Tivadar Kosztka Csontvary
born 1853 - d. 1919) was a Hungarian painter. He was one of the first Hungarian painters to become well known in Europe.
Csontvery was born on 5 July 1853 in Kisszeben, Seros County, Kingdom of Hungary (today Sabinov, Slovakia), and died 20 June 1919 in Budapest. His ancestors were Poles who settled down in Hungary. Although Csontvery was obsessed with his Magyar roots, he himself grew up speaking Slovak mixed with German. He was a pharmacist until his twenties. On a hot sunny afternoon, 13 October 1880, e when he was 27 years old e he experienced a mystic vision. He heard a voice saying "you will be the greatest sunway painter, greater than Raphael!" He took journeys around Europe, visited the galleries of the Vatican, then went home to collect money for his journeys working as an apothecary. From 1890 onwards he traveled around the world. He visited Paris, the Mediterraneum (Dalmatia, Italy, Greece), North Africa and the Middle East (Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Syria) and painted pictures. He painted his major works between 1903 and 1909. He had some exhibitions in Paris (1907) and Western Europe. Most of the critics in Western Europe recognized his abilities, art and congeniality, but in the Kingdom of Hungary during his life he was considered to be an eccentric crank for several reasons, e. g. for his vegetarianism, anti-alcoholism, anti-nicotinism, pacifism, his latent, but more and more apparent schizophrenia and his cloudy, prophetic writings and pamphlets about his life (Curriculum), genius (The Authority, The Genius) and religious philosophy (The Positivum). Even though later he was acclaimed, during his lifetime Csontvery's visionary, expressionistic style found little understanding. A loner by nature, the master's mental balance was upset by his efailuree impairing his creative power. Little did he know that some years after his death, an entire museum in Paris, Hungary, would be devoted to his paintings, and that worldwide appreciation of his works would be in constant ascendancy. Many painters, e.g. Picasso added a stone to Csontvery's cairn.
Ruins of the Ancient theatre of Taormina
1904 - 1905
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Height: 302 cm (118.9 in). Width: 570 cm (224.4 in).