functioned until 1888. The monumental, impressive building was designed in the French eclectic style and it transcends its functionality, becoming a symbol of both the local community and the Romanian culture. Built according to the plans of the French architect Louis Blanc (awarded the gold medal at a exhibition in Paris for this particular project), the University Palace was inaugurated on October 21st 1897, under the high patronage of King Carol the First and Queen Elisabeta.
When entering the UniversityPalace, a special place, poetically named “The Hall of the Echoing Footsteps”, welcomes you. The works of art surrounding you at every turn are breathtaking. By painting these murals, Sabin Bălaşa, one of the most well-known Romanian contemporary painters, has introduced this place in the great art galleries of the world. His brush bestowed on the Hall Of The Echoing Footsteps, thanks to the composition vigor, the particular chromatics and themes, “an essence of uniqueness”, as the art critic Valentin Ciucă remarked.
The 19 murals reflect the Romanian spirit, youth, history and poetry. Praised as a real blue beatitude that covers approximately 300 m², the murals were painted by the master of the unicorns and the cosmic figures between the late 60s and early 80s.
In 2002, Sabin Bălaşa painted “The Galaxy of Love” in “Mihai Eminescu” Aula Magna. This work depicts love as universal feeling and love as knowledge. Though plane, having 10,8 meters in height, the painting has the attributes of a spatial work, each angle offering different pulsations of the meteors to the observer. Light and Darkness, Feminine and Masculine, Good and Evil, Beauty and Ugliness are the antinomic pairs of the suggestion that death can be annihilated through love.
Exponent of the “cosmic Romanticism”, as he described himself, Sabin Bălaşa left as valuable heritage to the city of the seven hills the creations from his period of artistic maturity. “In Iaşi – he confessed – I have a personal museum in faculties, people walk around, entire generations grow up looking at my murals and then they spread all over the world talking about them.”
Sabin Bălaşa was born on June 17th 1932 and passed away on April 1st 2008. He studied painting at “Nicolae Grigorescu” Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest and afterwards he attended courses at the Italian Language and Culture Academy of Sienna (1965) and at the PaintingAcademy in Perugia (Italy).
A complex artist with a prolific creation, characterized by original chromatics and special imagery, Sabin Bălaşa was also a writer and a director of animated painting movies. The testimony of his unique talent can be admired on the premises of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University and not only.
Sabin Bălașa – Painting exhibitions
- 1978, Rome
- 1980, Rome
- 1982, Stockholm
- 1982, Bucharest, National Arts Museum
- 1985, Kerkera (Grecia)
- 1988, Moscow (Tbilisi and other capital cities of former URSS states)
- 1992, Bucharest
- 1994, Israel
- 2000, Bucharest, World Trade Center
- 2002, Iaşi, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
- 2005, Bucharest