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The World of the Painter's Studio

From the earliest years of his stay in Nagybánya, Károly Ferenczy spent the winter months in Budapest, where he rented a studio on a permanent basis. Beginning with the year 1906, when he was offered a teaching post at the Academy of Fine Arts (known as Hungarian Royal Drawing School at the time), studio paintings rose to dominance in his art: female and male nudes, still lifes, portraits and such typically urban themes as circus artists. His most beautiful nudes - "Idling the Time Away", "Female Nude against Red Background" and "Gypsy Girl" - engaged in a visual dialogue with the emblematic works of Titian, Velázquez and Courbet, whereas his still lifes evoked the objective aloofness and elegance of Manet, and his representations of wrestlers and circus artists put a new complexion on the visual elements of late-nineteenth-century symbolism and aestheticism. It is clear that in his last artistic period, against the background of the increasingly vociferous Avant-garde movements, Ferenczy's preoccupation with the interpretation and renewal of the traditions of European painting grew even stronger.