Description of the image
He is a man with short hair and mustache, dressed in a worker uniform, specific to the miners, and he has along his side a mining tool called a pickax.
The costume consists of a bodysuit with shoulder straps and chest pocket, marked by horizontal and parallel lines, and a shirt highlighted by dotted texture. On the head he wears a cap represented by x-texture, presented also in profile, separately, on the right side. The shoes are rendered full in relief. The left pickax is a tool for mining, with a wooden tail and a metal end, hard, arched on both sides and sharp.
In a deeply agrarian society, the worker represented in the second half of the 19th century, a rather exotic presence. Not until the early 1900s, paid workers became a significant component of urban society, being employed particularly in the food, oil, mining or transport industries. Thus, in 1914, the workforce numbered about 200,000 people, meaning 10% of the active population of Romania (Bibliography 1), being concentrated in the area of Bucharest and the Prahova Valley, but also in the area of Galați and Brăila ports. After 1918, by joining the provinces of Bucovina and Transylvania, the number of workers increased considerably, but the weight distribution of the whole country was diminished by the weak industrialization of Bessarabia region. According to the 1930 census, out of about 18 million inhabitants, 10.5 million represented the active population, a very large proportion for the respective period (63.1%), which was explained by the fact that the overwhelming majority of the active population (78% of approx.10.5 million) was occupied with agriculture activities. The statistics indicate that around 759 employees were employed in the industry in 1930, without specifying whether they were workers or other employees. Those who were active in transportation field, about 180 thousand, should be added here.In the rural area, 90% of the active population was employed in agriculture, the census registering 500 thousand agricultural workers, meaning the landless peasants, which is why they had to work as daily workers in order to be able to maintain themselves (Bibliography 2).As summary, it can be said that during inter-war Romania the workers numbered about 1-1.5 million people, which means that we are dealing with a quite significant social category. From political point of view, the party that assumed the representation of the interests of this social category was the Social-Democratic Party, a reorganized formation in 1927, ruled by Constantin Titel Petrescu. The electoral scores, however, were modest, so that from 1933 the Social – Democrats were no longer represented in the Parliament of Romania. The main cause of this failure was related to the impossibility of promoting measures to improve the situation of the workforce (Bibliography 3).Those who will radically promote the interests of the workers are the communists. Due to the fact that this movement was illegal in Romania even since 1924, the interests and image of the worker were promoted through magazines and newspapers of the left parties. “Blue blouses”, “New age”, “Free word” or “Left” are just a few of these examples, which highlighted the hard living and working conditions of the workforce. Although they had short-term appearances, these publications were noted through reports on the daily life of the worker, along with works of art that represented the precarious life of the working class and the peasantry in Romania (Bibliography 4).
1.Keith Hitchins, România 1866-1947, ediția a IV-a, București, Editura Humanitas, 2013, p. 169-170.
2. Sabin Manuilă, D.C. Georgescu, Populația României, București, Imprimeria Națională, 1937, p. 70-79.
3.K. Hitchins, op.cit., p. 438.
4. O prezentare a programului și a temei articolelor din aceste ziare și reviste în Marin Bucur (editor), Reviste progresiste românești interbelice, București, Editura Minerva, 1972, passim.