Béla Czobel

1883 1976
(Hongrie) 1883 /   (Hongrie) 1976

The father of Bela Czobel, a grainseller from Belus ( a small town at the Moravian border), he settles in Budapest shortly before the birth of his son. The grandfather, a decorator painter, leads him towards an artistic career which he'll start in 1902 with the painters' colony of Nagybanya in Hungary. The following year Czobel studies at the Beaux- Arts Academy of Munich, where he meets Jules Pascin, Rudolf Levy and Walter Bondy whom he'll see again later at Montparnasse.

From 1902 to 1906, Czobel spends his summers in Nagybanya where he starts a relationship with his future wife: Isolda Daig, a student in an art school just like him, whom he'll marry in 1905.

It's in October 1903 that Czobel goes for the first time to Paris. He lives at the Hotel du Danemark in Montparnasse and attends classes at the Académie Julian, at that time, under the supervision of Jean-Paul Laurens. He's given the first prize of nude study in this academy. Czobel meets Henri Matisse, gets involved in the Fauve movement and exhibits with Derain, Vlaminck, Braque and Matisse in the room dedicated to Fauvism at the Salon d'Automne in 1905.

In 1907, Czobel settles at la Cité Falguière. Every summer he goes back to the countryside of his native country and becomes ambassador of the French "avant-garde" in Hungary.

The painter  Karoly Kernostok, invites him to Nyergesujfalu. In 1909, he's involved in the creation of a Hungarian "avant-garde" group called "Les Huit" and introduces Fauvism in Budapest.

In 1913, Czobel gets the prize of the International Exhibition of Post Impressionistic Painting at the Maison des Artistes in Budapest.

During WWI, he settles in Bergen a small village in Netherlands.

Between 1919 and 1925, Czobel lives in Berlin where he discovers the german expressionism, before going back to France in 1925.

Until 1939, the artist lives in Normandy and in the Midi (south of France), except for a few trips to Hungary especially in 1936 when he goes to Szentendre, a town already busy with artists, including Maria Modok, his second wife.

Czobel spends the years of Occupation in Szentendre and settles there in 1945. He shares his time between France and Hungary, he dies in 1976.

His legacy was given to the Czobel Museum of Szentendre inaugurated a year before his death.

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