(b. 1862, Wien, d. 1917, Budapest)


Oil on canvas, 69 x 52 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

When István Genthon was writing a study on Károly Ferenczy's portraits, he considered all his portraits (81 out of 351 pictures) which constitute a significant part of his oevre as far as quality is concerned, although he is not counted as a portrait painter. Ferenczy, a master of biblical compositions and bright landscapes, attempted to realize artistic objectives in portraits, too. He often raised the individual to the level of the general, yet his objectivity and realism opposing reconsideration always produced genuine character portrayals.

Ferenczy's "Self Portrait" painted in Munich ranks high among his portraits and other pictures. Ferenczy refers to the relationship between man and nature in an intimate way. His portrait is not the portrait of a painter in the usual sense. The artist is not painted in front of a work which he has been working on in his studio or in the middle of props typical of his profession. Ferenczy's face, open, young and serious, flashes up in the foreground of dark leaves of a forest. His clothes and face vaguely reflect the light glimmering through branches. The painter in a dark jacket is not posing for the portrait. The brush gently follows the face and soft lines of the hair.

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