Family Compromise at Lake BalatonFamily Compromise at Lake Balaton
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Family Compromise at Lake Balaton

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Artist: Bela Ivanyi-Grunwald
Year: 1930-1940 ca.
Technique: oil on canvas
Signature: signed lower right
Dimensions: 23.6 x 31.5 in (60 x 80 cm) w/o frame; 29.75 x 37.75 in (75.6 x 95.9 cm) w/frame
Description: This is an original oil painting by listed Hungarian modern master Bela Ivanyi-Grunwald, in his celebrated Lake Balaton series of vigorously painted and impressionistic genre scenes and landscapes. “Family Compromise at Lake Balaton” is a rare and important work, and represents one of the artist’s finest examples of the revelatory power of diffuse light and shadows, of the visual role of air and the system of complementary colors. The painting’s dramatic composition consists of an extended family at rest on the Shore of Lake Balaton in late afternoon, in the aftermath of domestic conflict. The focal point, a standing Matriarchal figure presides as sympathetic peacemaker, and is surrounded by the feuding couple and their children, all appearing resigned to a truce of imposed compromise. The landscape and figures are wonderfully incorporated with an ease and simplicity peculiar to reality, blending man and nature into intimate harmony. The painting detail shows the family resting on the gently sloping banks of Lake Balaton, their shimmering images reflected in the Lake beneath them, with mature trees, meadow, foliage and rounded, fluffy cumulus clouds drifting above. The intense lakeside scene is captured in the alternating shadows and light of a late Hungarian afternoon, and is remarkable for its subject matter, its muted light effects and the wistful mood of the dim, blue and white clouds. The painting’s balance, proportion, technical skill, color scheme and maturity are an evident and outstanding representation of this Hungarian Master’s oeuvre. The painting's condition is good, with two small and very old expert canvas patches on the reverse side predating acquisition.
Biography: Born in Somogysom, Hungary in 1867 and died in Budapest in 1940. He studied at the School of Sample Drawing in Budapest with Bertalan Szekely and Karoly Lotz, and continued his studies in 1887 at the Julian Academy in Paris. He subsequently joined the Hollosy Group, and in 1896 was part of the foundation of the artist's colony at Nagybanya, where he taught in their painting school. In 1904 he spent a year in Rome and his style changed from naturalistic and “plein art” to decorative, stylized and secessionist (1906). Ivanyi-Grunwald became an internationally renowned Hungarian painter and art teacher, of seminal influence on Hungarian art in the 20th century. His landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes on historic, allegorical or rural subjects are deemed highly significant. In juried exhibitions, included among his many awards and prizes are: the International Gold Medal at the Barcelona World’s Fair (1888), the Bronze Medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900), the Bronze Medal at the St. Louis Exposition (1904), Hungary’s Muscarnok National Gold Medal (1913), the Szinyei Merse Prize (Hungary), a Carnegie Award (U.S.A.) and the Hungarian National Corvin Wreath for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (1930). Ivanyi-Grunwald's highest auction sale is his oil on canvas titled "Landscape at Nagybanya," which sold in Budapest for $61,116.00 USD (11,000,000 HUF) at the Mu-Terem Galeria's Spring 2003 auction.