The Art and Art History Symposium Bucharest, November 2017

Presentation held at The Art and Art History Symposium. First edition, 6th and 7th of October 2017, Bucharest. Theme: „Art and Cultural Models in South-Eastern Europe”. Organising institution: The Bucharest Municipality Museum.

Queen Elisabeth’s literary and decorative art works during her exile (1891-1894) as mentioned in the correspondence with King Charles I of Romania. The queen’s collaboration with André Lecomte du Noüy.
Presentation by Silvia Irina Zimmermann, PhD, coordinator of the Research Center Carmen Sylva of the Princely Archive of Wied (Neuwied)

In Queen Elisabeth’s letters to King Charles I of Romania, during her exile from 1891 to 1894, she is referring to several literary and decorative art works elaborated by her during this period. At the beginning of her exile, the queen declared to her husband, the King, that her activity as a writer and poet had ended, and that she would only prepare her lately written works for a publication. Still, the documents held in the Princely Arhive of Wied and the National Archives of Romania show that the queen was writing further prose and poetry, fictionalizing her reflection of the exile experience, and some of the works created by the Queen during her exile were published later, after her return to Romania, under her pen name Carmen Sylva. The exile letters of the queen to King Charles I also mention some decorative artworks of the queen created during this time, which are kept today in Romanian museums. During the exile spent by Queen Elisabeth in Pallanza, from September 1891 until June 1892, André Lecomte du Noüy, the architect and conservator of the Royal House of Romania, supervised the painting activity of the queen. Lecomte collaborated with the queen in some of her literary and decorative art works, and he illustrated a children’s book of the queen, created in Pallanza and published first in Bucharest in 1898 – a fact widely unknown until now.