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The Painter in Front of a Burning House Imre Ámos

Artist:

Imre Ámos Nagykálló, 1907 – Ohrdruf, 1944

Date: after 1940
Medium: canvas, oil
Dimensions: 90 × 68.5 cm
Type: painting
Inventory number: 67.233T
Collection: Collection of Paintings

At the end of the 1930s, the system of symbols that Imre Ámos used in his paintings, nourished by Hasidic Jewish culture, began to take on new meaning through his childhood experiences. The increasingly menacing events of history affected the artist directly when he was called up for compulsory “labour service”. In his diary he wrote about how the painting was made and how he tried to block out the disastrous situation around him.
Working in the idyllic realm of his garden in Szentendre, the artist is surrounded by symbolic motifs. Tongues of flame spurt from the roof of the house, but the ladder stands empty, and even the angel turns away. There is a look of incomprehension on the face of the abandoned figure, and dramatic tension is conveyed through the restrained contrast of sombre tones. The last set of paintings that Ámos produced in the next few years contained increasingly dark, apocalyptic visions that foretold the impending destruction.

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