László Mednyánszky's work is investigated in the present study in the context of Austrian “Stimmungsimpressio-nismus”, an artistic phenomenon, which corresponds in contemporary Hungarian art criticism to “Stimmungmalerei”(painting of sentiments, proposed 1886 by G. Keleti). The cult of French Impressionism has overshadowed in the art history of Central Europe a late 19th-century school of nature representation, based on sentiments and considered later as a provincial phenomenon. László Mednyánszky's paintings can be compared with the main representants of Austrian “Stimmungsimpressionismus”, and in fact he had contacts with painters as Emil Jakob Schindler, Robert Russ, Hans Canon, Wilhelm Bernatzik and Tina Blau. Inspite of his very deep knowledge about impressionist painting, he was mainly influenced by Barbizon painters, and in the first line by J. F. Millet. In the second part of the study figurative paintings by Mednyászky, representing poor people, are analyzed. Their relationship to the tradition of Ribera, Daumier, Géricault and mainly of Millet corresponds to a literary inspiration due mainly to the famous roman Les mystères de Paris by Eugène Sue. The great influence of this kind of literature is witnessed by friends of Mednyánszky.
The intellectual-emotional community or even symbiosis of the friends György Lukács and Leó Popper was fuelled by irresolvable antagonisms as well. Popper's concept of form, “form as event” inevitably withstands any attempt at historicizing or theorizing. Popper's was a deeply anti-theory aesthetic attitude, which reveals a lot about the ethos of the psychology of creation, but the first and foremost tenet of this morality is “the will of form will be done”. The will of form and not the will of the thinker, however close one may come to the morality of Lukács's demand for the detachment of the personality. The contradistinction between life and work becomes the antagonistic opposition between “work as life” and thinking. This opposition is timeless, supra-historical. Popper's principal intellectual legacy is not the idea of double misunderstanding, even if Lukács promotes him to be a forerunner of the aesthetics of reception and “an anticipator of modern hermeneutics”. A very talented person needn't even be present when he creates – this was Popper's opinion.
This is a monographic study of the art of István Nagy, a painter of Transylvanian origin, whom his contemporaries also called the “Hungarian Van Gogh” due to his insociable nature and spectacular colours. István Nagy really had Van Gogh as kindred spirit, but his unique, nowhere classifiable and extremely prolific oeuvre consists mainly of a series of pastels, which not long ago for the first time managed to be collected in a monumental oeuvre catalog. The nearly 600-page album, edited by Tamás Kieselbach, provides an insight into the life of this strange, reticent, poor painter wandering in the mountains of Transylvania, who, like the composer Béla Bartók, created an independent formal language from his folk collection. In his fantastically coloured wild pastels and monochrome black charcoal drawings, he captures the ornamentation of the landscape and the closed world of ordinary peasants, which grew into a monumental one, in the footsteps of Millet and Seurat, but also utilizing the lessons of Hungarian modernism.
The conflict between Charles de Tolnay and Erwin Panofsky that grew unprecedentedly acrimonious in the history of the discipline – the so-called Tolnay–Panofsky affair – was more than mere personal bickering. The documents clearly reveal that the “affair”, which basically affected financial and professional positions, was based on embarrassingly ordinary, occasionally petty-minded questions instead of scientific arguments, and led to a break of relationship probably in spring 1943, also directs the attention to the science political consequences of the hierarchic establishment of American science financing and academia in general in the interwar years and the 1940s, and to differences between European and American scholarship. It can be gleaned that Tolnay’s efforts to be allotted raised stipends (often by a great degree, as the documents unanimously testify) and a confirmed position led to the deterioration of his relationship with the Princeton IAS leaders and community – in spite of the fact that the former leader of the Institute Flexner took Tolnay’s side, at times with threats to Panofsky and Oppenheimer and accusing Panofsky of professional jealousy. Though Tolnay received raised scholarship up to 4000 dollars for three years, the institute decided to part with Tolnay in 1948. In the background of the affair, however, one may discover conflicts based on the diverging views on art history by Panofsky and Tolnay rooted far deeper, in the elementary influences of the Vienna School of Art History and Max Dvořák on the one hand, and of the Sunday Circle and György Lukács, on the other. The art philosophical aspects and methodological consequences of these dissenting concepts of art history may bear significance for the practitioners of the discipline today as well.