KISS, Bálint
(b. 1802, Szentes, d. 1868, Pest)


Hungarian painter. He studied in 1827 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Peter Krafft. In 1830 he settled in Szentes, then after a trip abroad he worked as a portrait painter (1833-36). In 1837 he moved to Pest, where he took part in founding the Artists Association of Pest, and his work appeared continuously in their exhibitions. In 1840 he exhibited portraits and Village Supper, in 1841 his pictures of Hunyadi after the Battle of Rigómezõ and István Dobó, in 1844 his genre work Poor Widow and in 1845 further portraits. In the Artists Association of Pest's exhibition of 1846 he showed his most popular work, János Pethes Jablonczay's Farewell to his Daughter at the Window of Leopoldschloss Gaol (1846; Budapest, Hungarian National Gallery), of which he was to paint more than 20 versions. This historical work, along with the Lost Sentry, would become symbols of national oppression after the suppression of the revolution of 1848-49.

He also produced steel-engraved portraits (1844) of the period's most famous actors, such as Mihály Füredi and Gábor Egressy. In addition to such portraits as Imre Székely (1851), he painted altarpieces (e.g. St John for the Nagycenk Church; in situ), genre pictures (e.g. Peasants by the Fire), landscapes (e.g. Tornavár) and animal pictures (e.g. Grazing Horses). He also designed a historical picture series reflecting the viewpoint of the Protestant gentry (e.g. Katica Dobó, 1858). Only a few of his lithograph series (planned in 1847) were finished, among them the Siege of Eger (1858) and the Widow of Zápolya (1866). In 1858 he exhibited in his studio the historical paintings commissioned by László Karácsony and his allegorical works, and donated 35 primarily historical and landscape paintings to the Transylvanian Museum Association.

In 1843 and in 1847 he organized exhibitions in his respective roles as curator of Hungarian pictures and as picture archivist and restorer to the National Museum. Although he lost his position between 1850 and 1861 because of his participation in the revolution of 1848, he continued to work in the museum.

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