Historically, the international acknowledgment of Hungarian artists has been regrettably poor. There have been attempts, from time to time, to remedy this situation – I myself have spent decades pursuing this painstaking enterprise – but the effect of the often thrilling results will not hold for long unless we manage to ensure regular appearance and representation at the venues once a foothold has been established. Barring a precious few exceptions, publications in foreign languages treating the periods and outstanding works of Hungarian art history are few and far between, or have yet to be written, despite a pressing need for them both in Hungary and abroad. The picture is somewhat brighter with the in-depth, multilingual catalogues accompanying major exhibitions that show Hungary can match world-class publication standards. Although foreign peer institutions routinely borrow some of the most famous works of Hungarian museums, the exhibitions featuring them often fail to shed light on in the history of Hungarian art that gave rise to them in the first place. Works not shown in the proper context will be less comprehensible for foreign audiences and even to the domestic visitor. Here in Hungary, the year 1990 marked the first successful realization of a large-scale monographic exhibition which provided the proper context by also featuring works, some borrowed from abroad, by the main artist’s masters, peer painters, friends and acquaintances. This was the exhibition hosted by the Hungarian National Gallery entitled Pál Szinyei Merse and his Circle. For decades before this seminal event, exhibitions like this had been out of the question, but demand for them has been growing ever since. It is now readily apparent that a comprehensive exhibition of a great Hungarian master, if featuring a well thought-out and worthy selection presented in a more general context, will be guaranteed success. One way of doing this is by showing smaller monographic blocks in which the major Hungarian proponents of a specific stylistic trend are presented side by side. This is precisely what was accomplished with a series of exhibitions showcasing Hungarian plein-air painting, or works of the Hungarian “fauve” painters at the finest venues. This is not to say that exhibitions representing an entire period, or other sweeping selections based on by conscientious scholarship and research, cannot make a superb contribution to a broader international recognition of Hungary’s culture. They will, especially if we manage to win over the receiving institution’s curators who happen to be prone to share our lines of interest, open to what we have to offer. Our partner in Gent, for example, came up with and implemented a splendid idea in 1995 by supplementing the Hungarian rooms with a selection of Belgian paintings culled from the same period and tuned to the Hungarian works on display.
To this day, by far the greatest foreign interest in Hungarian art has been elicited by the impressive oeuvre of József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927), dubbed “the Hungarian Nabi”, a native of the town of Kaposvár, who managed to remain a sovereign artist and faithful to his roots despite his close association with the French artistic tendencies of his day early in his career. In terms of his reception abroad, his early works dating from his tenure in Paris, mostly of tapestry and interior design, came into the focus of attention mainly from the 1970s onward, in the wake of the general boom of interest in Art Nouveau. Then, at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the world became fascinated with the works of the Nabis (“the prophets”), active in Paris a hundred years previously. In 1993, Zürich, then Paris organised a Nabis exhibition featuring some three hundred works,1 in which Rippl-Rónai finally gained the limelight he deserved.2 At this point, I may be forgiven for indulging in a more personal note regarding the preparations for this event. In that formative year of 1990, the political changes sweeping across Europe finally enabled a few showings of the art from our hitherto neglected region, as part of a comprehensive international panorama of impressionist landscape painting, grand in its sheer breadth of scope, which was first shown in Cologne, and then in Zürich.3 After decades behind the Iron Curtain, Hungarian culture and its foot soldiers now found the world open up to them, and talks with the curators invited to the opening ceremony revealed opportunities hitherto unknown or thought beyond reach. This was when we clinched an agreement with our Dutch counterpart for them to show works by Hungarian painters from the era of The Hague School in 1995; in return, the Hungarian National Gallery accepted to organise an exhibition of Van Gogh and his most talented Dutch contemporaries by the end of the same year. Our colleague in Florence, upon learning where I came from, expressed interest in the Markó family and their Hungarian followers (who had enjoyed esteem at the Pitti), hinting at the possibility of a future exhibition. Since – with my staunch commitment to comparative international research – I was seeking to delve deeper into the achievements of the Macchiaioli (the “patch painters”), who had been given ample representation at the Pitti but were little known elsewhere in Europe at the time, we soon came up with the idea of swapping exhibitions. Unfortunately, the Italian overview ranging from Markó’s Italian contemporaries to the divisionists (Segantini et al) is yet to materialise in Budapest or elsewhere, and it should. Moreover, my attempts to bring about an exhibition of Florentine self-portraits by the foreign masters and contemporaries of the Hungarian artists who painted the self-portraits kept in the Uffizi were thwarted as well. As a belated consolation, the Uffizi and the Budapest History Museum finally had an opening to present these Hungarian self-portraits in 2013–14, well after the Palazzo Pitti in 2002 had hosted an exhibition of Hungarian painting from Markó to Nagybánya and The Eights, as originally intended by the swap project.
Returning to the Nabis: also in Cologne in 1990, we had the opportunity to discuss with the curator of the Zürich exhibition her visit to Budapest, which she deemed very fruitful. She had every intention to present Rippl-Rónai’s works from Paris in greater number than ever before in the West. To our dismay, however, the colleagues from the Musée d’Orsay (although they later also visited the Hungarian National Gallery housed in the formerRoyal Palace in Budapest to gather information) had scratched a number of works by Rippl-Rónai (and other, foreign Nabi painters) off the list, to the effect of giving overriding preference to French works. Happily, the Maurice Denis museum in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris, ran an annual series of monographic exhibitions showcasing lesser- known Nabi artists. The largest-ever showing of Rippl-Rónai abroad,4the project required all the rooms of this quaint little museum to be vacated for the purpose – something that had never been done before, for any exhibition. This was how, upon my ministrations, the National Gallery in Budapest simultaneously got hold of the crème de la crème of the French Nabis inventory, here supplemented by other works borrowed from abroad.5 To boot, we managed to make arrangements for a tour of the Rippl-Rónai exhibition, showing the paintings at the City Hall of Brussels, and the drawings and works of decorative art at the museum in Namur, from February 1999. Previously, a large-scale domestic showing of Rippl-Rónai – a long overdue project – had been showcased at the Hungarian National Gallery starting in March 1998.6The master attracted great attention in all the locations mentioned. In the Gallery, chief organiser Mária Bernáth set out to present a well-proportioned cross section focused on Rippl-Rónai’s work as a painter. On the other hand we, together with our French partner, aimed at a more detailed presentation of his works dating from his days in Paris. This focus allowed us to send more early drawings on the road, and we also managed to augment the scholarly studies of the catalogue with the results of more recent research. The exhibition included a few works kept in France that had been unknown in Hungary.7 For financial reasons, however, the French catalogue – delivered past the deadline, but stylish in its own right – had to be radically abridged: our studies were condensed, and two thirds of our 235 painting descriptions were edited out. The commentaries for the more than 100 drawings, which I and my colleagues had written and had not been published elsewhere, were cut down to one tenth of the original number. (They were sorely missed by Júlia Szabó in her review of the exhibition in Budapest.)8 What is worse, the catalogue for a smaller- scale Rippl-Rónai exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, entitled Ein Ungar in Paris, dispensed with my own comprehensive essay, which had taken its cue from the very title of the exhibition. To offset the effects of all this silencing, in the same year I compiled a summary of my hitherto unpublished research data.9
This study, however, published as it was in three languages on the occasion of the Frankfurt International Book Fair in a promising journal that only ran for a few years, failed to attract feedback from the profession. As it turned out, the same fate awaited my report on the tricks of the trade behind organising the French– Hungarian exhibition swap.10
With no fewer than 180 works on display, the exhibition entitled The French Symbolists: Gauguin, Pont Aven, Nabis, which opened in November 1998 at the Budapest National Gallery with the aim of providing valuable context for Rippl- Rónai’s stay in Paris, represented a genuinely unique enterprise, for rarely if everbefore had all these artists been featured alongside one another. A full understanding of Rippl-Rónai’s evolution had certainly long demanded a simultaneous showing of all these movements in Budapest. The timeliness of our undertaking was evident in the rivalry in borrowing works for a concurrent exhibition of Gauguin/Pont Aven in Munich,11as well as a Nabis exhibition in Montreal, which had to be regarded as a sequel to a symbolist exhibition held therea few years before.12
Although the museum in Saint-Germain-en-Laye had agreed to make available to us all the important works in its possession, it found it rather difficult to shore up from other sources works of the appropriate genres and of sufficient quality by artists under-represented in their collection, with a view to ensuring a proportionate share of French works in the National Gallery. Thanks to dozens of museums, galleries and private collectors who came to the rescue, it eventually pulled through for the most part, albeit we still ended up missing a few works by Gauguin and Vuillard, which had been lent to other institutions. Although, by then, Japan had been sending similarly themed exhibitions around the globe, it was from Singapore that we managed to borrow a handful of important works after a great French exhibition had closed there in September.13Crowning all these efforts, the exhibition in Budapest not only outlined a Parisian context for the “Hungarian Nabi”, but also allowed a glimpse into the sources of inspiration that enabled the European art of the 20th century to renew its arsenal of expression to the bone.
Before finally coming round to the matter of Rippl-Rónai’s friendships in Paris, it is worth mentioning the remarkable ability of a serious retrospective such as the 1998 exhibition in Budapest to stimulate further general interest in the artist, and even the desire to research any hitherto unknown works and explore his relationships with his fellow artists. For instance, no sooner had the great exhibition at the National Gallery opened than the Ráday Gallery and the Mű- Terem Gallery, both in Budapest, organised chamber exhibitions featuring fine works by Rippl-Rónai that had been lurking in private collections. As for friends, these events occasioned momentous encounters between Katalin Keserü, Rippl-Rónai’s Hungarian monographer, and Jeremy Howard, a university professor in Scotland as well as a leading scholar of the works of James Pitcairn-Knowles (1864–1954), a friend of Rippl-Rónai. The ensuing collaboration between the two resulted in an important exhibition and a fascinating bilingual catalogue at the Ernst Museum in 2004, which nevertheless failed to attract the attention they deserved. The catalogue surveyed a variety of documents to explore the peculiar character and the subsequent fate of the lesser-known friend.14 The young Hungarian painter made the acquaintance of Pitcairn-Knowles, a Scot born in the Netherlands, while still an apprentice under Munkácsy. Knowles, an erudite and sensitive youth of means, was instrumental in helping Rippl-Rónai find his way in the seething turmoil of the Paris art scene. Rippl-Rónai also had Knowles to thank for the friendship of Aristide Maillol (1861–1944). After a decade in close contact with the Scot in Paris, Rippl-Rónai returned to Hungary, while Knowles settled down in Germany. The 2004 exhibition allowed glimpses of his rather uneven oeuvre mainly through photographs, as relatively few original paintings had been lent by private collectors. Later, the Museum of Kaposvár borrowed already familiar Knowles drawings from the Rippl-Rónai collection, while the Museum of Applied Arts requested his glass goblets. Also on display, of course, were the symbolist twin booklets published in 1895 by Sigfried Bing, Les Vierges and Les Tombeaux, widely regarded as the most important relic of the friendship between the two artists. Certain Knowles works, lost since their creation in Neuilly, became known to us only through quotes from a monograph that appeared in Berlin in 1895. All the more interesting was an undated pastel, which showed an uncanny resemblance to certain landscapes Rippl-Rónai painted in Banyuls.15 The authors of the catalogue apparently took great pains to sketch a more accurate picture of the setting in Neuilly and the sympathetic or, as the case may be, complementary nature of the two friends’ views and thoughts on art. Precisely ten years ago, the exhibition and catalogue, executed by the Ernst Museum on a very modest budget, indeed served to fill a long-standing gap by considerably enriching our knowledge of the artist and his environment.
In 2014–15, a large-scale and massively funded exhibition with a very up-to-date installation on comprising many multi-media means, organised by the National Gallery went even further in allowing us to delve into a few judiciously chosen aspects of the Parisian art scene at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Once again, the exhibition was thematised around a lifelong friendship, this time between Rippl-Rónai and Aristide Maillol, precisely his own age,which they struck up around 1890, each finding a fertile source of inspiration in the other.16 Loaned by the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, paintings and drawings by Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, perhaps the most widely recognised and most popular members of the Nabis circle around the world today, along with Rippl-Rónai’s Nabis-inspired works from the Kaposvár Collection,works by Rippl-Rónai and Maillol themselves, and by Pitcairn-Knowles, the loyal friend from Neuilly, offered a suggestive context in which to appreciate the purport of the decade that proved crucial in the careers of all. The exhibition culminated in a few representative works these artists created later, in their mature periods, after they had parted ways, which nevertheless duly evinced their roots. As for the circumstances in which the exhibition had been envisioned, we were especially pleased to note that the idea had been proposed by Maillol’s nephew in France and that, if all goes to plan, the same works will be shown by the Musée Maillol in Paris, the institution holding and caring for the artist’s estate. In collaboration with the foundation of Dina Vierny, Maillol’s model in his later years, the museum was also instrumental in sourcing works from other collections for the event in Budapest. The icing on the cake was the loaning, at long last, of Rippl-Rónai’s superb portrait of Maillol which had been donated to France by Elek Petrovics and missed by Hungarian museum visitors for eight decades. Based on my first-hand experiences with French partnerships, I am inclined to think that the venue in Paris will be showing fewer Hungarian drawings and paintings, opting instead for an emphasis on the French artists. Hopefully, the Musée d’Orsay will finally come round and loan, at least to them, a unique early pastel by Rippl-Rónai, dubbed “The Dream-Face” by contemporary critics, which we have, up till now, been reduced to publish as an illustration.17 Last but not least, it is to be hoped that the Musée Maillol will show a drawing – apparently unknown in Hungary – sketched by Rippl-Rónai on his visit in 1914, which shows members of the Maillol family and his own pot-bellied figure after a lunch they shared in Marly.18 Incidentally, Rippl-Rónai was not the only Hungarian visitor received by the Maillols. A case in point was the distinguished sculptor Fülöp Ö. Beck, who paid his respect in the very same year, and some of whose works were among those shown at a rather instructive chamber exhibition curated by Dorottya Gulyás (Maillol’s Influence on Hungarian Sculpture), an ingenious satellite to the main exhibition. Apart from Beck, sculptures and sketches by Márk Vedres, Ferenc Medgyessy and Béni Ferenczy attested to the deep inner kinship with Maillol which helped these men develop their own artistic idiom without ever becoming his imitators. The catalogue marshalled a handful of interesting studies on the work of these artists, on Maillol himself, and on the early Hungarian reception of Maillol’s art as a sculptor.
While the of pieces of the puzzle that is Rippl-Rónai’s oeuvre gradually fall into place, I attach a brief commentary to the excellent essay by the curator Eszter Földi, leaving aside the catalogue chapters or the blocks of the exhibition itself. In the closing sentence of the Introduction the author proposes an attempt “to demonstrate Maillol’s influence in Rippl-Rónai’s unfolding artistic concepts and the works proper”. In the course of her entreprises he omits to mention the fact that the artistic milieu of Paris provided the two artist friends with a multitude of impulses, some of which we have identified as indeed being more inherent in Rippl-Rónai’s talent than the influence of Maillol himself. Having said that, it is clear that Földi has a talent and a good grasp in exploring the role of symbolism in the nascent career of both artists, whether she writes about the early female portraits in profile, the wall tapestries, or other works. Yet again, while discussing the profiles, she seems to take Maillol’s influence for granted; in reality, what similarities there are to be detected are concurrent rather than consecutive. The themes, the depictions of ladies’ hats in high fashion, and the sheer atmosphere of the works may show a measure of rapport, but the mannerof implementation is very different, as admitted by the author herself. It is quite easy indeed to make a distinction in terms of style between the artists, finally featured here side by side. In his pastels, Rippl-Rónai uses a range of muted colours and soft, mysteriously blurred contours to conjure up an enchanted space around the mostly pallid faces which seem to emerge from a neutral background. By contrast, in the asymmetrically designed, more vividly painted work in oil on canvas that characterised Maillol’s early period, the introverted girl portraits stand more harshly proud of their peremptorily rendered setting, as well as of the viewer, as if keeping a kind of hieratic distance on purpose. Or, to take another example, Maillol’ tapestry The Enchanted Garden, which pays tribute to the past masters of the art of tapestry, does seem analogous to Rippl-Rónai’s Woman in Red Dress, a tapestry he intended for the dining room of the Andrássys, although I feel that it is short of the direct adaptation claimed by Földi. On the other hand, the author herself raises the possibility that Rippl-Rónai’s earlier Woman with a Rose may have in turn influenced Maillol in shaping one of his figures. This quickly makes the reciprocity between the two artists more plausible than the previouslyargued notion of one-sided influence – a reciprocity indeed happily evident in the thoughtful and convincingly grouped objects of the exhibition. In 1894, Gauguin expressed enthusiasm over Maillol’s exhibited sketch for a tapestry, while La Revue Blanche, comparing tapestries by Maillol and Rippl-Rónai in 1895, considered the latter to be the more innovative and more interesting of the two. In fact, both artists were often more successful with their tapestries than with their paintings. Rippl-Rónai had Maillol to thank for this, who had been responsible for persuading him to carry out his decorative plans. Here, one could do worse than recall Rippl-Rónai’s words in a letter written to Béla Lázár: “Maillol has […] more than once suggested to me that my things gave him a revelatory experience akin to the works of Manet.”19
The impressive reception of this major exhibition in Budapest clearly illustrates that, once introduced, an artistic “brand” will harbour further remarkable promise, provided it is executed on a high level. With their firm and vivid colours and ingenious tapestry decorations, the walls of the exhibition harked back to the moody interiors favoured by the Art Nouveau, superbly framing the works of these two notable friends, sometimes displayed in pairs, and often painted in a remarkably kindred spirit. The audience, when they have had their fill of Maillol’s favored subjects rendered in a variety of genres, having followed the evaluation of the artist from sketches to paintings or even tapestry designs and bas-reliefs, or of his book illuminations or the bloom of his talent as a sculptor, were treated to a seat on a comfortable sofa in a nook from where we could all be immersed in video footage describing the lives and work of the two protagonists – a visual treat in their own right – as well as listen to their witty correspondence and memoirs, read out loud in a most remarkable performance. Successfully maintaining interest with a bevy of ingenious solutions, yet remarkably consistent in its sheer diversity, the exhibition’s underlying concept made a vital contribution to the triumph of this most recent undertaking to present a great Hungarian artist.
Rippl-Rónai had a superb sense of touch in picking solutions from the vast arsenal of expressive tools favoured in Paris in his day, and managed to exploit them without ever having to renounce his own distinct personality as an artist. Back home, he may have apparently distanced himself from his earlier (but never boring) creative leanings, but his more recent work still bears the imprint of the Nabis penchant for decoration, as well as of the insightful, gentle intimacy that had characterised his early pastel portraits. It is probably owing to his harmonious, peaceful personality, his propitious acclimatisation to the Parisian art scene, as well as the ability of his mature work to win over Hungarian audiences, that he still stands head and shoulders above all Hungarian painters – with the possible exception of Munkácsy – in terms of the sheer number of diverse monographs, exhibitions, catalogues and documentary films devoted to him over a period spanning decades. Partly on account of his distinguished and uncontested position in 20th-century Hungarian painting, any worthy understanding of his art demands the recollection of the proper context, and, by and large, the profession has managed to live up to this challenge.
In closing, let me recall what the lifelong loyal friend Maillol, in an interview with the sculptor Béla Lázár, who visited him in Marly on the eve of the Great War, said about Rippl-Rónai (and these words certainly go further than meets the eye): “… he had success in Paris as well… If he had stayed, his name would now be known the world over. All our friends from those days have attained fame. Vuillard, Bonnard, Maurice Denis are all famous men now – why on earth did he choose to bury himself in such a remote country?”20 What we have here, in these words, is an early, and no doubt benevolent, formulation of the dilemma between the centre and the periphery by a great artist living and working in what was the centre a hundred years ago– a quandary that continues to occupy and so often divide the historians and art historians of our own age. Is it really only fame of the kind that can be attained in the centre that can glorify an artist who has been happy to bring fruition to his talent on his native land, while quietly enjoying his renown around the world? Is it really true that only those in the centre can exert an influence on those arriving from outside the inner circle, and that this cannot work the other way round? Of course not. Indeed, the lesson we may take away from this most recently showcased, and most beautiful, synopsis of the equally impressive respective oeuvres of Rippl-Rónai and Maillol is a moral that can reassure in a wider sense the generally sceptical Hungarians.
Translation by Péter Balikó Lengyel
1 Die Nabis. Propheten der Moderne. Zürich, Kunsthaus 1993 – Nabis 1888–1900. Bonnard, Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Vallotton… Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 1993/94 (curators: Claire Frèches-Thory, Ursula Perucchi-Petri).
2 The direct precedent of this was the exhibition 1893, L’Europe des peintres – Paris, Musée d’Orsay, 1993 (curator: Françoise Cachin), where Rippl-Rónai’s Woman with a Bird Cage created quite a stir.
3 Landschaft im Licht. Impressionistische Malerei in Europa und Nordamerika 1860–1910. Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum – Zürich, Kunsthaus, 1990 (curator: Götz Czimmek).
4 József Rippl-Rónai, Le Nabi hongrois. Musée Départemental Maurice Denis “Le Prieuré”, 1998/99 (curator: Agnès Delannoy, Anna Szinyei Merse). Subsequent showings: Brussels, Hôtel de Ville – Namur, Musée Félicien Rops, 1999 (organised by Mariann Gergely and Edit Plesznivy).
5 Francia Szimbolisták (The French Symbolists): Gauguin, Pont Aven, Nabis. Budapest, Hungarian National Gallery, 1998–99 (curators: Agnès Delannoy and Mariann Gergely; works selected by Agnès Delannoy and Anna Szinyei Merse).
6 Rippl-Rónai József gyűjteményes kiállítása (József Rippl-Rónai’s Collected Works.) Budapest, Hungarian National Gallery, 1998 (curators: Mária Bernáth, Mária Földes, Edit Plesznivy).
7 However, all my efforts to borrow Rippl-Rónai works from the André Kosztolany collection ultimately failed. It would be important to make official inquiries about the fate of this estate, and to find a way to photograph and catalogue these fascinating Hungarian works lest we lose track of them forever. When I had a chance to view these works, I only had the opportunity to take notes.
8 Júlia Szabó: Rippl-Rónai József gyűjteményes kiállítása [A retrospective exhibition of the works of József Rippl-Rónai], in: Ars Hungarica 1999/2. 473.
9 Anna Szinyei Merse: “Ami a budapesti, párizsi és frankfurti katalógusokból kimaradt – Rippl-Rónai József párizsi korszakának rejtőzködő kincseiből” [What was omitted from the Budapest, Paris and Frankfurt catalogues – From the hidden treasures of the Paris period of József Rippl-Rónai], in: Magyar Művészeti Fórum; Ungarisches Kunstforum; Hungarian Art Forum, August 1999 (vol. II, No. 4) 2–8 (separate editions in Hungarian, German and English).
10 Anna Szinyei Merse: “A múlt századvég mesterei eljutottak hozzánk. A francia szimbolisták és próféták budapesti tárlatának műhelytitkaiból” [The great masters of the last fin de siècle arrived at last in Hungary. On the professional secrets of the Budapest exhibition of French symbolists and prophets], in: Magyar Művészeti Fórum, February 1999 (vol. II, No. 1) 2–8.
11 Gauguin und die Schule von Pont-Aven. Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung 1998 (curators: Isabelle Cahn and Antoine Terrasse).
12 Le temps des Nabis. Montréal, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1998 (curators: Guy Cogeval, Claire Frèches- Thory and Gilles Genty). Cf. also: Paradis perdus. L’Europe symboliste. Montréal, Musée des Beaux- Arts, 1995 (curators: Jean Clair, Guy Cogeval and others).
13 The Origins of Modern Art in France 1880–1939. Singapore, Art Museum, 1998 (curator: Serge Lemoin).
14 Neuillyben. Rippl-Rónai József és James Pitcairn-Knowles. In Neuilly. James Pitcairn-Knowles and József Rippl-Rónai. Budapest, Ernst Museum, 2004 (curators: Katalin Keserü, Jeremy Howard).
15 Pitcairn-Knowles: Landscape with Three Trees. Private collection. Reproduced in ibidem (cf. Endnote 14) 160. Also Rippl-Rónai: Catalonian Landscape (Banyuls – Lazarine Lying Around), 1899. Kaposvár, Rippl-Rónai Museum.
16 Rippl-Rónai és Maillol. Egy művész barátság története. Rippl-Rónai and Maillol. The Story of a Friendship. Budapest, Hungarian National Gallery, 2014/15 (curator: Eszter Földi).
17 Woman with Flowers, 1891. Reproduced in: Anna Szinyei Merse: “Rippl-Rónai Franciaországban és kapcsolata a Nabis csoporttal” [Rippl-Rónai in France and his relation with the Nabis group], in: Rippl-Rónai József gyűjteményes kiállítása [A retrospective exhibition of the works of József Rippl- Rónai], ibidem (note 6) 55; ibidem (note 9) 2, as well as Eszter Földi: “Gyorsan elszaladt ifjúságunk…” [Our days of youth have fleeted quickly away…], in: ibidem (note 16) 26. Interestingly enough, not even a reproduction of this piece was published in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
18 The Maillol Family, 1914. Lead stick watercolour on paper, 220×170 mm; private collection. On display at: Aristide Maillol. Berlin, Georg-Kolbe Museum – Lausanne, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts – Bremen, Gerhard-Marcks-Museum – Mannheim, Städtische Kunsthalle, 1996–97 (curators: Ursel Bergel and Jörg Zutter). Catalogue No. 152; reproduction No 208. I had the good fortune to study this monumental exhibition at the venue in Switzerland, as I did the 2001 exhibition Maillol peintre at the Musée Maillol in Paris, of which more than a few decisive works unfortunately never made it to Budapest.
19 The parts in the essay I found problematic in this paragraph are: Eszter Földi, ibidem (notes 16, 17) 9, 23–25, 29, 35, 37, 213, 223. I also lament the absence from the supplied bibliography the Rippl-Rónai catalogue in French published by Somogy Éditions d’Art in 1998 (note 4), and my own article on Rippl-Rónai (note 9), as both clarified a number of issues left open by the catalogue for the 1998 exhibition in Budapest.
20 Quoted in: Dr Béla Lázár, “Maillol és Rippl-Rónai” [Maillol and Rippl-Rónai], in: Pesti Hírlap, 5 January 1929, 10.