Sermon on the MountSermon on the Mount
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Sermon on the Mount

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Artist: Aurel Naray
Year: 1910-1920 ca.
Technique: oil on canvas - not stretched or framed
Signature: signed lower left
Dimensions: 23.6 x 31.5 in ((60 80 cm)
Description: This is an original oil painting by listed Hungarian modern master Naray Aurel within his highly regarded New Testament and Ecclesiastical oeuvre. “Sermon on the Mount” is a rare and important work of abiding value, and represents the only known version of the subject matter within Naray’s sixty known evangelical themes. The painting’s dramatic composition consists of a seated group scene on a cloudy day, with the predicating, gesticulating Savior as focal point, surrounded by his motionless Disciples and a very young child standing at Christ’s feet, all situated on an upward slope and listening to him most attentively. Occupying the lower right portion of the scene on an outcropping of rock, sits the isolated, totally disengaged and brooding figure of Judas, slumped forward with his head in hand and gazing dejectedly toward the ground, deeply lost in the contemplation of his betrayal of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a powerful and timeless scene of hope, transcendent faith, apostasy and ultimate redemption. The figure of the Master is highlighted in bright clothing, which stands out as an exclamation mark to those around him and the darker counterpoint of Judas. All figures are roughly sketched with energetic brush strokes as compared to the detail of Jesus, utilizing mellow colors, soft light and an intimate atmosphere. Its richness, balance, proportion, depth, muted color scheme, maturity and mastery of brush stroke, are an evident and outstanding representation of the Hungarian Secessionist and Symbolic School. The painting is in excellent condition.
Biography: Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1883 and died there in 1948. Self-educated artist and social critic. He worked with art teacher and academician painter Zsigmond Vajda (1860-1931) for 6 months, but otherwise never participated in conventional art training. He exhibited in the Nemzeti Szalon (National Salon) in 1921 and 1924, and later in America and throughout Europe. In 1924 he traveled to USA and exhibited extensively. He was a member of Hungary’s Association of Spiritual Artists . Masters. His work was influenced by Mihaly Munkacsy. His characteristic themes include the portrayal of woman, children, idyllic folk life and imaginary landscapes, flowers (the petals having fireworks-like energy) and most notably, paintings of ecclesiastical subjects, which are deemed significant. His works are included in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria), the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts (Szepmuveszeti Muzeum), the British Royal Family Collection. Naray’s oil on canvas titled “Mother and Child” sold in February of 2007 at the Historia Auktionshaus Winter Auction in Berlin for $13,140.00 USD.