Hungarian painting caught up with up-to-date European trend sin the major works of Pál Szinyei Merse around 1870. Although he only got to Paris a tan old age, he discovered plein air as a method of conveying the form-giving and colouring effect of sunlight more or less synchronously with, but independently of, the impressionists. He, too, created the harmony of sunsoaked colours dipped in diffuse light by considering complementary and contrasr effects and tone values indicating the light saturation of colours. Unlike int he works of his predecessors and several of his contemporaries, the coherence of a Szinyei painting is not ensured by a single predimonant tone but by the equal light values of many different colour patches: In his perfectly balanced compositions, every element refers to the union of man and nature. He painted Picnic in May- deemed by many to be one of the finest Hungarian paintings – upon return to Munich, the venue if his academic studies, recalling his wanderings in Upper Hungary and the concicial picnics of the biography, „I painted myself into the picture prone, minching away, with my back to the spectator. I must admit I was thinking of the critics who would dislike my picture.” His guess was right: his contemporaries ridiculed him, his epochal significance only being slowly discovered half a generation later.


  • Title: Lady in Violet
  • Creator Lifespan: 1845 - 1920
  • Creator Nationality: Hungarian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Jernye
  • Creator Birth Place: Szinyeújfalu
  • Date Created: 1874
  • size: 103 x 76 cm
  • Technique: Oil, Canvas
  • Painter: Szinyei Merse, Pál
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Hungarian National Gallery, Hungarian National Gallery
  • External Link: Hungarian National Gallery

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