Revista „Cercetări istorice” – XXXVI / 2017


The collection of Callimachi family portraits, as has been preserved, helps us to get an idea on the significance the old portraits of the big boyar houses had. Such portraits were not only important for the family, they were of greater interest for the evolution of history and art in Romanian space. The princely portraits in the Callimachi collection represent the prestigious and legitimate side, connecting to the glorious family history. This part consists mostly of contemporary copies, made after the old portraits, preserved in other public or private collections. The project of recovering family memories through portraits painted in the second half of the nineteenth century, is primarily due to Teodor Callimachi, a great lover of history and art collector; his son, Alexandru Callimachi, continued his concerns. The old core of the collection consisted in several small portraits of boyars, representing the direct ancestors of the secondary branch of the family. The oldest dates from the end of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th century. The most remarkable, from an artistic point of view, as well as the idea of family history, is Giovanni Schiavoni’s work of 1843, portraying the five children of Callimachi, Rosetti and Catargi families, who were raised together, urging them to remain close.