(b. 1850, Pest, d. 1934, Budapest)

Boat Warpers

c. 1885
Oil on canvas, 132 x 98 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

After studying in Munich, Lajos Deák-Ébner worked in Paris for fifteen years. However, after his first visit to Szolnok in 1875, he spent every summer at its artists' colony. His approach to "plein air" painting was formed by the influence of Millet and Bastien-Lepage. The landscape of the Great Hungarian Plain suited his method admirably: instead of Academic artificiality, Deák-Ébner wished to reveal the vivid complexity of life. If not in his style, Munkácsy's influence was discernible in the compassionate way he depicted the hard life of his impoverished models. "Boat Warpers", painted in 1878, is an excellent example of his pictures produced in Szolnok. The most striking qualities of these paintings are the beauty of tones and - especially in the case of the smaller works - the way the artist captured the sun-lit colour values.

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