Gyula Benczúr: Reading Woman in the Forest (1875)

 

Gyula Benczur, Reading Woman in the Forest, 1875, size: 87,5 x 116,5 cm, Technique: Oil , Canvas, Rights: Hungarian National Gallery, Hungarian National Gallery, External Link: Hungarian National Gallery, Source: Wikimedia

A Popular Motif

Gyula Benczúr (1844 – 1920) was a Hungarian painter and art teacher who specialized in portraits and historical scenes.

Around 1874-1875, Benczúr tried to capture the form-dissolving effect of light in several compositions, but he resumed his course by wholly discarding plein air painting. As his letter reveals, he exhibited the first variant of this composition in Vienna in 1873 and sold it in London in 1874. He probably repeated the picture showing his wife Karolina Max for family reasons in 1875. The multitude of sketches, pencil drawings made for the painting suggests the absorbed examination of the motif. Google Art Project

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Gyula Benczur, Reading Woman in the Forest, 1875, size: 87,5 x 116,5 cm, Technique: Oil , Canvas, Rights: Hungarian National Gallery, Hungarian National Gallery, External Link: Hungarian National Gallery, Source: Wikimedia (detail)

Image of a Modern Woman

The special appeal of the painting is the colour composition based on the fresh harmony of red and green, and the modern representation of women unconventional in the 19th century. The reading woman lying casually in the grass represents a modern intellectual type of woman that was hardly ever seen in earlier paintings. Among Benczúr’s pencil studies one also finds a sketch of Karolina smoking a cigarette, which also shows the otherwise exemplary housewife as an early representative of modern women. Google Art Project

Can You Find

  • A Timid  Visitor?

  • A Carved Message?

Click For Enlarged Detail:

Details

See More By This Artist

Thanks For Visiting! 🙂

~Sunnyside

16 Comments Add yours

  1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    There appears to be a deer or something up the hill from her. Couldn’t find the carving unless they’re talking about a fine lettered something starting with L on the 2nd tree from her.. otherwise another impressive painting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You win on both counts, EC! The deer is in another version of this painting, too, but not the carving. 🤔 I suppose it would be Hungarian letters…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. simplywendi says:

    this looks like so much fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My heart says the same, but my head is looking for spiders on that blanket…lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. simplywendi says:

        OK, that is too funny! my first thought was………..how many bugs are probably crawling around her blanket……….but put it out of my head for being so silly! 🙂 Glad I am not the only one who thought about bugs!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lololol….😅 😂 You are in good company, my dear! My children grew up knowing they were responsible for spider rescues….you know, saving the poor helpless creature from the squealing momma….😱

        Liked by 1 person

      3. simplywendi says:

        LOL! Oh my goodness, YES! my kids hear me scream and they usually come find me and ask, where is the spider! I am terrified of those things! I am thrilled to know I am in such great company! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, you know what they say about great minds! lol ❤️😎

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the light on the base of the tree trunks and the woman’s face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found a version of the image online that had less contrast and brighter color, but I don’t like to mess with what the artist chose. Thanks for commenting, Rosaliene. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful Oil Paintings, I simply adore them.

    Liked by 1 person

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