Thursday, November 4, 2010

Csontvary, Hungarian artist

Pecs, Hungary and Istanbul share the title of 2010 Capital of Culture. There have been many exchanges between museums of Europe and the museums of Istanbul. Currently, work of Hungarian artist Csontvary is on loan from the Pecs Museum to Istanbul's Pera Museum. Csontvary was born in 1853, educated as a pharmacist and at the age of 41, decided to pursue art. He travelled around Europe and the Middle East for lessons and then painting in oils. His self portrait is used in the exhibit announcement on the front of the museum.
My favorite painting is titled " Roman Bridge in Mostar", painted in 1903. The painting description notes that the bridge was actually built by the Turks in the 16th century over the Neretva. Muslims lived on the left and Croatians on the right. The painting depicts the original bridge, which was destoyed in 1991 during the Yugoslavia war. Since then the bridge has been reconstructed with a Hungarian design and Turkish craftsmen.

Also at the Pera Museum, is an exhibit of "Scenes from Tsarist Russia", all from the late 19th century. During this period, many scenes of everyday life were painted.

Children were featured in Russian painting prior to becoming popular subjects in western painting. From 1897, Nikolai Bogdana-Belsky's "At the Doors of a School" depicts the plight of a boy from a poor family.

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