Woman with a Book (Portrait of the Artist’s Wife)
Collection of Paintings
|Medium, technique||wood, oil|
102 × 194 cm
|Collection||Collection of Paintings|
|On view||This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition|
Aladár Körösfői Kriesch – the founder of the art nouveau colony in Gödöllő, whose objective was to devise a national Hungarian style – selected subjects for his paintings mostly from the legends of Hungarian history. The cult of the Middle Ages that was embraced by the artists of Gödöllő is reflected most clearly in the two large panel works relating the story of Klára Zách, which initiate the viewer into one of the most tragic events of fourteenth-century Hungarian history. Legend has it that Klára’s father, Felicián Zách, attacked the Angevin royal family to avenge the dishonour they had brought upon his daughter, and as punishment, the entire Zách family was put to death.
Conspiracy and seduction are embodied in the figures of the queen and her younger brother, Casimir (later Casimir the Great), who stand on the left of the painting; separate from them, in the graceful company of the ladies-in-waiting, we see the victim, a young girl, the incarnation of beauty and purity. Körösfői formulated his compositions for paintings and tapestries using the vernacular of the art nouveau blended with folk art motifs. The art historical precedent for the decorative profiles of the women in the group is taken from Botticelli’s Primavera.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.