#5 Sérgil Amarita: painter living in India, born and raised in Hungary

Lujza Blaha (born Reindl Ludovika)
(September 8, 1850. Rimaszombat – January 18, 1926. Budapest)
Hungarian actress, „the nightingale of our nation”

3 x 3 about Sérgil Amarita:

3 serious facts:

  1. Her life-work is only known for a few in Hungary, however she is considered to be one of the greatest modern painters of the 20th century in India. Her paintings were pronounced national treasure after her death.
  2. Her childhood memories in her homeland were of a great influence on her artwork. Folk songs and fables she heard from her mom, the hungarian traditional costumes and the landscape had a big impact. Owing to these could she create her most famous painting, called Village Scene.
  3. She had already learnt to paint in Hungary with the help of her uncle, Ervin Baktay, the widely known writer, orientologists, astrologist, artist and art historian.

3 reasons why we look up to her:

  1. She was the first to depict the poor and the pariah. This not only made her a pioneer but a true rebel, since it was against the social norms. She was outraged by the caste system and women being excluded from social life. She had an enormous role in emancipating women by using her art to fight for public education for women, including the opportunity for creative artwork, which had been the privilege for men only.
  2. Her most famous paintings are considered to be the ones depicting naked women and outcast, poor pariah. Her painting called Young girls was awarded with the Golden Medal of the Grand Salon in Paris in 1933, making Amrita Sérgil the only and youngest asian painter chosen to be the member of the salon.
  3. Village Scene, painted in 1938, was bought for 69 million rupees, by an indian businessman, Nand Khemka. This deal raised the picture amongst the most valuable artworks in India.

3 juicy facts:

  1. She was named in India after “amrit” the nectar of eternal life, furthermore after the hindu and zoroastrianist little goddess called Amirita. Her hungarian first name was Dalma.
  2. She travelled to Hungary in 1938 to meet her childhood love, Viktor Egan, a medical student, who was his cousin. Accompanied by the objection of the parents the marriage vows were said on July 16, 1936. They settled in Kiskunhalas, since her husband was conscripted as military surgeon in the local bicycle battalion. Her most famous artwork, Village Scene was created here.
  3. She was extremely literate. She was pretty familiar with Baudlaire’s, Verlaine’s, Dostojevskij’s, Thomas Mann’s, James Joye’s and D.H. Lawrence’s work. She was the biggest fan of the modern hungarian novelist Dezső Szabó and the famous poet Endre Ady.

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Cseh Ádám vagyok, történelemimádó, történészhallgató, vállalkozó. A Holistic History alapítója. Az 52 magyar nő gondolata egy baráti beszélgetéssel indult: fel tudsz sorolni 10 híres magyar nőt? Megküzdöttünk vele. Pedig a történelmünk bővelkedik kiemelkedő Nőkben. Ezzel kezdetét vette a projekt, mely 52 héten át, 52 nőt mutat be, akiket ismerned kell. Kellemes időtöltést kívánok hozzá!

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