(b. 1844, Munkács, d. 1900, Endenich)

Biboulous Husband

Oil on wood, 108 x 150 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

When the picture was painted, newspapers and plays in the 19th c. had a favourite subject matter: a peasant who comes home drunk. Readers and spectators followed the events with laughter when the staggering husband argued cheekily with his shrewish wife. Munkácsy did not consider the subject matter as humorous. His approach shows seriousness and sympathy and this scene meant a part of peasant life him. The husband only wanted to have a good time that night. His wife knows that and is not quarrelling, she is feeding her smallest child. But what is going to happen to them in the future? The husband's friend who accompanied him home prepared a speech in protection of the husband. Hunger is a natural state here.

The silent drama is highlighted by whites contrasting with dark colours, blues, browns and dark reds, recalling the atmosphere of aroom in a peasant home.

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