Strolling Beneath the Leaves of Strawberry Plants: László Mednyánszky

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As the weather warms up, take a look at László Mednyánszky's "Hillside at Springtime (Little Landscape)." Mednyánszky (1852-1919), an aristocratic Hungarian artist, celebrates his 157th birthday.

1. László Mednyánszky was born prematurely and, as a child, was ill with meningitis. Later in his life, Mednyánszky cared for the sick during a cholera episode in 1887, but he contracted pneumonia shortly after, and had to recover himself.

2. When World War I began, Mednyánszky was 62 years old, but he volunteered for the army anyway. The artist spent several years as a war correspondent on the Austro-Hungarian frontlines. In 1916, Mednyánszky was wounded, and by 1918, he had returned home, exhausted and stressed from the war. A number of his pictures and sketches reflect his war experiences.

3. Mednyánszky recorded every moment of his life in his diary, which spanned several thousand notebooks. His diary was in German or Hungarian, but using the Greek alphabet. In the diary, he often commented on the "remarkable types of people" he met.

4. Mednyánszky, who attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the École des Beaux-Arts, has been described as the "most productive and mysterious figure of Hungarian painting of the early 20th century." Unfortunately, many of his works were destroyed during World War II.

5. As a painter in the Impressionist style, Mednyánszky is most known for his landscapes and other paintings of nature. Mednyánszky once stated, "It was always one of my ideals to picture a chunk of Nature for myself fantastically enlarged—enlarged so greatly that people are able to stroll beneath the leaves of strawberry plants."

A larger version of "Hillside at Springtime (Little Landscape)" is available here.

Fans should check out the collections of Mednyánszky's work on Wikimedia, Fine Arts in Hungary, and Terminartors.

"Feel Art Again" appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can e-mail us at with details of current exhibitions, for sources or further reading, or to suggest artists.

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