Mária Barta

1897 - 1969


Mária Barta began her studies at the School of Applied Arts in 1915 as a student of Géza Udvardy, Béla Iványi-Grünwald and József Rippl-Rónai. During these years of study, his style was characterized by an academic late Art Nouveau: Iványi-Grünwald was the most influential of his masters. He mainly made portraits, nudes, floral studies, set and costume designs, and, in connection with the customs of the age, studied folk costumes in Banat and the Highlands.

In the early 1920s, he traveled to Vienna, where he continued his studies at the School of Applied Arts in 1921 and became acquainted with the avant-garde artistic aspirations of the era, such as futurism and Franz Czizek’s Viennese kinetism. In Vienna, Czizek's pupil Erika Giovanna may have been a painter of Klien Barta. Barta also visited Kassák, who emigrated to Vienna. In the late twenties he moved to Paris, from where he often made study trips. In Italy, he visited the collection of museums, watercolor portraits and street paintings in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Sicily, but also toured Switzerland and Turkey. From these travels and Western inspirations, Barta developed a special formal language that was clearly linked to progressive trends in the twentieth century. While very little of Barta’s work abroad in the early twenties has survived, his works from the 1930s are well known. These works are those that are unparalleled in their self-forgetfulness, playfulness, and visual and color solution in the years before the Hungarian war and with which they were presented to the Hungarian public for the first time. Although he exhibited at the National Salon in 1921, in 1933 his works were given a separate room in the collection exhibition. Upon his return, he took an active part in Hungarian painting life: he was a regular exhibitor at the National Salon, the Ernst Museum, the KÚT, the Munkácsy Guild and the Balaton Painters' Association.

Mária Barta replaced the late Art Nouveau, decorative, naturalist style of her student years with reduced, stylized pictorial wording in the 1930s. His paintings reflect the influence of the École de Paris, Matisse and fauve, which he combined with the style of art deco.

His post-Impressionist era began in the mid-to-late 1930s, with interior and still life as its main themes. In the forties he attended the classes of Aurél Bernáth at the free school on Alkotmány Street. His paintings became softer, more atmospheric, but he still made vibrant, apt drawings, non-figurative workshops that were characterized as fresh even in the sixties. He participated in the group exhibition of the Old Art Gallery in 1945 and 1946, and in 1947 he organized a joint exhibition with György Román. In 1959 he exhibited with himself at the Ernst Museum.

Related artworks

Scene (1930)

Mária Barta