Hungarian painters have a tradition of sensuous nudes and none more so than Miklos Mihalovits (1888-1960). In the past we have looked at works by Károly Lotz, István Csók (the post on whom I have just extensively updated), Károly Teuchert and Molnár Pál.
A few years ago Triple P was spending quite a lot of time in Budapest and sitting outside the Inter-Continental hotel on a summer's evening would see a seemingly endless stream of lovely women parading up and down. If they were professional ladies (as they might have been, given the location) then they were certainly several grades above any others I have seen anywhere else!
Indeed, when I was there I met a quite well known nude model and former Penthouse Pet who was a Hungarian. There is a reason that there are a lot of Hungarian glamour models: they are lovely!
Of course, I am slightly biased as Triple P's family, on his mother's side, comes from Budapest. Still, Mihalovits certainly captures some sensuous looking Hungarian women in his paintings over the years. His nudes are not just cold records of his subjects' bodies. They are seductively presenting themselves for the artist.
He was born in Budapest in 1888 and studied at the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts as well as making trips to Italy and Germany to continue his studies. He focussed on nudes right from the beginning of his career, sensibly.
During the period when he painted most of his nudes, the twenties and thirties, the necessity to paint bathers, classical scenes or other excuses to show naked bodies had gone. Most of his many nudes depicted the model in the studio. Mihalovits didn't shy away from pubic hair, either, even if some of the more decorative painters ofwomen at the time (particularly in England) still did. His girls are fully fleeced and all the more real for it.
He did a series of paintings of women by the water in the nineteen forties. In many of these the women are dressed but present themselves no less seductively.
Towards the end of his life (he later concentrated on religious themes), in the fifties, some of his paintings looked more like American pin-up illustrations than fine art, although very fine they undoubtedly are.
A founder of the Hungarian National Salon he won many awards in the twenties and thirties. He died in Budapest in 1960. There will be some more of his work over on The Seduction of Venus, shortly.