Sketch for a lithography illustration
(rough translation: This is a coloured drawing made by József Rippl-Rónai for the book entitled ”Les Virges” (sic). - It was made in Paris. Dear Master Ráth. Please accept this modest drawing in exchange for a small other sketch by you, so that my Collection will not lack you Master. Yours sincerely, Anella Rónai, Kaposvár). The companion piece of this sketch, also drawn on a square notebook paper and in similar size is now in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery (Inv. No. 1930-2138
). The printed version of the sketch was the first illustration of the book “Les viérges”, with identical lines and proportion but with a different, more varied colouring. On the sketch, the square picture is completed with the patch of the text imitation. The arrangement accomodates to the peculiarities of stone printing. On the right, there is a standing, young girl figure shown from the back, wearing a typical headdress. Its light patch is divided only with a few lines as with a repoussoir
figure. The woman sitting behind her marks the perspective with their different size. The two figures are arranged diagonally. The rest of the illustration depicts a garden and an apple tree with fruits, being a background and a border at the same time. The thick, solid, darker patch of the foliage creates an exciting contrast to the calm, white surface of the figures. About the idea and the atmosphere of the illustrations, Rippl-Rónai wrote the following in his letter to his parents from 22 May
, 1895: “My drawings are colourful, reproduced in a lithographic way. The ones made by my Scottish friend (J. Pitcairn-Knowles) are cut in wood. The Scottish one is sad, mine is happy: he wants to remind us of death, I want to create a good mood for life; I have the summer, he has the winter. My book is dominated by light, youth, the brightness of the sun, the golden colour of beautiful nature, the hesitance of young girls at the start of their life and their calmness later, reflecting theri
past etc. Short dream. ” The same ideas are reflected, giving a pictoral summary of the illustrations on another tapestry sketch, designed at the same time, with the title “Apple pickers”. It is now in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery. The closest analogies can be found among the decorative pieces of the Andrássy's dining room, also designed by Rippl-Rónai.
Szerk.: Nagy Ildikó, Bernáth Mária: Rippl-Rónai József gyűjteményes kiállítása.. Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest, 1998. - Nr. 165-174.
Szerk.: Szilágyi András, Horányi Éva: Szecesszió. A 20. század hajnala. Az európai iparművészet korszakai.. Iparművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1996. - Nr. 9.277. (Lichner Magda)