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

Birdsong

1893
Oil on canvas, 105 x 78 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

While painters of the Nagybánya school were first attracted to painting alfresco by the beautiful mountains, Károly Ferenczy had started doing so during his Munich stay. "Birdsong" is Ferenczy's first step to leave Basten-Lepage's "delicate naturalism" for his own style. The picture is free from details. The random appearance of impressionism in details of nature and capturing atmospheres, lights and colours hastily painted could not be more unusual for him.

Like other works of Ferenczy, "Birdsong" is carefully considered as a composition. The picture is limited to the woman embracing the trunk. The forest is symbolized by white trunks of birch-trees, bending leaves and harmonies of green. The picture is filled by a woman in red clothes. The red colour of her clothes and the delicate greens of her surroundings contribute to the lyric portrayal of the ralationship between man and nature. Forms are outlined in a definite way in the soft light glimmering through leaves. The woman is gracefully embracing the trunk of the birch tree. Leaves are not visible over her face which she turning upwards, yet one can still sense the forest over us and smell its cold breath.

Until Ferenczy arrived at the final version, he had done two drawings and a sketch in oil.




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