Young Woman Playing BalalaikaYoung Woman Playing Balalaika
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Young Woman Playing Balalaika

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Artist: Istvan Macsai
Year: 1980 ca.
Technique: oil on canvas
Signature: signed on upper left
Dimensions: 31 x 23 in (78.7 x 58.4 cm); not stretched or framed
Biography: Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1922 and died there in 2005. He studied with Master Bernath Aurel at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts from 1945 to 1950 and spent years in Italy, the Netherlands and France. He exhibited throughout Europe, principally in Munich and Amsterday. He initially painted still lifes, nudes and portraits in a meticulous and restrained color palette in the Quattrocento style, evoking classical proportionality and well-balanced shapes. In the 1960s he transitioned to more symbolic character portraits of Budapest, its downtown streets, suburbs, bridges, means of transport, its apartment blocks and the urban life of its residents. These works were hyper-realistic (photorealistic), symbolic and often with surreal elements, all characterized by an emotional motivation behind the lens. He was awarded the Munkacsy prize in 1953 and 1955, the Pro Urbe prize in 1995, and the Gold Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2002.