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Vajda Lajos „térrajzai” az antik Egyiptomi és Perzsa térfogalom értelmezései alapján

Lajos Vajda’s “spatial drawings” seen through his interpretations of Egyptian and Persian ideas of perspective

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Judit Radák

The Hungarian painter Lajos Vajda left little in terms of documentation for posterity. His witten legacy is largely confined to three notebooks and a variety of scribbled notes that complement the letters saved by his wife.

Despite the scarcity of documentation, the three “chequered notebooks” (named after their chequered covers) provide a considerable insight into the scope of Vajda’s reading especially when analysed in conjunction with the letters.

After initially attempting to “reconstruct” Vajda’s intellectual background through his reading, I discovered an important gap in the academic research conducted into Vajda to date.

This related to the drawings of houses and streets in the small town of Szentendre that Vajda produced between 1935 and 1938 – contemporaneously with the writing of the Chequered Notebooks. These drawings have largely been seen as part of a larger project. However, my reading of these notes leads me to believe that they were selfstanding experiments in the depiction of space influenced by his concurrent reading and reflection on Egyptian and Persian ideas of the depiction of space.

Of especial interest is the role of Vajda’s line drawings and the possibility of exchanging positive and negative forms. This problematic had already appeared in his earlier montage works but – despite the similarities in style – he now experimented with new solutions to the depiction of space.

The shapes do not mark overlapping layers of space but rather they enclose a special form through distortions projected onto the plane. Vajda did not use the usual systems of geometrical depiction (the Monge type depiction system, axonometric or one and two-point directional perspective) or depict the motifs from a single point of view, but drew the contours by following the detection and the direction of the gaze.

In summary, my research aimed at discovering the extent to which knowledge of the artist’s reading material assists in the analysis of works created at the same time. In the comparison with the experiments in the depiction of space of that era, I was interested in how Vajda’s experiments with space were different and what relationship they had with his reading material (Egyptian, Persian Art).

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