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BRUCK, LAJOS:

Hungarian painter; born at Pápa, county of Veszprim, Nov., 1846. Though his father intended him for commercial life, he early showed a liking for drawing and painting, and resolved to become an artist. He frequented the Academy of Art in Vienna, and made portraits in private; this latter occupation absorbing his time to such an extent that often he had to miss the lectures and go to Budapest and Erlau in order to complete the portraits which had been ordered. In 1871, after having received a stipend from the government, he went to Italy to study the masterpieces of art. He remained two years in Venice, and thenproceeded to Rome and Naples, everywhere producing a large number of sketches and studies. An outcome of this journey was the picture with which in 1873 he first came before the public, "The Rialto at Venice." On his return from Italy he completed his sketches, but succeeded in finding only a single patron, General Türr, who purchased three of his pictures. As a consequence he undertook another pilgrimage, visiting the cities of Salzburg, Munich, Augsburg, Heidelberg, Cologne, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Ostend, and London.

In 1874 he went to Paris, where he was subjected to many struggles, his German style not appealing to the French taste. Hitherto his style had inclined to idealism and sentimentalism, while Paris demanded the forceful representation of actual life. His first notable painting, "On the Edge of the Wood," was exhibited in the Salon in 1876. This was followed by "The Departure for the City"—exhibited at the Salon, 1877—which made him widely known. Since that time he has been a regular annual exhibitor of pictures treating of Hungarian folk-life, such as "The Letter from the Absent One," "Deserted," "The Emigrant," and "In the Forge." These pictures have become widely known through engravings and photographs, which have found many purchasers in America. Bruck recently removed from Paris to London, where he ranks among the most popular painters.

Bibliography:
  • Pallas Nagy Lexicona;
  • Figaro, 1877;
  • Illustrated News, 1899.
S. M. W.
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