top of page

Charlemagne and Europe after 1200 years


As an introduction to this anniversary, on November 12th 2013, the Conference "Charlemagne and Europe after 1200 years" took place in the foyer of Small Room of the National Theater I.L. Caragiale Bucharest.

Discover the related event "Retrospective at the National Theatre of Bucharest" (TNB) 


Oil on canvas

This video is the introductory clip, and the visual musical support for the Conference

"The powerful emperor : The painter from Aachen Emil Ciocoiu introduces him with a crown, an European chain and a sword which represent Charlemagne's power, his vision of Europe and also his power." (Jaspers, 2014)


Press releases :

  • 18/01/14


The crown

The ring

The beard

The work and the painter

« Two valuable works for Aachen and Europa

The artist Emil Ciocoiu painted a portrait of the Emperor Charlemagne full of key details. The second painting shows the city in a nocturnal atmosphere.

By Bernd Mathieu

Aachen. For Emil Ciocoiu, it was first a long and concentrated reflexion. He decided to celebrate 2014 in Aachen, city commemorating the 1200 years of Charlemagne's death through three exhibitions, by introducing two interesting works to the public: this Romanian artist who lives and works in Aachen, and who had just recently finished a big exhibition which was very important to him and who was also celebrated by the retrospective of 200 of his works at the National Theatre of Bucarest, introduced a 2.50 meter high and 1.80 wide oil painting of the Emperor Charlemagne and a second painting of a nocturnal image of Aachen. These are two impressive paintings which can be admired in Emil Ciocoiu’s studio in the centre of Aachen.

     He began to paint the portrait of the emperor Charlemagne in 2011 and finished it during fall 2013. “I wondered how he was, how he was dressed. Nobody knows that precisely." So the artist has left his imagination run wild. For him, Charlemagne is the symbol of the first European. "Then I focused on this."

     Ciocoiu highlights this idea: the European

blue dominates the image. He provides us with information about the imposing figure of the emperor watching over his contemporaries. His stature expresses  an almost striking presence through several facets. "The eyes were very important to me, he looks at us, gives hope for Europe, for us, the Europeans, the people". Emil Ciocoiu doesn’t disregard the historical truth and represents him as a ruthless ruler: The Sword says it all („The tool of violence”, as described by the artist)

"The image is an invitation to commit ourselves to Europe."



– but still as an European, suggested by the blue colour dominating the painting. From a certain distance, you quickly get the impression that the blue colour turns into water - a reference to Aachen, the city of water.

     The monogram of Charlemagne is also an essential detail of the masterpiece. It consists in a kind of chain with EU stars on. Emil Ciocoiu: "It's an invitation to commit ourselves to Europe."

Painting in Beijing, Bucharest and in royal houses

Aachen. Although working and living in Aachen and in Belgium, the artist Emil Ciocoiu was born on 13 September 1948 in Sasa, Romania. He graduated from Bucharest’s Arts Academy in 1974 with a diploma with the specialization “painting”. During his studies, he already won the award "Musee 2000" in Luxemburg. In 1975-1977, he was awarded by the region of Bucarest. In 1980, he settled in Aachen with his wife, violinist, Rodica-Daniela.

Studies: He used to study at the Arts Academy of Bucarest. He became well known in Romania and in other countries thanks to his numerous personal exhibitions. His paintings can be found in Hamburg, Stuttgart,

Bukarest, Paris, Cannes, Avignon, Monte Carlo, Vienna, Brussels and during art fairs in New York, Quebec, Rome, Barcelona, Bologna, Milan and Geneva.

Ciocoiu's paintings can be found in the Ludwig Museum in Beijing, in Bucharest’s National Art Museum, in the collection of the Royal House of Jordan’s and of the Royal House of the Netherlands.

In his works, he creates unmistakable accents of light and color, dynamism and energy. His work is a remarkable collection as well as color sensitive art. "I wish my paintings to be emblematic of peace," says the artist.


What a image of the city! Emil Ciocoiu has provided the Cathedral and the Town Hall with a nocturnal Aachen atmosphere.

Pic: Michael Jaspers


Color, light, details: Emil Ciocoiu.

Pic: Michael Jaspers

Slightly displaced : the city centre

Aachen. The "Aachen - Painting" represents the perspective that you get from the Lousberg hill from a certain viewpoint, but Emil Ciocoiu didn't want his painting to be a "painted photo". Thanks to his artistic liberty, we can still recognize some buildings which are slightly displaced from their actual localization, such as the Elisenbrunnen - Elise fountain (top right, near the centre of the painting) or the Marschiertor (bottom right). The focus, of course, is set on the cathedral and the town hall.  »

Web press :

  • 12/09/14

« History of a Masterpiece -

Charlemagne by Emil Ciocoiu

2014 was, at least for the city of Aachen, for Germany, and for those who speak about Europe, "Charlemagne Year". In 814, 1200 years ago, the giant king, literally and figuratively, died leaving a stunning legacy still known today.

There were numerous and spectacular events and initiatives meant to highlight the momentum Charlemagne 1200, one of them being the “Charlemagne - Power, Art and Treasure” exhibition, held in Aachen from June to September 2014, in three key places of the royal court of Charlemagne.

We actually want to refer to a monumental painting exposed in Aachen City Hall these daysn an emblematic image of the visionary king made by the Romanian painter Emil Ciocoiu, who moved to aachen in 1980. The artist made a work of great impact, an image that emphasizes Charlemagne's European presence these days, bringing out the mist of history, an emblematic composition of azure and gold of the European flagship.


Photo de Marius Tita, 2014

His sword brings light and Christianity, and his piercing eyes exudes wisdom.

Charlemagne was painted by Emil Ciocoiu for almost two years, it's a large painting of huge power of suggestion. We must emphasize that this painting was first on public display in Bucharest in the autumn of 2013, when the National Theatre of Bucharest hosted a big Emil Ciocoiu's retrospective, with more than 200 paintings, many of them for the first time in Romania. 


Pictures by Andreas Herrmann, 2014

 Interesting links :

Back to the  Top

bottom of page