bela czene Nude with books
4 min

Neoclassicist Nudes Of The Hungarian Artist Béla Czene

4 min

The art of obscured Hungarian painter Béla Czene (1911-1999) had several stages, from following the principles of the Roman school (the Hungarian version of Italian neoclassicism) and socialist aesthetics to depicting the everyday life of the 1960s and 1980s with its' fashion and characteristic urban landscape. The images of nude models occupied a special place in Czene's legacy. Most of them are portrayed in the Roman or Greek setting, tracing back to the artist's neoclassicist works.

bela czene Self-portrait with nude

Fig. 1. Self-portrait with nude (

 bela czene  In a café

Fig. 2. In a café (

bela czene San-Gimignano

Fig. 3. San-Gimignano (

bela czene The Street

Fig. 4. The Street, 1978 (

bela czene Pedestrians

Fig. 5. Pedestrians, 1972 (

 bela czene Kalotaszegi lanyok

Fig. 6. Kalotaszegi lanyok, 1943 (

 bela czene Reading girl in a blue dress

Fig. 7. Reading girl in a blue dress (

bela czene Anna

Fig. 8. Anna (

 bela czene Standing nude,

Fig. 9. Standing nude, 1978 (

Successful Student

Béla Czene was born in a family of a portrait painter Béla Tivadar Czene and the draftsman Jolán Franciska Borza. Curiously, the artist's wife, son, and granddaughter are also painters. For a relatively short period, from 1930 to 1933, Czene attended the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, where his mentor was Gyula Rudnay, who followed realism and post-impressionism. Already from 1932, Czene had been taking part in group exhibitions. Unlike his teacher, he preferred the neoclassicist style of the Roman school and won a scholarship from the Hungarian Academy in Rome, which started in 1928. The scholarship provided him an opportunity to stay in Rome in 1938-1939.

Leonardo da Vinci

A year earlier, he won the prize of the National Hungarian Society of Fine Arts. During his time in Rome and on, the artist was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and Domenico Ghirlandaio. After the Second World War, this influence got weaker as Czene preferred subjects from everyday life. Throughout his career, Czene held many solo exhibitions, and the last one happened in 1998, a year before his death. Some of his works are exhibited in the Hungarian National Gallery.

 Bela Czene Reading nude

Fig. 10. Reading nude (

 Reading nude bela czene

Fig. 11. Reading nude (

bela czene Nude with drawings

Fig. 12. Nude with drawings (

bela czene Nude with books

Fig. 13. Nude with books (

 bela czene Reading nude female

Fig. 14. Reading nude (

 bela czene Girl with brown hair

Fig. 15.  Girl with brown hair (

 bela czene Reading nude, sketch

Fig. 16. Reading nude, sketch (

bela czene  In The Espresso

Fig. 17. In The Espresso, 1972 (

bela czene Lying nude, 1976

Fig. 18. Lying nude, 1976 (

In Premium you can find, besides 35 additional images, an analysis of Czene's nude aesthetics, the neglect by critics that followed his success, and a description of a striking detail in one of his nude portraits referring to shunga art from the Edo period.

Click HERE for the influential erotic portfolios of the Hungarian artist Alex Székely