Radu Varia, son of General Mihai Varia, hero of World War II, and Ofelia Varia, born Verusi, started school at the L’École Française in Bucharest, and then attended the I.L. Caragiale National College.
He studied Romanian language and literature at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iaşi and at the University of Bucharest, where he graduated in 1964. Later on, he received in Paris his Ph.D. in History of Art and Civilization at La Sorbonne / École des Hautes Études.
Radu Varia started his publishing activity in 1961. In the 1960s, when Romania went through harsh communist times, he played an active part in the Romanian non-conformist artistic milieu, stimulating the contact of the younger generations with Western art, thus being the successful organizer of the first exhibitions of post war Romanian artists in Western Europe.
In this capacity he was invited by the French Government to the 1967 Paris Biennial Exhibition, where he established new contacts with the international artistic world. The same year, Giulio Carlo Argan offered him the possibility to become an Assistant Professor at the University of Rome.
In 1968 he met Richard Demarco, promoter of the new European consciousness, whose Gallery added to the famous Edinburgh Festival the privilege of contributing to soldering back again the European creative forces through artists coming from countries that had most suffered from the war and from communism (such as Poland and Romania). In those years Radu Varia was the main dynamic supporter of Richard Demarco’s initiatives in favour of Romanian art and artists.
In 1971, when Radu Varia decided to settle for good in Paris, he became a doctoral student at the Sorbonne University under the supervision of Jean Cassou, winner of the Cervantes Prize for literature and founder of the Musée National d’Art Moderne.
In 1967 he met Salvador Dali in Paris, whom he assisted in creating the Dali Museum in Figueras, which was inaugurated in September 1974. In 1972 Dali dedicated to Varia a famous text published and republished in numerous editions of his books, entitled “Oui! à la Roumanie. Pour Radu Varia”.
In 2018 he was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of Chisinau’s Academy of Arts, lecturing on this occasion on Brancusi, the artist who changed the history of sculpture.
In 2018 he is elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in Paris and Member of the Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea in Salzburg