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Woman with a Birdcage József Rippl-Rónai


József Rippl-Rónai Kaposvár, 1861 – Kaposvár, 1927

Date 1892
Object type painting
Medium, technique canvas, oil

185.5 × 130 cm

Inventory number FK1385
Collection Collection of Paintings
On view This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition

Between 1887 and 1900 József Rippl-Rónai lived in France. His painting My Grandmother attracted the attention of the artists’ circle formed around the periodical Revue Blanche and he was invited to join them. This work also brought him close to the Nabis group, in whose exhibitions he also participated. He called his period of reduced colours coinciding with the 1890s the “black period”. “I was greatly preoccupied by the black and grey colours, I was excited to find out what and how one could solve with them in art,” he wrote. The decorative paintings he created in Paris at that time are characterised by reserved sombre colours, planarity and powerful contouring. His approach was in part developed under the influence of the American painter working in Paris, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834―1903), whom he even mentioned in his memoirs. Inspired by Whistler’s paintings of thin, elongated format and tones of a single colour, Rippl-Rónai painted a series of female figures. In Woman with a Birdcage decorative art nouveau wavy lines envelope the ethereal female figure dressed in black. To the dark background excitingly radiant counterpoints are created by the pale planar profile of the woman and her hand holding the cage. Similarly to his other pictures of single figures, there is little reference to the setting, the interior being indicated by a finely drawn settee with an arched back and the dim outlines of a chair. | Edit Plesznivy

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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