(b. 1861, Kaposvár, d. 1927, Kaposvár)

Old Woman with Violet

Oil on canvas, 163 x 97 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

Whistler who was living in Paris in the 1890s influenced Rippl's art. Later Rippl wrote in his "Memoirs", that he made the longish form of artists fashionable and women or men in black or grey clothes either sitting or standing in an elegant way. The picture belongs to a group of pictures which have one figure only and a symbolic interior (e.g. "Woman in White Spotted Dress", 1889, "Woman with Cage",1892, "Slim Woman with Vase", 1892, "Mother", 1894, etc.). The picture is suggestive of old age and loneliness. The everyday clothes of the woman and the bunch of violets symbolizing mortality raise the picture to the sphere of lyric, subjective and intimate. A world of intimate interiors dominates the art of Nabis, a group of French painters, too. In the grey and undefined space behind the model, the fireplace is the only sign of an interior. Colours of the background are subdued: blue, ockre, olive green, brick-red and purple. Contours typical of art nouveau and silhouettes with plasticity inside them are accompanied by realism which is brought about by brush strokes following shapes, and shades expressing shadows. Wrinkles on the face are also delicately blurred.