(b. 1844, Munkács, d. 1900, Endenich)

Tramps at Night

Oil on wood, 162 x 220 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

Memories from Hungary engaged Munkácsy during his period in Munich and it was the drama of these experiences which brought him success in Europe. Munkácsy's nerves were shattered at that time: he was afraid that he would not be able to paint any more. Passionate experiences vanished but he had other subject matters to concentrate on. The contours of houses in this picture indicate a German town. The major figure in fetters is Hungarian, he looks like Munkácsy's tramp. Embarressment on the faces and in the gestures of market women is so lively as if Munkácsy painted a genre-picture and characters in the country in Hungary.

The mother, another well-known figure from his pictures, embraces her child protectively. The red-haired man with a hump is raising his eyebrows and is trying to find out what is going on. The bearded outlaw with a hat is probably not fettered for the first time in his life: he despises people who are shocked around him.

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