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Romanian Family Heading for the Fair Miklós Barabás

Artist:

Miklós Barabás Kézdimárkosfalva [Mărcușa], 1810 – Budapest, 1898

Date: 1843–1844
Medium: canvas, oil
Dimensions: 138.5 × 110 cm
Type: painting
Inventory number: 2753
Collection: Collection of Paintings

Miklós Barabás gained popularity as a widely employed portrait painter from the 1830s. He settled down in Pest in 1840 and free of any financial problems, he could devote himself entirely to painting.
His painting, Romanian Family on the Way to the Fair, displayed in 1845 at the annual art exhibition in Pest, is one of the first works of Hungarian genre painting. The pictorial antecedents for this work were the ethnographic engravings depicting the typical costumes of ethnic groups living in the Habsburg Empire, which had been popular since the end of the 18th century. Barabás himself also paid great attention to precisely rendering the ethnographic details and he depicted the impressive landscapes of his homeland, Transylvania in the painting. The work emanates a peaceful, melancholic atmosphere, which manifests an idealizing notion of folk figures and their life. Since peasants were generally regarded in that era as “innocent” people, the figures of folk genres often seem like characters from an idyllic world, as with this painting by Barabás.

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