Imre Gergely

Interior With Lady & Cat

Imre Gergely

Interior With Lady & Cat

This early 20th-century oil painting by Hungarian artist Imre Gergely (1868-1914) depicts an interior with a lady and cat.

Under the gentle glow of a single oil lamp, she rests with a book while attired in a luxurious evening gown. She’s perhaps returned from a gathering, relieved to be away from the rigours of high society.

Letting her shoulders drop, she spots a familiar face - her small white cat, which looks on inquisitively as if beckoning her to share the gossip. With a wry smile, she looks back… “and what do you want exactly?”.

Imre Gergely often included animals in his scenes to convey a deeper narrative. For example, in another work, a young girl clutches a dove while her mother looks on, which alludes to the freedom of one’s youth. He also occasionally substituted a father figure for a dog - e.g. a mother and daughter picnicking in the garden while disrupted by the bark of a noisy spaniel.

So here, Gergely’s inclusion of an amiable white cat probably carries an additional meaning. Is it her only trusted confidante in a world of prying eyes?

Signed/dated lower right and held within its original gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 17” x 20½” / 49cm x 57cm
Year of creation: c. 1900
Condition: Artwork presents well. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £3,724

Imre Gergely

Imre Gergely

Hungarian artist Imre Gergely is predominantly known for his Renoir-esque impressionistic scenes. Born in Budapest, he trained at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, and later in Munich with Simon Hollósy (1857-1918) and Sándor Liezen-Mayer (1839-1898). He also studied in Karlsruhe with Hermann Baisch (1846-1894) before returning to the ‘Master School’ of Gyula Benczúr (1844-1920) in Budapest. Two of his works were acquired by the Hungarian Royal Family.

Learn more about Imre Gergely in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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