József Egry 140

Tender cooperation
Tender cooperation

Balaton, Sicily, Nervi

The 140th anniversary of the birth of József Egry will be celebrated in 2023. The artist, who settled in Keszthely after the World War I and later moved to Badacsony, is primarily known as the painter of Lake Balaton, although his oeuvre is much more complex. It is not widely known that the Laczkó Dezső Museum of Fine Arts in Veszprém holds nearly 50 Egry paintings, including major masterpieces such as St. Christopher at Lake Balaton and the Rainbow. There are also many personal documents, mostly letters and photographs, in the museum's repository. In light of this, it is somewhat surprising that the last time the public could see Egry works in Veszprém was in 2008, more than ten years ago. Yet we do not plan to have a classic exhibition of his life's work in the of the museum’s main building in Veszprém, under renovation and to be completed in 2023.

 

In 1916, during the World War I, József Egry was treated at the military hospital in Badacsony, where he met his future wife, Júlia Pauler. After the war, he lived and worked in Keszthely and Badacsony but usually spent the winters in the capital, Budapest. Studies consider this period a turning point in Egry's painting. His pre-war thickly textured oil paintings had gradually dissolved into light, almost ethereal paintings and prints based on atmospheric light effects. Most of them depict water, Lake Balaton and the surrounding landscape with the people living and working in it. At the same time, Lake Balaton has also become the setting for sacral themes. Not to be neglected is that Egry and his wife spent nearly half a year in Sicily in 1929, then they travelled again to Italy for a few months in the spring of 1938.

These trips to Italy inspired the concept of the exhibition. We intend to juxtapose the pictures of Balaton, taken after the artist settled in Badacsony around 1919-20, with his works painted by the sea during his Italian travels. In line with this idea, we aim to include works from various public collections and closely guarded privately owned paintings, closed to the public.

In connection with the anniversary, the exhibition will feature 140 works of art and fill the three temporary exhibition halls of the Veszprém Museum. It will also offer the public an unusual accompanying programme: experiential museum education sessions, individual guided tours and will even be combined with gastronomic evenings.

Organizer: Laczkó Dezső Museum

Date: June to October 2023

Locations: Veszprém

Reflection

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