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Head of a Child after the War Tibor Vilt


Tibor Vilt Budapest, 1905 – Budapest, 1983

Date 1946
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze

24.5 × 20 × 17.5 cm

Inventory number 66.39-N
Collection Collection of Sculptures
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building C, Second Floor, Modern Times – Hungarian Art between 1896 and World War II, U Wing

The horrors of the war, the hope for peace and liberation, and the wish to rehabilitate the modernist trends activated several artists and critics already in the first days of 1945. After the termination of the war, the European School was founded on 18 October 1945, with Tibor Vilt as one of the founding members.
Tibor Vilt’s work is emblematic, reaching a dramatic effect with the most basic devices of sculpture. Cut off drastically under the strong, muscular neck, the sculpture only shows the head and face of the little child, becoming a symbol of desolation already because of its fragmentary form. Vilt enhanced the tragic message by distortion: the deep eye-pits, broad, flattened nose ridge, the matted tuft of hair with an uneven surface mask – and at the same time expose – the features of the child. All at once, the distortions of the child’s features allude to pain, dread, death and survival. The sculpture fits into the set of expressive works Vilt begun creating in the second half of the 1930s, but at the same time, it embodies the everyday emotions of the artist.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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