Ruralia Hungarica – Hungarian Country Life

Special exhibition of oil paintings, offering a nostalgic glimpse into a simpler and gentler bygone era, idyllic village life, and romanticized rural scenes of the Hungarian countryside of the past.

Ruralia Hungarica-2 pm



“Hungarian Country Life”

The paintings in this exhibit by Hungarian painters had included:

Márton Barabás, Ilona Berkes, Béla Ivanyi-Grünwald, Antal Neogrády, László Neogrády, Ferenc Olgyay, Lajos Páll, Lajos Rezes Molnár, János Viski and others

and depicted Hungarian country life through idealized images that provoked a sense of a gentler, simpler, and more leisurely time. They provided a nostalgic glimpse into a bygone era, a point in time that was contemporary with the artist but that today exists no more, except perhaps in a few still isolated small villages in Hungary and Transylvania.

The images represented many aspects of country life and depicted a variety of charming rural landscapes. Through the eyes of the artists, we got a glimpse of the daily chores – feeding livestock, preparing for work, harvesting, and herding. The artists captured every day village activities like shopping, walking in the village, and going to and coming from church. And they froze these images in the variety of the landscape of each season, giving us a feeling for life in the Hungarian countryside on an ongoing basis from season to season and year to year.

The paintings presented these images in a variety of styles, from romantic to impressionistic. The interpretations of the artists ranged from the bold deep colors of Kosta’s almost cubist village scene to the lyrical, soft, spring-like colors of Neogrady’s romantic girl herding the geese. In still another style, the artist gave a representation by only a few strokes and left the details to the imagination of the viewer. Yet regardless of the style, the paintings all revealed the feeling these scenes must have evoked in the artists in their charming, romanticized and idyllic renditions of the many aspects of Hungarian country life. Hopefully, this collection succeeded in conveying to the viewer this same sense of appreciation for this not-so-distant aspect of Hungary’s past.

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