(b. 1852, Beckó, d. 1919, Wien)

Jan Horak

Tempera and Indian ink on paper, 41 x 31 cm
Deák Collection, Municipal Gallery, Székesfehérvár

Mednyánszky came across the subject matter of the down-and-out, tramps, and people drifted to the outskirts of life in the 1890s. He painted his best pictures on them. The strengths of his art are in his new colours and compositions, and mostly a suggestive psychologism and character portrayal expressing exposure and manipulation as in the case of the soldier head.

His landscapes painted at the end of the last century show him as a 19th c. artist, but he gradually leaves nature for man.

Mednyánszky's portraits show either soldiers, or people who have drifted to the outskirts of life. Due to their subject matters, portrayal and genres, they belong to his most characteristic works. "Soldier Head" shows the head of a simple person who kills on order. He does not think, he only carries out commands. Misguided and bereft of his personal freedom, he suddenly realizes that war makes no sense.

The sketch of Ján Horak shows a self-conscious and headstrong man, the hero of pubs who does not care about laws. Tersánszky wrote much about him in his novels on the age.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.