Géza Vörös

The Paintings of Géza Vörös

Born in 1897 in Nagydobrony, now the Ukrainian city of Velyka Dobron, Géza Vörös was a Hungarian painter. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts under Ede Balló, a Hungarian graphic artist and painter best known for his portraits. After his studies, Balló lived and worked in Szolnok located on the Tisza River and the former mining town of Nagybánya (Baia Mare in Romania).

Géza Vörös painted landscapes, both rural and urban, still life arrangements, posed figurative works, and portraits. His stylized paintings reveal a keen sense of observation and subtle humor. Vörös’s work bears the objectivity of the Neo-Classical style as well as the elegant sensual aesthetic seen in works of Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts. 

In the early twentieth-century, Szentendre was a small provincial town on the Danube River, approximately twenty miles north of Budapest. During the period between the two World Wars, its established artist colony provided a shelter for numerous artists and writers. With Vörös’s arrival at Szentendre in 1929, his paintings changed from their earlier uninspiring shades of color to palettes of warm, soft colors. Vörös remained in the city until the 1940s, after which there is very little information on his life. 

Géza Vörös was a member of both the New Artists’ Association and the prestigious New Society of Artists. He was associated with Budapest-born painter Hugó Scheiber, a modernist painter whose work, initially executed in a post-Impressionist style, turned increasingly towards Futurism and German Expressionism. Scheiber was also a member of the New Society of Artists. 

Géza Vörös died in Budapest in 1957. A memorial retrospective of his work was organized in 1961 and held at Budapest’s Mücsarnok Kunsthalle, its historic Neoclassical styled Hall of Art. 

Note: If anyone has any additional biographical information on Géza Vörös, I would be interested in adding that to the biography. Please send it via my contact page. 

Top Insert Image: Géza Vörös, “Self Portrait”, 1935, Oil on Canvas, 60.5 x 50 cm, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Bottom Insert Image: Géza Vörös, “The Bird Preachers”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 70 x 70 cm, Private Collection

Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti

Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “Warrior with Drawn Sword”, 1808, Oil on Canvas, 92.5 x 73 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Born in 1777 in the municipality of Maastricht in the southern Netherlands, Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti was a Dutch Neo-classical painter. The son of Italian lawyer Arnold Josua Joannes Alberti and his Belgian wife Maria Catharine Vogels, he was baptized on the 20th of June in 1777 in Maastricht’s Saint Martin’s Church.

At the age of five, Joannes Alberti moved with his parents to Amsterdam. He began his initial art training in 1796 at Amsterdam’s City Drawing Academy. For two chalk drawings of male nudes entered in competitions, Alberti won a third class prize in 1803 and a second class prize in 1804..These works are currently in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In 1804, Alberti won the gold medal of honor at the Felix Meritis Society’s exhibition for his drawing “Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage”. He won another gold medal in 1805 at the Felix Meritis Society for his drawing of the Greek Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. 

In the beginning of 1807, Alberti received a four-year student pension from the Kingdom of Holland’s Ministry of the Arts for studies in Paris and Rome. He found residence in Paris on the Rue Bataves and, on the fifth of March, enrolled in the École des Beaux Arts where he studied under history painter Jacques-Louis David until 1809. Alberti painted copies after the work of Flemish artist Antoon (Anthony) van Dyck and Italian artist Guido Reni, who painted primarily religious works. As a favored artist of Louis I, the King of Holland, he sent some of his work to Amsterdam for exhibitions in 1808 and 1810, 

In the middle of October in 1809, Joannes Alberti, along with fellow artists Josephus Augustus Knip and Peter Rudolf Kleijn, traveled to Rome, Italy. He met and took up residence with French painter and draftsman Claude Thiénon, who specialized in landscape scenery. Alberti made copies of old master paintings but also personal works. Among the works he shipped back to Holland in 1810 was his painting “Proculeius Prevents Cleopatra’s Suicide”. After returning to Paris, Alberti made engravings coped after master paintings. He also published an educational course on drawing entitled “Cours Complet Théorique et Pratique de l’Art du Dessin”. 

From baptismal records, we know that, through Alberti’s union with Marie Catherine Joséphine Neumeyer, a son named Pierre Charles Antoine Raphaël Alberti was born in Paris on the 12th of December in 1807. From the Departmental Archives of Haute-Marne, a birth certificate shows that a second son, François Eliza Charles Prosper, was born in the town of Giey-sur-Aujon on the 26th of January in 1813. 

Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti became a member of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1822. The Archives de Paris places his death in Paris on the 10th of May in 1832; he is buried in Paris’s Montparnasse Cemetery. Three of Alberti’s works are in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: the 1808 “Warrior with Shield and Spear”, the 1808 “Warrior with a Sword” and the 1810 “Proculus Prevents Cleopatra’s Suicide”. His 1809 “Scene from the Polish Revolution” is housed in Berlin’s Staatliche Museum Preussischer KulturBesitz. 

Top Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “Warrior with Lance and Shield”, 1808, Oil on Canvas, 72.5 x 91.5, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Second Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “The Preaching of John the Baptist”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 82 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti (Attributed), (Warrior with Spears and Shield), Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 112 x 88 cm, Private Collection

Erzsébet Korb

Erzsebet Korb, “Alter Ego”, 1920, Oil on Canvas, 111 x 90.5 cm, Private Collection

Born in 1899, as the eldest daughter of Hungarian architect Flóris Korb, Erzsébet Korb was raised in an artistic environment and began painting at an early age. She exhibited three works at the 1916 National Salon in Budapest; these works were heavily influenced by the new classicism. Between 1917 and 1919, Korb studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts under painter Oszkár Glatz, who was a member of the Nagybánya art colony which had a rich history of classical compositions of bathers and nudes in the tradition of Cézanne. 

Korb was connected through her contacts with the Szőnyi Circle, a group of artists who were developing the new Hungarian post-war classicism. She later shared a studio with Károly Patkó and Vilmos Aba-Novák, both forerunners of the new modern movement. Korb was also influenced by the symbolist painter Aladár Körösfői Kriesch and Gödöllö Art Colony he formed, which linked her classicist style to pre-war symbolism and the secessionist movement. The work she was doing in this period depicted Arcadian scenes with shiny and gloomy lighting, populated by nude mythical figures. 

Between 1920 and her death, Erzsébet Korb continued to develop her style, in which she further expanded the nuances between the monumental and partly symbolist imagery of women in idealized nudity. Her works are known for their both melancholy and spiritual atmospheres, and her keen fondness for monumental forms. Korb’s rhythm and a sense for color patterns played a huge role in awakening the often tranquil compositions of neo-classicist paintings back to life.

In 1920, Erzsébet Korb painted her “Alter Ego”, one of her best known oil paintings, which depicts two sides to the personality of the male figure. Her 1921 painting, “Nudes” depicts a male and a female figure; these figures are idealized nudes with bodily features typical of the new classicist style. In Korb’s 1922 “Promised Land”, she added variation and movement to an otherwise tranquil classical composition of nude women. Her 1923 “Revelation” shows androgynous young men acting as saints, with a female figure in awe, bathed in divine light. Korb’s last major work was the 1925  “Danaidae”, a popular mythological subject within the Szőnyi Circle, in which fifty women, after killing their husbands, are condemned to carry water in perforated buckets.

Erzsébet Korb did a study tour of Italy in the spring of 1924; an exhibition of the work opened May in the following year. Shortly after the exhibition, she died of unknown reasons. Korb’s memorial exhibition was held in March of 1927 at the Ernst Museum in Budapest. 

Top Insert Image: Erzsébet Korb, “Self Portrait”, Date Unknown, Charcoal on Paper, 36.5 x 30 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Erzsébet Korb, “Saint Sebastian”, 1021, Oil on Canvas, 68.5 x 55 cm, Private Collection