Ion Theodorescu-Sion (Romanian pronunciation: [i'on te.odo'resku si'on]; also known as Ioan Theodorescu-Sion or Teodorescu-Sion; January 2, 1882 – March 31, 1939) was a Romanian painter and draftsman, known for his contributions to modern art and especially for his traditionalist, primitivist, handicraft-inspired and Christian painting.
Trained in academic art, initially an Impressionist, he dabbled in various modern styles in the years before World War I.
Theodorescu-Sion's palette was interchangeably post-Impressionist, Divisionist, Realist, Symbolist, Synthetist, Fauve or Cubist, but his creation had one major ideological focus: depicting peasant life in its natural setting.
In time, Sion contributed to the generational goal of creating a specifically Romanian modern art, located at the intersection of folk tradition, primitivist tendencies borrowed from the West, and 20th-century agrarian politics.
Initially scandalized by Theodorescu-Sion's experiments, public opinion accepted his tamer style of the mid to late 1910s.
Sion was commissioned as a war artist, after which his standing increased.
His paintings alternated the monumental depictions of harsh environments, and their inhabitants, with luminous Balcic seascapes and nostalgic records of suburban life.
Their search for visual concreteness was a standard for the Anti-Impressionist emancipation of the Romanian artistic scene in the interwar period.
By the mid-1920s, Sion's style became a visual component of the Neo-Traditionalist, "Romanianist" and neo-Byzantine current formed around Gândirea literary magazine.
In the years before his death, the emergent avant-garde was voicing criticism of his new stylistic and ideological choices.
Sion's oscillation between modernity and parochialism, his flirtation with authoritarian politics, and the eventual decline of his work endure as topics of controversy.