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What's On in Burgundy 2009?

The Hungarian Fauves 1904-1914

The Lesson of Matisse

March 13 to June 15, 2009 MusÉe des Beaux-Arts Dijon


In 1905 a group of artists centred around Henri Matisse was baptized with the name ‘Les Fauves’. It revolutionized European painting. This exhibition highlights the effect it had on art in Hungary, creating the first avant-garde art movement there.


Sandor Ziffer, Vieux pont  Nagybanya, 1908

Vibrant colour and optimism is one of the key factors of Fauvism. The works of Matisse and Cezanne are the most famous examples; Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Albert

Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, Charles Camoin, Jean Puy, and Henri Manguin, followed in their footsteps. All will be represented at this important exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts this spring.


Dijon’s exhibition intends to introduce Hungarian artists such as Rippl-Rónai, Berény, Czóbel, Ziffer, Márffy, Perlrott Csaba and Boromisza who lived and worked temporarily in Paris where they were influenced by the new tendency, Fauvism. At the 1905 Salon d’Automne, a group of artists around Henri Matisse, baptized as ‘the Fauves’, effectively revolutionized European painting. They seeded a pictorial revolution that spread throughout Europe, notably to Hungary straight to the outdoor painting school of Nagybánya (today Baia Mare, in Romania).


Jozseph, Nemes-Lamperth, Autoportrait, 1911

Between 1904 and 1914, numerous young Hungarian painters took up quarters abroad, mainly in Paris to participate in the avant-garde shows (Salon d'Automne, Independents), to visit the galleries, attend painting academies like Matisse’s, and of course frequent the cosmopolitan cafés of Montparnasse. Ideally they would spend winter studying in Paris, summer painting in Nagybánya and autumn exhibiting in Budapest where the art salons regularly included works by great modern French masters (Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse...).


The Hungarian Fauves never actually defined themselves as a unit under this name but rather united as an intellectual group of artists who shared similar radical ideals. If Hungarian Fauvism borrows its flamboyant palette and stylized forms from the French model, it nevertheless distinguishes itself by maintaining an ironic distance and a profound adherence to reality. Hardly a pale version of the French movement, Hungarian Fauvism in fact achieved a synthesis between Matisse’s vivacious colour and Cézanne’s rigorous constructions, while it reinterpreted the lesson of Matisse all in tune with its own cultural traditions and artistic temperaments.

Gza Bornemisza, Rue Veresviz  Nagybanya, 1910

Dijon’s exhibition will attempt to recall the fruitful dialogue that existed between Paris and Budapest through a selection of approximately one hundred Hungarian Fauvist works borrowed from prestigious private and public collections in Hungary, juxtaposed with significant works by French Fauves from important French and European private and public collections.


Works such as Henri Matisse’s Les Tapis rouges from the Museum of Grenoble, Portrait de Marguerite from the Matisse Museum of Cateau-Cambrésis, the Portrait of André Derain from the Tate Modern of London, La Coiffure from the Staatsgalerie of Stuttgart will be on show, as well as works (paintings, drawings and ceramics) by Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, Charles Camoin, Jean Puy, and Henri Manguin. A catalogue with over 300 colour reproductions will be available.


Top: Sandor Ziffer, Vieux pont à Nagybanya, 1908,
© Germany, Collection Dr Lorenz Czell

Middle: Jozseph, Nemes-Lamperth, Autoportrait, 1911,
© Budapest, Galerie Nationale Hongroise

Bottom: Géza Bornemisza, Rue Veresviz à Nagybanya, 1910,
© Private Collection


Magyar passions: A season of Hungarian culture in Dijon


Coinciding with the exhibition a cultural programme of classical music, dance, contemporary poetry and theatre is on offer intended to highlight every aspect of artistic expression of  the  Magyar civilisation.


 For more information contact Christine Lepeu

Assistant of Communications, clepeu@ville-dijon.fr , 0033 (0)380 74 53 27