Two Hungarian Painters

This post is about two Hungarian painters we encountered on opposite ends of our vacation. On May 25 our Viking bus tour took us to the Budapest opera house, following which we went to the Müvész Kávéház, to sample some remarkable cakes. But the interior of the dining room also impressed us. On the wall near our table was a photograph of Liszt and a droll painting of a man admiring a young woman and her daughters. Is he the husband and father? One could wonder. I took a picture of this and later corresponded with the café manager Edit Rebak, who kindly provided an additional photograph and the information that the painter was Komaromi-Kacz Endre, a Hungarian artist who lived between 1880 and 1969. I used this photograph and my own to make the image shown here.Endre

This painting reminded me of the well-known picture by Giovanni Boldini of a young woman crossing the street, under the admiring eye of a young dandy in a carriage, that hangs in the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. WomanCrossingStreetBoldini

In this case it is clear that the young man is not yet acquainted with the lady!

The Müvész Kávéház was a real delight – here is one of the delicious cakes:

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Müvész Kávéház, being chosen by our guide, is clearly a must-see in Budapest, at 1061 Budapest Andrássy út 29.

Much later during our vacation, we visited the Orangerie du Sénat in the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris, and discovered yet another Hungarian painter, about the same generation, named Endre Rozsda. He was strongly influenced by surrealism, as shown on the poster of the exhibition. Most of the paintings were in this style.IMG_3127

However, he mastered several styles over his career, as shown by the self-portrait and the picture of a young woman “Marianne” shown here.

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Rozsda wrote about how his painting enabled him to capture moments in time, a very Proustian concept. The fact that we began our vacation in Budapest looking at a Hungarian painting and finished it in Paris also looking at Hungarian paintings is not entirely coincidental, I suppose, but I felt that I learned something new about the unity of Europe, and the continuity of various forms of art.

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