Kieselbach /Apr 11, 2003
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Artworks in Arcadja23
Some works of Karoly FerenczyExtracted between 23 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Kieselbach -Apr 19, 2002 - BudapestLot number: 70
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Not signed Exhibition label on the reverse from 1911 Reproduced: István Genthon: Ferenczy Károly, Budapest, 1979, pict.121. Károly Ferenczy's Birds'Singing is said to be the first modern Hungarian painting. Though it was painted three years before the foundation of the Nagybánya-school, it was taken as a 'real' Nagybánya-paining and the master was invited to the school by the enthusiastic young painters. Though Ferenczy was reckoned to be a naturalist by his contemporaries flirting with avantgarde, the painter did not care about isms and labels. He wanted to find his own way; it must have been the reason for his denying his early pictures that were too similar to that of Bastien-Lepage's works, whose pictures inspired his painting at that time. In 1906 Ferenczy - to Szinyei Merse's invitation - became the teacher of the School of Art, from which later the Academy of Art was founded. He also was the leader of the Circle of Hungarian Impressionists and Naturalists that represented the progressive painters' interests. In the 'shadows' of the portraits, Biblical compositions and landscapes, for which the painter became famous, Ferenczy painted several still lifes as well. Most of them were painted in his studio in Budapest. The Parrots is known in two versions. The main 'figures' of the picture are two parrots and a pigeon, made of china; the two pictures can be differentiated by the situation of the parrots. The background of both pictures are draperies arranged in a picturesque way. It makes the pictures akin to his later nude compositions. It is well-known that Ferenczy was dealing a lot with the relationship of the 'theme' and the 'workmanship' of the picture. In one of his letters he wrote about a work of him the theme of which was not really elevated but 'it can get a kind of magic by its workmanship'. The same magic can be felt in the picture presented here. Ferenczy, as a real colorist, painted the parrots by stains of colors, which is so characteristic of him. The Netherlandish artists, whom he liked very much, also painted still lifes with parrots. The parrot has a symbolic meaning in Christian symbolics: it stands for the followers who should repeat the apostles prays that praise God just like a parrot repeats human words. It is not likely that Ferenczy had any moralizing intention when painting the picture; he must have been enchanted by the vivid colors, the exoticism of the china birds.
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