Kunwald, Cæsar (1870-1947)

Kunwald, Cæsar (1870-1947)

Cæsar Kunwald was a well-travelled artist primarily known for his enchanting portraits, which are imbued with a sense of style, spirit and character.

Initially training as an engineer, he switched careers at 30 to pursue his true passion and began studying in Budapest. Before too long, his skill for portraiture was recognised and he was commissioned by several of Hungary’s elite.

Seeking new ideas, he then travelled to Germany and Paris where he immersed himself in the emerging avant-garde. It was such an exciting time - rich with new theories, expression and strong wills.

In 1905, the culmination of his training thus far resulted in three of his works being shown at the illustrious Salon d'Automne alongside a host of household names including Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Can you imagine how he felt? On one hand, thrilled to be shown, yet on the other, perhaps a little intimidated by the array of talent.

Unlike many of his peers, Kunwald didn’t settle in the French capital for long, instead preferring to move back to Budapest while continuing to explore the rest of Europe. And in 1907, he began his love affair with Denmark when the art connoisseur Otto Benzon invited him to stay and commissioned various portraits. These included for his wife, Ellen, who Kunwald married later in life.

This love for Denmark ultimately led to a permanent move to the region of Tibirke, north of Copenhagen in the 1930s. This scenic coastal area was abundant with inspiration - sand dunes, lakes, pine-covered vistas and beautiful Summertime light. Perfect for the rhythmical poetry of impressionism. During his time here, Kunwald produced many of his landscapes, which are abundant with colour, gesture and love.

It seems that the artist enjoyed the quiet solitude of Tibirke as he refrained from exhibiting widely during these latter years. The peaceful scenery evidently brought solace and he appeared to relish his twilight years.

Today, Cæsar Kunwald is represented in several national museums. During his life, his work was exhibited widely including at the Salon d'Automne, Paris, in Budapest, Berlin, Venice, Munich, Weimar, Rome, Vienna, Geneva, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Washington, Padua, and Charlottenburg.

1870

Born in Graz, Austria to parents of Jewish descent - Anton Kunwald, a State Railroad official and Friederike Sington.

Moved to Budapest, Hungary.

1896-1900

Studied under Ede Balló in Budapest and Simon Hollosi in Nagybánya, Hungary.

1901-1904

Studied at the Sächsische Kunstschule in Weimer, Germany under Norwegian painter, Professor Carl Frithjof Smith.

1903-1905

Studied in Paris under I. E. Blanche, C. Cottet and JP Laurens.

1905

Moved to Berlin.

Debuted at the Salon d'Automne, Paris.

1907

Invited to Denmark by the pharmacist Otto Benzon who commissioned various portraits of himself and his wife, Ellen.

1908

Exhibited at the National Salon in Budapest.

1910

Moved back to Budapest.

1912

Married Hedwig Vendel who he’d met during his time in Berlin.

1914

Birth of daughter, Beate.

1918

Birth of son, Georg.

1921

Debuted at Charlottenburg Palace, Denmark.

1922

Awarded the Herbert Viktor prize for a portrait.

1928

Death of wife, Hedwig.

1934

Married Ellen Lucinde Benzon and settled in Denmark.

Spent much of his time in the scenic area of Tibirke, north of Copenhagen, Denmark.

1947

Died in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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