IN MEMORIAM Gyárfás Jenő

2018. august 18 – octombrie 28.

Jenő Gyárfás the painter was born in Sepsiszentgyörgy on the 6th of April, 1857.
Following his primary and secondary school studies, he graduated at the Mintarajztanoda (School for Fine Drawing) in Budapest as a pupil of Bertalan Székely. Between 1877 and 1880 he was a student at the Fine Arts Academy in Munich. His masters were Sándor Wagner, Wilhelm von Diez and Gabriel Max.

During his student years he painted several of his early major works, of which The First Tooth was a great success, at exhibitions in Munich and Brüssels, while the Portrait of Bertalan Karlovszky from 1880 is a masterpiece of Hungaria portrait painting. His composition Tetemrehívás (The Blood-Testimony), painted in 1881 after a ballad by János Arany, is considered his most important work. The canvas is today in the custody of the Hungarian National Gallery.

After he came back from his Italian study trip in 1882, Gyárfás settled in his birth town for good. During the same year he painted a historical composition bearing the title: King Matthew Is Sending Away the Bishop of Otranto. Besides numerous commissions for official portraits, during the eighties and nineties he creates further paintings representing historical and genre scenes, such as the large compositions called The Oath of King Ladislau V, on a commission by the Temes County, or The Pig Slaughter and Death of Áron Gábor. He worked on the latter one until his last days. Jenő Gyárfás died on the 13th December, 1925 in Sepsiszentgyörgy.

The most significant pieces of Gyárfás are well known amidst the public, therefore we would like to present on the exhibition those works that are unknown or less weil known so far. Sketches and drafts done in preparation of the grand compositions, smaller landscapes, still lives and drawings, which have been well restored in the recent years, are all outstanding „studio- pieces” in the opus of one of the most important artists of the Hungarian painting.