Munkácsy, Mihály

BORN 20 Feb 1844, Munkács (now: Mukachevo) - DIED 1 May 1900, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Endenich
BIRTH NAME Lieb, Mihály Leó
GRAVE LOCATION Budapest: Kerepesi cemetery (33-34 sziget)

Mihály Lieb was the son of Mihály Lieb, who was of Bavarian origin. His mother was Cecilia Reök. As a painter, he used his birthplace as his pseudonym. He was trained by the painter Elek Szamossy before he went to Pest. The painter Antal Legeti helped him in receiving a state grant that enabled him to study abrpoad. In 1865 in Vienna Karl Rahl was his teacher. In 1866 he studied in Munich and in 1868 in Düsseldorf, where he was taught by Ludwig Knaus. He visited the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867. His painting "The Last Day of a Condemned Man" (1869) made him instantly famous.

In 1872, together with his friend László Paál, he settled in Paris, where he lived until his death. In 1874 he married Cécile Papier, the widow of the Baron de Marches. From 1873 to 1875 he produced many of his most acclaimed works, including "Woman Carrying Brushwood", "Midnight Ramblers"; "Farewell"; "Churning Woman" and "Pawnshop".

After 1875 he switched to painting landscapes and several times he painted in Barbizon with Páal, who died in 1879. From 1881 he painted dramatic religious and historical subjects. He created "Christ before Pilate" in 1882. In his later years he painted two large works, "Hungarian Conquest" (Hungarian Parliament) and "Apotheosis of Renaissance", a frescoe for the ceiling of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Munkácsy had become a celebrity but he was often unsure and questioned his own talent. This led depressions that resulted in a mental illness which was probalby worsened by the syphilis that he had contracted in his youth. In the summer of 1896 his health declined. He received treatment in Baden-Baden and stayed in Colpach and in Paris. He was taken to the mental hospital in Endenich near Bonn where Robert Schumann had died in 1854. There he collapsed and he died on 1 May 1900. Eight days later he was buried in Budapest.

Related persons
• was teacher of Liebermann, Max
• painted Liszt, Franz
• painted Sedelmeyer, Charles
• was influenced by Turner, Joseph Mallord William


Mihály Munkácsy's tomb at the Kerepesi cemetery, Budapest.
Picture by Androom (29 Jan 2001)


Plaque for Mihaly Munkacsy in the Wickenburggasse in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (29 Aug 2023)


'Ferenc Liszt'.
(Budapest: Hungarian National Gallery)

Fine Arts in Hungary
Mihály Munkácsy - Wikipedia

Munte, Lina

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 28 Feb 2024