2020 Art - Ferdinand Katona (1864 – 1932) - Set
2020 Art - Ferdinand Katona (1864 – 1932) - Set for only GBP £1.93
The harsh but beautiful countryside of the High Tatras and the surrounding Spiš region was the area where Ferdinand Katona (Nathan Kleinberger) grew up. Born in Spišská Stará Ves (12th September 1864), he spent his childhood and teens in Kežmarok but throughout his life he kept returning to the Spiš region. He hoped that Kežmarok might become the site for his museum. However, his dream finally came true in 2013 when the Gallery Ferdinand Katona was opened in Spišská Stará Ves. Katona owed his education and fine art experience to Ladislav Mednyánszky who he met and stayed with in Strážske. He studied at the Hungarian Royal Drawing School, the Art Teachers' College in Budapest and the Académie Julian in Paris. He focused on landscape painting, in particular the High Tatras, typically portrayed in a melancholy and gloomy style. He tenaciously and systematically examined the characteristics of the countryside below the Tatras, capturing its full spectrum of colours and atmosphere with an almost mathematical precision. From his realist depictions of the countryside he moved on, as far as experiential painting. The stylized painting, affected by the feelings of the artist – scepticism and melancholy – is characteristic of landscape works from the turn of the 20th century. Typically, his works are smaller and were created outdoors. Although Katona received various awards for his paintings, he was never as successful as his benefactor. The collection in the Tatra Gallery, Poprad, includes tens of his works.
The genre painting Skorá jar v Belanských Tatrách (Early Spring in the Belanské Tatras) from the period of 1890 – 1910 is a simple panoramic view of an area of countryside in springtime, including a group of wooden farm buildings. Parts of the Belanské Tatras ridge are drowned in shadow and depicted using blue accents in contrast to the lowlands that give an earthy impression. The brush strokes make the painting coarser, the portrayal is rather naturalistic, more closely resembles reality as well as the author's perception of reality. Although the details in the picture are only implied, it is still a complex scene of a day in the region below the Tatras. The painting is balladic, consistent with the numerous transformations and moods found in nature, and only Katona could capture it with such bravura.