PETRU rUsSU (Postmodernism)
  

 

 T

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1351), an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death, a 700-year-old pre-Renaissance book in one hundred etchings created on 1984 -1985 by Petru Russu.
 

SEX IN THE MIDDLE AGE in 100 etching |

The Decameron of Petru russu on 100 etching, 1985, aquaTint / Aqua Forte hand colored 21x29 cm. | 8˝x11˝ in. image size. 
(for further details click on thumbnail to enlarge)

 1st day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 1st day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  3rd Tale.

 

 

 

 2nd day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 2nd day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 3rd day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 3rd day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 3rd day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 3rd day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 3rd day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 4th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 5th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 6th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 7th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 8th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 9th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  1st Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  2nd Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  3rd Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  4th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  5th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  6th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  7th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  8th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  9th Tale

 

 

 

 10th day |  10th Tale

 

 

 

 

The Decameron and Painting
Sandro Botticelli, Italian Quattrocento painter, painted several pictures illustrating stories of the Decameron. History Nastgio degli Onesti is the most praised, illustrates the fifth story of the Fourth Day (Hell of cruel lovers) in which a young man in love with a lady but unrequited, viewed as a gentleman and two mastiffs chasing a young gentleman gives his heart to feed the dogs. Tables decorated a chest wedding are made with mixed media on board and are of 1483, of the Florentine school. They are exposed in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Other artists like Pisanello, Pesellino, Signorelli, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi and Carpaccio also reinterpreted the Decameron. It stands out: the famous painting by John William Waterhouse, A Tale from Decameron. In ancient castles Italian frescoes illustrating the Decamerón decorating the rooms, in the exterior walls of a house of Stein am Rhein in Canton Sciaffusa and as decoration of Renaissance furniture. They have also made numerous illustrated editions of the Decameron, as the magnificent Celedonio Perellón more than one hundred etchings and illustrations of the artist. Some contemporary artists like Dali, Manzů, Guttuso, Chagall, Masuo Ikeda or Petru Russu were inspired by the text to create some of his compositions.

 

****

Boccaccio’s Decameron on 100 Etching Interpretations by Petru Russu | Dan Haulica, art critic, IAA (UNESCO) Honorary Presidents
In Petru Rusu's engravings for Boccaccio’s Decameron, the twisted frenzy of the bodies arouses an impression of true release. It is a release that breaks limits, avoiding the difference between styles, social situations and historical-geographical sites. They are not “illustrations” confined to a particular moment of the European history: although within the images there are some allusions to the fashion of that age, a sort of set-designing care, everything wrapped around a dance of vitality that doesn’t want to accept stylistic appearances. In the end, the sensation we have is a dépaysement deriving from this attitude, not from a method. A dépaysement that is not a metaphorical book learning distance, but an aspiration for the totality that excludes pedantic philological discriminations. While he was setting up his exhibition, an Italian pointed out some similarities with Chinese art. Someone else found analogies with the vivid chromatic of the popular Mexican engravings. Nevertheless, the exoticism of Petru Rusu’s images comes from a sort of poetic latitude, from a distance that he assumes in front of the narration of the facts. It is -at the most-the same exoticism used by Boccaccio when he imagined Saladin traveling around the Christian world, around Lombardy, to test the hospitality and the magnanimity of the same people he wanted to fight. There is an entire cycle of medieval legends about Saladin. Recently, I have met an eminent art scholar, descendant of a distinguished Crusader knight that had the fortune to benefit from that magnanimity. He was captured by Saladin, who then set him free, on the condition that he paid the ransom once he had returned to his house.

 

But when the knight returned home, he didn’t find any money to pay the ransom. So, he decided to go back to prison. Saladin was impressed by his gesture, and set him free once again only on the condition that he change his name to Saladin d’Anglure. This name still exists after 800 years. I Make this example, because the exoticism of Petru Rusu tells of a magnificent East. An East of admiration and wonder, that has nothing to do with the tendency to indulge in detailed descriptions. It is this exoticism I am writing about. An exoticism that Rusu seems to bend into science fiction, populated by characters that look like ancient Egyptians, or Chinese princes dressed with hundreds of jade stones, as the ones discovered by the archeologists. Boccaccio will not be angry for such interpretation. He himself-while he was writing about Dante-used to wonder if his illustrious master might have been angry up above. Boccaccio will not be angry, because he himself look a lot of freedom regarding the epic matter he utilized. It was the freedom of a superior distance. Boccaccio was the first author capable of dominating the most different subjects-both from a social-historical and popular-dialectal point of view-with that distance that belongs to the artistic discipline. I think that this example is very important not only for those who create illustrations for books, but also for those artists who confront themselves with this gigantic masterpieces’ provocation. Boccaccio dominates the subject. He reconsiders the epic plot and at the same time, he framed it inside the rigorous structure of the Decameron, inside sentences where the liveliness of the quip and of the dialectal allusion obeys the discipline of a rhythm. A rhythm, distinguished by participles with a Latin flavor and by everything that recalls the rules, the refined modalities of creating a phrase with nobility, as it is in the tradition of the ancient rhetoric.

 

This mixture of promiscuous vividness that forms Boccaccio’s subject an-at the same time-of high artistic discipline, it seems to me a theme that deserves consideration from anyone who wants to approach this text. It is important to feel pushed to a certain attitude, as Rusu did exhaustively dealing with the Decameron universe. Petru Rusu comes from Transylvania. His art seems influenced by some expressionist master: Kokoschka in his best period (1914), with his unique chromaticity and his particular way of considering the space of the page; Kandinsky, with the twisty strength of this image. Consequently, we can easily say that the artistic attitude of Petru Rusu is like a sort of a dialogue around the origins of the middle European Expressionism. Nevertheless, here the artist privileges the game among historical-stylistic connotation which overcome that main quality: suddenly he wants to reach a formal mechanism verifiable in the entire cycle dedicated to Calendrino, with all those lamentable cases that Boccaccio assigns him. It is a mechanism comparable to some tendency of the modern art: the mechanic anatomy of Picabia’s drawings, Duchamp, the facetious combination of Tinguely and Luginbuhl, where the sense of humor doesn’t exclude an accent of restlessness. In Rusu’s work, these mechanisms are easily comparable to an inner organ. The funnels, the crutches and all the mechanisms of that artistic tradition become in some of his engravings similar to the movement of the watches of Callot’s engraving, a world in which this dimension has already gone through the vulnerability of human nature. In our technological  time, this dimension-both mechanical and organic-perfectly obeys a contemporary attitude.

 

It is not casual in fact, that Petru Rusu has already been invited to participate at exhibitions regarding themes about the contemporary experimentalism: “Space-Mirror”, “Alternative”; but he has also demonstrated his interest for that subject in his solo-shows. Undoubtedly, he likes this kind of investigation. Here, in his work, about Boccaccio’s Decameron, he has transferred all his fundamental problems. In fact, when an illustrator approaches a masterpiece of the past, it is legitimate that he carries with himself all his cultural background, his problems, his sensibility. Petru Rusu is a courageous artist. During the years his work has been correlated by austere and sober solutions, as by more provocative, colorful liveliness. All these prolific variations are characterized by two main things: the stimulating resumption of a great cultural model, the importance of a certain persistency. The fact that Boccaccio was one of the first readers of Homer’s original texts and an artist capable to conjugate the “holly studies” with an apparent frivolousness, can conduces-as illustrators-to assume as a gift this prolific persistency.*

Dan Haulica, art critic, Honorary Presidents (former president) of the International Association of Art Critics - AICA (1985)

 

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The Entire Suite Of 100 Prints Of Boccacio’s Decameron by Petru Russu On View  | Ingrid Rose, art critic, The Washington Print Club,
...the artist was there, too. That was too much of a good thing, and I asked whether I might interview him for my print collector friends in the States. The idea was lovingly accepted.
I was delighted that by pure coincidence we may be able to look into the working habits of one printmaker. Petru Russu said that as a 14 year old he had read the Decameron. The erotic tales ruminated in his mind while he was growing up, and some 15 years later he decided to make 10 prints of the tales that had impressed him most. Once begun in late 1983, however, he did not finish until he had illustrated all the tales on 100 plates two years later. He printed the edition of 10 impressions per plate himself. Initially, he worked in finely drawn black lines and brown-toned aquatint, printing 3 to 5 impressions of each plate in these subdued colors. As he went on working, he found himself changing and added stronger colors in aquatint. Today, he said, he prefers again more subdued colors and is even thinking of printing in black and white only.
 

He worked with iron plates because iron, according to him, lent itself better to illustrating the Decameron than copper or zinc. Zinc plates, by the way, are often used by printmakers for etching intaglio prints, while Plexiglas or similar material is preferred for engravings. Petru Russu explained that the edges of his plates were irregular and crooked on purpose because he wanted to simulate the condition and looks of an original edition of the tales which he thought would be printed on vellum or early handmade paper and certainly not have an even, ruler-straight edge. The broad, deeply bitten lines in the plate that sit massively on the paper’s surface are the result of dipping the prepared plate repeatedly into sulphuric acid.
 

While working, Petru Russu also changed his technique. In the early plates, fine nervously vibrating lines crisscross the plate or run parallel. Over time, these sensitive lines give way to single, strong cords, solidly incised into the plate and solidly stacked on the paper, surrounding the aquatinted areas like a wall.

Deciphering the eroticism of the iconography was a challenge. One may even be tempted to reread Boccaccio’s tales. Petru Russu provides an image of 14th century Italian life by weaving certain artifacts into his graphic tale. Checkerboard tablecloths, wine glasses, rigged sailing vessels, horsemen and horsewomen, the headgear of the period appear throughout the prints, in variations. Men and women are barely humanoid, heads, torsi, limbs are floating in space, disconnected, yet making sense and fitting together. Banquet tables with checkered tablecloths are overturned, wine glasses have fallen down, unbroken, the wine flowing out. A real orgy. One head with a Cocteau-like profile is barely connected to a necktie of the 20th century. Limbs terminate in stumps or clumps or geometric finials. The anthropomorphic shapes in prehistoric caves come to mind.
Petru Russu the printmaker forces the viewer to return to his prints and try to interpret the meaning of their iconography. While they are immediately attractive visually, they ask for more attention in the long run.

Ingrid Rose, art critic, The Washington Print Club, Washington D.C.(1986)

****

Boccaccio’s Decameron  on 100 Etching Interpretations by Petru Russu by Enrico Crispolti
For what I know now, in Petru Russu’s painting the imaginary seems to develop with an accent of visionary expressionism rather dramatic, arousing, excited. This particular artistic attitude tests the reality through the upcoming of a symbolic-oneiric awareness and in a sharpening that could even change into a scream. It is a painting of profound, psychic investigation. A violent confession of anguish. Russu’s is crowded by presences, which bring dramatically back the reality to a truth of archetypes, that the artist put in contrast with the leveling of the daily horizon.
IN THIS engraving work, this visionary attitude is more accentuated by a narrative easing. It loosens the dramatic tension. It gains the pleasure of a pure dreaming-about. It becomes lighter, ironic, motioning. The plot moves towards dimensions of pure imagination, as it happens in the exercises of a machine that belongs to the world of fantasy.
 

The characters  come alive in a metamorphic dimension. They cross each other into fantastic spaces. They are free from every logic, apart from the one based on the necessity of their narrative plot. The same narrative plot that Russu’s fantasy has developed in a game of possible analogies with the text.
Russu’s figurative tales are not descriptive. They are only in connection with the text for a pure, fantastic solicitation that the artist renews time after time. The text is a sort of pretest to stimulate his own taste, his own genius for a narrative plot derived from his pure, fantastic, visionary world, in witch emerges symbolic presences, archetypal and mysterious.
 

His Sheets are precious for their vivid, but softened chromatic that insinuates among the spaces made by a skillful etching mark aware of the expressive qualities of that medium. In front of Russu’s engravings, we have the sensation of being in the front of ancient miniatures, singularly “oriental”, suddenly animated by tensions enchantments, oneiric but actual starts and plots. Undoubtedly, there is a surrealist component in Russu’s figurative world, that gives to the author the freedom to reach a fantastic dimension as space of visionary revelation (here we can’t forget the great lesson of the Romanian Brauner, with his peculiar, archetypal surrealism).
 

Regarding these same Russu’s sheets, Dan Haulica spoke about a ”double dimension of technological mechanics and organic unity”. Actually, the visionary world of Petru Russu seems to allude to both those dimension, as two competing archetypes in the folds of our reality. They seem to be indistinguishable inside his visionary plot, where the explicit components are just the floating presences of surreal symbolic figures. Those dimensions remain at the stage of spheres of allusion. They are references of the mechanical plot of our contemporary world and of the iconic plot that chases us daily. But they are even references of a remote organic root, of an anthropological truth on which are based the motivations of a visionary symbolism, like Russu’s one.*
 

Enrico Crispolti , Pd.D, Art Critic, Professor to Art Academy Rom Italy 1986

 

**** Petru Russu (14.06.1997)

Interpretarea DECAMERONULUI de catre PETRU RUSSU in 100 de Gravuri  |  Alexandru Balaci | critic de arta, academician, vicepresedinte al Uniunii Scriitorilor din Romania
Personalitatea lui Giovanni Boccaccio este esential artistica, marele narator italian situindu-se in aria celor care considera literatura si artele drept o activitate suficienta pentru o justificare integrala a existentei. El vrea sa curete arta de orice finalitate care nu ar servi estetica acestor zone terestre. Dupa cum el se demonstreaza a fi apt pentru a primi imensul patrimoniu al spiritualitatii antropomorfice a Antichitatii. Vasta sa curiozitate intelectuala, simptom nealeatoriu al aurorelor Renasterii, l-a purtat si spre mai putin cunoscuta cultura elena. Eruditia demonstrata, in lucrari multiple, pasiunea exceptionala pentru aprofundarea clasicilor l-au orientat spre o noua conceptie, echivalenta cu intoarcerea ochiului din ceruri spre pamint, cu trairea intensa, cu exaltarea omului ca o fiinta armonica psihofizica, cu neuitarea trupului pe care il chinuisera, in renuntari, ascetii evului de mijloc. El incearca si calea indrazneata de a evada din padurea intunecata a alegoriilor si simbolurilor in ale carui meandre ratacisera atitia scriitori ai originilor literaturii italiene. Universul sau estetic este orientat de axele cardinale ale realitatii si adevarului care se descopera integral dupa indepartarea valurilor aparentelor. Opera sa se revendica de la contemporaneitate, reflex profund al noii eruditii umane, analizata cu ochii noi ai introspectiei realiste. In felul acesta in vasta comedie umana a DECAMERONULUI, Giovanni Boccaccio scrie cartea vietii, cartea bucuriei si a naturii, proclamind, implicit, un mare protest impotriva a tot ce este constringator in lume. In arhitectura, atit de ferm construita a viguroasei sale opere, iubirea devine sentimentul tutelar, o lege a naturii care se impune oricarei existente. Marele afresc al sfirsitului evului mediu este o celebrare a vietii, de catre un spirit care isi exprima profunda intelegere despre o lume noua care se vesteste la orizontul apropiat. Lauda simturilor, lauda ratiunii sint manifestari ale unei noi spiritualitati. Viata nu mai este determinata de invocarea ajutorului divinitatii crestine tutelare, ci considerata o actiune continua, in care omul isi demonstreaza energia apta pentru a infrunta destine si a cuceri noi valori. Lumea noua, lumea laica a DECAMERONULUI, nu mai poate fi substituita de vreo alegorie crestina. Figurile terestre ale DECAMERONULUI joaca pe o scena vasta jocurile vietii adevarate, de la nastere pina la moarte. Elementele profane ale unei esemenea vaste reprezentari coplesesc reminiscentele teologale. In comedia umana a lui Boccaccio predomina hohotul de ris a carui sonoritate va rasuna peste secole.

Iubirea este forta dominanta a universului si legii ei ii sint supuse toate creaturile firii. Personajele multiple nu privesc spre ceruri platonice, ci spre pamintul care poarta florile si fructele catre primavara imbratisarii generale. Dar iubirea nu este patima oarba, exclusiv instinctuala, animalitate senzuala, un simplu freamat senzorial, ci si pasiunea in stare sa innobileze conditia umana. Ea poate dinamiza intregile virtuti, uneori latente, ale indragostitului, care dovedeste pina la urma ca iubirea poate sa creeze ”la grandezza dell’animo”. Estetica lui Boccaccio nu este niciodata gratuita. Autorul nu se complace in obscenitate si detractorii care s-au oprit mai ales asupra caracterului ”licentios” al naratiunilor din DECAMERON nu au putut sa remarce ca Giovanni Boccaccio nu a facut opera de pornografie, nu a accentuat violenta senzualitatii in aspectul ei cel mai brutal care poate injosi pe om. Dimpotriva, a cautat sa transfigureze in arta jocul acesta suprem al vietii, care este atractia sentimentelor si instinctelor intre oameni. De altfel chiar in nuvelele cele mai ”indraznete”, ceea ce acorda satisfactie suprema autorului nu este interesul coborit spre zonele inferioare ale senzualitatii, ci jocul rafinat al fortelor intelectuale puse in miscare pentru cucerirea iubirii. Boccaccio inclina balanta cartii sale spre predominarea trupului pentru a-si lua o puternica revansa asupra ascetismului care mortificase lumea. Ritmul unei exceptionale vitalitati pulseaza in fiecare erou al cartii, impingind singele nou al bucuriei care fusese uitata de oameni in primul mileniu al noii lor istorii. In reprezentarea materiei senzuale, Boccaccio urmareste comandamentul primordial al vietii care se manifesta tumultuos. Un vast curent de simpatie este prezent in paginile celei mai natural umane opere a literaturii italiene, simpatie pentru om si manifestarile lui.

Cu o asemenea vasta simpatie si adevarata estetica, s-a apropiat de personajele DECAMERONULUI graficianul romin PETRU RUSSU, incercind sa le portretizeze in formarea vitala a devenirii lor pe pamint, dincolo de normele rigide ale ascetismului religios. Sutele de siluete din fresca sa grafica urmaresc o linie de arta senina, dincolo de abstractiune, intr-o zona a bucuriei celei mai omenesti posibile. O lege dinamica a actiunii continue face sa defileze, in fata celui care priveste, hora personajelor, intr-un loc liber al fanteziei de arta, intr-o cautare a unitatii in varietate. Pe nucleele tematice ale DECAMERONULUI, ilustratorul romin a filigranat un arabesc colorat si dinamic, asupra caruia iradiaza lumini existentiale. Ca un artizan florentin, PETRU RUSSU cizeleaza in subtile linii armonice simetriile textuale ale capodoperei italiene, revendicindu-se de la o coerenta ludica, la o tenacitate incordata permanent. Tensiunea naratiunii este echivalata de incordarea grafica, in convergenta catre o corespondenta nealeatorie. Graficianul mai incearca cu flexibilitate sa redea tonalitate si nuante generate de o atit de complexa materie de arta. Intensul cromatism al abstractiilor trimite spre manuscrise ale trecutului in care miniatura colorata viu facea sa ”surida” orice pagina. Simbologia unui erotism intens in care protagonistii iubirii pot deveni, emblematic, flori ori pasari, este o demonstratie clara a unei intelegeri stilistice originale a structurilor de cristal ale DECAMERONULUI. Exista impresia ca artistul a incercat o proprie desfatare estetica atunci cind si-a elaborat, cu libera, ludica fantezie, ramele si apele oglinzilor in care a cautat sa rasfringa marele mozaic literar al DECAMERONULUI, capodopera a vietii si iubirii nemuritoare.
 

Alexandru BALACI, Academician, profesor doctor docent, vicepresedinte al Uniunii Scriitorilor di R. S. Romania, Critic de arta, Bucuresti 1985
 

**** Prencipe Galeotto

Despre EXPOZ1TIA in care PETRU RUSSU interpreteaza, cartea numită DECAMERON zisă Printul Galeotto care cuprinde o suta de povesti -

 GRAVURI, istorisite in zece zile de sapte doamne si trei cavaleri si desenate in mai multe de artistul insusi | Coriolan Babeti, Critic de arta si publicist
Asemieni culturii bine folosite, “ilustratia” bună pare să fie ceea ce rămine - in imagine - după ce (ilustratorul) uită tot (ce este de uitat). Ilustratia bună e altfel spus, o probă de infidelitate. Il urmărisem pe artist repovestind - printre prieteni - si amuzat si amuzant gravurile, făcind adică o cale-ntoarsă spre textul boccaccesc. In pagina gravurii, detaliu de detaliu era “fixat” cu acribie; nimic superfluu sau amibiguu. Simpatice marionete “vi¬trate” si “mozaicate”, “masini celibatare”, cum ar fi spus Duchamps-Car¬rouges (si Szeeman insusi, cel ce avea să le dedice o amplă mostră) ludice-lubrice articulate imprevizibil si năzdrăvan, ca intr-o medievală arlechiniadă, carnavalescă frenezie, a horă de ingegni... si totusi, privindu-le, resimti că sunt astfel “compuse”, incit tisnesc mai mult din spirit decit din litera acestui univers at prozei, prozaic si vital. Boccaccio insusi ne someaza de la inceput: “Mi-am pus in gind să povestesc a sută de povesti ori basme, ori istorioare, cum vreti să le numiti, istorisite in zece zile de către o prea¬cinstită ceată de sapte doamne si trei tineri care s-au intovărăsit pe vremea păcătoasă a molimei de odinioară din care povestiri se vor vădi si alte norocoase fapte petrecute atit in vremurile noastre cit si in cele de demult”. In vremurile noastre, adică, in Florenta A.D. 1348 ...”Ceea ce invirtosea puterea acestei molime era că boala se intindea de la bolnavi la sănătosi in¬tocmai cum se intinde focul cind intilneste in calea lui ceva uscat ori un¬suros”.

Pesta e, dacă vreti, la PETRU RUSSU “factură” si “viziune” in a figura un chip sau altul, căci formele-s atinse toate de a molimă ce le preface in grili si priapice zeităti, intocmai cum “se intinde focul” e intinderea unui intreg ciclu ars cum se vede de o aceeasi unică metaforă. Si in această Vale Rea - o Melabolge - o lume-ntreagă se dedă - am zice chiar că se “predă” -, “oarbei iubiri”; o lume si sensuală, si vicleană, si ignorantă, dan si cultă, intr-o devălmăsie, si patriciană, si ple¬bee. In “naufragiul unei epoci”, ,,imens”, după De Sanctis, cu poezia cea hulită ca “mamă a minciunilor”, cu “teatrul hrană pentru diavol”, Decameronul e “corabia nebunilor” plutind pe oceanul de austerităti si prohibiti din Trecento. Iubirea insăsi a lui Boccaccio pentru Fiammetta napolitană e o erezie ... Zărită de acesta in urmă chiar cu sase secole si jumătate in Chiesa di San Lorenzo (7 aprilie 1336), printesa angevină e “Jucăusă”, nu mai e “Beata”, cum pentru Dante fu Bea¬trice, iar Laura pentru Petrarca. Iubi¬rea lui Boccaccio, ce inrudeste pentru o clipă Timisoara (printr-un anume eveniment) cu ajutorul insusi al cărtii. Căci Fiammetta fuse fiica (pe numele cel de printesă Maria d’Aquino). Invinsului de la Posada, al Basarabului Matei, fiica legitima regelui angevin Carol Robert, cel ce făcu din Timisoara, chiar dacă pentru doar cincisprezece ani, o capitală de imperiu (1315— 1330). Decameronul, asadar, a Printu¬lui Galeotto Carte — titlu cu cheie, căci Galeotto e “ademenitorul”, “mijlocitor spre rele”, unul si acelasi cu le¬gendarul Galahad. O Malebolge, cu prelati aghezmuiti si simoniaci, madone nătăflete si morganatice logodne, răpiri de fete de sultan, briganzi si va¬gabonzi, umblind tehui, Alatiel - o jucărie in mina Parcelor, deghizamente, travestiuri si qui pro quo-uri, un labi¬rint in care Rege e “instinctul”, iar Soata sa e “intimplarea”. Dar despre această Vale Rea, despre Infern, să observăm, se povesteste in Paradis de “tinăra brigadă”, la ore de amiază, in marginea unui havuz si după mese imbelsugate.

“Visione amorosa” un “Laberinto d’amore” (titluri de opuri din tineretea lui Boccaccio), cu subteranele letale, discurs, desigur, si “alegoric”, si “amoros”, căci Alatiel nu-i doar femeie ce se supune ispitelor, ci e (cum vede Deligiorgis) .”chiar ectoplasma si prin¬cipiul ispitei”. Ectoplasme si năluci sunt aceste nostime “pupazzi” si transpa¬rente si volatile si volante. Animate de un duh poporan, acesta le face să fie si “din Boccaccio si de aiurea-eis to exoticon”. O lume liberă de multe bi¬gote prejudecăti, din care se inspiră chiar rima, liberă si ea de servituti, a tinărului gravor.

O friză, deci, ca o eruptie de jet imaginar si semiotic, o summa, dar si o (supra) segmentalitate, in “amestec” ca intr-un “joc de cărti” (cum acelasi Deligiorgis il vede in exegeza sa), cu care, intr-o perceptie rapidă, gravura lui RUSSU se inrudeste. Simeza-i chiar o “pasientă”. Se ilustrează aici contraste, cu violente si reculegeri, cu linie cind tandră sensuaiă, cind transantă, o con¬tinuă navetă intre real si ireal, lume fantastă, abstrasă si obtuză, tragică si umoristică, ludică si teratomorfă. Ciclul intreg e o grimasă, stilul un disegno interno al caricaturalului. Căci PETRU RUSSU reuseste, in comentariul care trece dincolo de servituti, un co-mentariu ce conferă lustru materiei prime si ilustre: textul boccaccesc e un “ecou”, aici, desigur, nu insă al a¬natomiilor, ci al fiziologiei romanesti. Pe scurt, artistul de-ca-me-ro-ni-zea-ză. Un labirint dionisiac, din care poti iesi, asa cum face PETRU RUSSU, “prin povestirea lui” si “prin umor” exorcizindu-l, deci, căci labirintul e util atunci cind nu e “resedintă”. Boccaccio insusi, la amurg, il părăsise. Nu insă. prin “povestirea” lui, nici prin ”umor” ci prin meditatie si sperantă. Boccaccio cel supranurnit “Giovanni al linistii”.

Coriolan Babeti, Critic de arta si publicist, Timisoara 1986

 

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References:

-- In praise of Boccaccio’s DECAMERON (1353) | Sammy Yeo (400 Books)
https://medium.com/@samuelyeo/decameron-196a6d3374f4

-- El Decamerón y la pintura.

https://sites.google.com/site/eldecamerondegiovanniboccaccio/5-2-el-decameron-y-la-pintura

--Köp tryggt och enkelt frĺn lokala auktionshus

https://auctionet.com/sv/528212-petru-russu-etsning-decamerone-signerad-daterad-1987-samt-numrerad-e-a

-- El Decamerón, la pintura y la música

http://elojodelasibila.com.mx/el-decameron-la-pintura-y-la-musica/

-- 61 best Petru Rusu images on Pinterest | Etchings

https://ro.pinterest.com/19octavian51/petru-rusu/?lp=true

-- Amazon.com | Books by Petru Russu

https://www.amazon.com/Petru-Russu/e/B0039GVAVK