Mihaly von Munkacsy Biography
Munkacsy was an outstanding Hungarian realist painter of the 19th century.
Munkacsy started to paint during the years he spent in Arad as a joiner. With the help of pardons Munkacsy studied at the Viennese, Munich and Düsseldorf academies. Munkacsy painted his first major paintings, the outstanding "The Condemned Cell" in Düsseldorf in 1872, then together with his friend László Paál, he moved to Paris, where be lived until the end of his life.
Munkacsy painted his genre paintings in the style of realism between 1873 and 1875: "Midnight Ramblers", "Farewell". "Churning Woman", "Woman Carryng Brushwood", and "Pawnshop" were the zenith of his career. Munkacsy married the widow of Baron de Marches in 1874, and his style changed from that time on.
Departing from the typical subjects of realism, Munkacsy produced colourful salon paintings and still-life paintings. This was the period when Munkacsy also turned to ladscape painting; his growing interest is marked by such great paintings as "Dusty Road". "Corn Field", and "Walking in the Woods". The assimilation of László Paál’s style is apparent in the landscape paintings painted during the 1880s, such as "Avenue" and "The Colpach Park".
His realist portrait paintings - e.g. of Franz Liszt and Cardinal Haynald - were also born around this time, together with his religions paintings, such as "Christ in front of Pilate", "Golgotha" and later, "Ecce homo".
Towards the end of his career Munkacsy painted two monumental paintings: "Hungarian Conquest" for the House of Parliament and a fresco entitled "Apotheosis of Renaissance", for the ceiling of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.