Archive for the ‘Hungary.’ Category

Amrita Sher-Gil – Greatest Avantgarde Women Artists of the Early 20th Century

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Struggling for days out of ideas as for many just “sit and wait” for their lockdown to end … Below is a riport/update shared for the rollinginbudapest readers to enloose a bit and enjoy the reading.

Riport based on … gain through Webniar on the Life and Art of Amrita Sher-Gil at the Indian Cultural Center in Budapest. During the Webinar several India art professionals joined the gathering and spoke about the legendary artist life. Amrita Sher-Gil, as a Hungarian and an Indian, a European and an Asian, belonged to both cultures, creating a synthesis between modern European and traditional Indian painting.

Amrita Sher-Gil was an extraordinary painter of the 20th-century whose legacy stands on a par with the Masters of Bengal Renaissance.

About the name of the Indian Cutural Center – Budapest … in 2013 a ceremony was held to name the cutural institution to be Amrita Sher-Gil.  At the time being, Ambassador Malay Mishra and art historian Katalin Keserü spoke about the naming Amrita Sher-Gil at the event, which also celebrated in time India’s 67th anniversary of independence. The culture center is just a few steps from the Embassy of India – Budapest.

A flashback to her early life and history: Amrita Sher-Gil born January, 30. 1913 in Budapest, Amrita’s father was an Indian Sikh aristocrat with a deep scholarly interest in Sanskrit and astronomy. Her Hungarian-Jewish mother Marie Antoinette Gottesmann was an opera artist. Throughout the short years Amrita Sher-Gil led a life as compelling and unorthodox as her art. The Indian artist spent her early life in a village of Hungary and at the age eight her family shifted to Shimla which was considered as a stunning hilly venue of India. Shimla was the place which marked the beginning of Amrita’s love for art and there she began receiving formal education on the subject of art from an Italian sculptor. The painter moved to Italy in 1924 and Amrita, along with her mother, followed him. Soon enough, she joined a Roman Catholic institution called Santa Anunciata. This was the place where she witnessed the miraculous works of Italian artists and got inspired from them. Showed interest and took formal lessons completing her formal studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of sixteen. Sher-Gil painted her airly Bohemian life in Paris, a series of self-portraits, which showed her grappling with her own identity caught between Europe and India. In Paris, she was greatly influenced by European painters like Paul Cézanne, Amedeo Modigliani and Paul Gauguin. Despite in 1929 her early success in Paris, she increasingly longed for India and finally returned to her home country in 1934, finding the inspiration she needed as she traveled around the country and reconnected with its people. At this point, was ways of seeing changes radically in India. This was the beginning of her life-long journey of trying to decode the traditions of Indian art. She deeply thought her new style diverged greatly from her previous works learned in Paris, but she realized that Europe belonged to the art likers of Picasso and Matisse while India belonged to her. The influence of Western painting traditions are apparent in her early works, most notably seem to evoke the poverty, sadness and monumental gravity of the people she saw around her.

One of her paintings  The “Group of Young Girls”  a powerful work done in earthy colors portraying three, young girls waiting pensively for their future received Gold medal at Grand Salon Paris – 1933., and also won a Gold medal from Bombay Art Society – 1937. 

Overall, on one hand, Amrita was passionate about everything life had to offer and on the other hand, she harbored a deep sense of melancholy. Amrita  Sher-Gil  was often referred as India’s Frida Kahlo.”The Two Fridas” play was introduced in the UK as storytelling through dance and music. (Writer’s note … Would be great to bring the UK’s preformance over to Budapest  Hungary!)

In the year 1938, Amrita married her Hungarian first cousin, Dr. Victor Egan. Afterwards, she moved to the city of Gorakhpur, where her paternal family resided, with her beloved husband. Later on, the couple decided to move to Lahore which was a part of the undivided India. Sadly, in the year 1941, Amrita Sher-Gill left the world and gone ahead.

Amrita Sher-Gill was the first and youngest only Asian artist. Her works show a considerable amount of influence from the west and her deep passion, along with a great sense of understanding towards colors, shows why the artist is considered remarkable even in today’s times.

The masterworks of this artist have been declared as National Art Treasures by the Government – India and a majority of her creations adorn the beauty of the famous National Gallery of Modern Art – capital of India.In addition to this, as paying respect to the great artist, there is a road by the name of Amrita Sher-Gill Marg in Delhi.

In 2001 the Ernst Museum Budapest held an exhibition on Amrita’s painting which were introduced  to the Hungarian art lovers for the first time in Hungary.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary (2013) of her birth was seen on the fence at the Hungarian National Museum giant tableau 50 arts namely “exhibition fence.”  In January of the same year, was erected a marble plaque at her birthplace District I, Budapest: Szilágy Dezső Square. Also in 2013 UNESCO announced  to be the international year of Amrita Sher-Gil.

During her short but productive career, she influenced generations. Amrita left behind 175 substantial body of works of which 95 works are at the National Museum – Delhi and some are at private collectors. However, the artist has been overlooked for decades, only the past recent times receiving the recognition she deserves.

Update Aggie Reiter

Zsolnay Light Festival – Painted Jami Building with Light @ City of Pécs

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Unfortunetely, due to the situation caused by COVID-19, the Zsonaly Light Festival @ the City of Pécs, planned for the summer of 2020, couldn’t take place.

The organizers, i.e. the state of Zsonaly Heritage Management Ltd. have been working hard in recent weeks not to let the light being out of order and make the most out of the situation in our daily situation. Photos Péter Marsalkó

Therefore, every night from November, 27. to December, 20. from 4.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. –  Jami of Széchenyi Square will be dressed up in a light robe. The light artists of the LaLuz Visuals creative group made it happen to enjoy the brilliant sight and make the difficult period better during the Holiday Season a little better.

The biggest light festival in the country is awaiting its visitors.

© Aggie Reiter

The 4th Italian Design Day in Budapest 2020

This year, things will be a little different for all due to the challenging times of COVID-19 Pandemic, yet H.E. Massimo Rustico Ambassador of Italy to Hungary arranged a special celebration within a Virtual Journey, which took place on November, 5. 2020.

Riport to the Italian Design Day … an integrated promotion project launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to highlight the excellence and peculiarities of Italian design around the world. The initiative, which is at its 4th edition features over 100 events across 100 global cities, and is organised by the Italian Embassies, Consulates, Cultural Institutes together with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA).

Discription of some of the ideas which Made in Italy are known at every corner of the World … Italian Design Day 2020 was up-to-date in several perspectives. Italy came to comprehensively dominate the global design field and long led the international pack in acountless fields such as cars, fashion, interior products & furniture and last but not least food. Also describing “ Drawing the future … Automotive”  … Italian cars are considered among the world’s most beautiful ones.  “Design & technology” so innovative to bring about absolute jewels such surprise. The brand  new FIAT 500 Full Electric Design. “Tradition of Crafting” techniques combining with innovative, modern design, state of the art technology to translate into the highest quality and resounding beauty. within  Hotels, Flagship Stores, Buildings, Megayachts. The global luxury firm – theMolteni Group with more than 80 years of experience … all in the name of quality living. Dolce&Gabbana and Smeg join creative forces to create Sicily a unique project Made in Italy. The small appliances collection produced by Smeg with an unmistakable Dolce&Gabbana touch. Italy – leadership in luxury fashion with its brands continues to confirm, whether a dress, a bag, a pair of sunglasses or shoes, make the difference and will be stylish and trendy in a new definition of elegance. “Jewelry & Corals” – “Coralli e cammei” of Torre del Greco by Assocoral.
Last and not least … The ambassador of Italian Design for Hungary Architect Mario Trimarchi plays a key role in promoting Made in Italy  … vast influence on urban, industrial and fashion design by turning it in a world trendsetter.

Italy has produced some of the finest design groups and companies worldwide, which are a magnet for global talents too.

Hopefully in the coming future many Hungarians will be able to personally attend live at  “Made in Italy” special celebration.

© Aggie Reiter

“Idiot Prayer” – Nick Cave’s New Concert Film Screening Across the Country.

Due till this date, taking into account the rules and measures to fight the coronavirus, the projections will be held … information about the changes can be found on the cinema’s website. Until then … from November 5, at the same time as the world premiere, Nick Cave’s new concert film “Idiot Prayer” will hit pictures across the country, in which the Australian songwriter-singer will perform his songs solo, accompanied by a piano.

The intimate, two-hour concert film features songs from different eras, both rarely heard songs and popular hits, s alone new songs he performed at his livestream show. Sceening in English language with Hungarian subtitles. From the earliest Bad Seeds and Grinderman records to the latest Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen. up to the record material, including Into My Arms, The Mercy Seat, Higgs Boson Blues or Girl In Amber.

The film was in June 2020, originally recorded as a concert film that could only be watched online once during quarantine, and can now be seen on a big screen in an expanded cinema version worldwide, along with four brand new songs, now heard for the first time. The unique atmosphere of “Idiot Prayer”, which is more personal than any Nick Cave concert film to date, reflects months of quarantine with isolation and uncertainty on the one hand, and hopeful anticipation on the other.

The “Idiot Prayer” – Nick Cave Alone @ Alexandra Palace London – concert film will be distributed by Pannonia Entertainment LTd. within 30 cinemas nationwide from November 5, including the entire Cinema City network, Corvin, Toldi and Pólus Cinemas in Budapest and the Urania National Film Theater, limited screenings or only one evening at a time.

The performance was filmed by multiple award-winning cinematographer Robbie Ryan (My Favorite, Marriage Story) in the ornate auditorium of iconic Alexandra Palace in London. The film’s music recording director was renowned producer and sound engineer Dom Monks, who had previously worked with Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Katie Melua, Tom Jones and Coldplay.

© Aggie Reiter

#2 … Some Hungarian Appetizers – Jewish Eggs a.k.a. Polish Eggs

A Taste of Home … Jewish Eggs  a.k.a. Polish Eggs

The history of Jewish eggs … in addition to matzah dumpling soup and chulent – was one of the fundamental features of European Jewish cuisine. Grated boiled eggs mixed with onions and mustard were favorably consumed in all Jewish and nonb Jewish families. Jewish egg is the appetizer of Saturday lunch in Jewish cuisine, hence its name.

In the original version, in addition to onions and eggs, goose fat and goose liver were among the ingredients, but many make it in the simplest version, which contains only eggs.

It is believed that the goose was introduced to the Hungarians by the Jews of Poland in the 19th century. Since the cream also contains goose fat , the Jewish egg inherited another name called:  “Polish Egg”.

It is very easy to make, don’t have to fiddle about it for hours. The Jewish egg, of course, not only looks good on the festive table, but when sandwiched, it is loved by both adults and children. It is worth making a double dose next time because it is unstoppably delicious.

Recipe for 6-8 people. Preparation time: 20 mins. Leave to rest: 30 mins.
Ingredients: 8 eggs, ½ glass of goose or duck liver, finely chopped, 2 brown medium onions finely chopped (or spring onions chop together with the green.), may include red onions as taste, a pinch of salt or Hungarian red pepper, 1 bunch of parsley, chopped (optional), 2 tbsp. mustard, 1-2 tbsp. sweet dessert wine, or 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 × 2 tbsp. goose or duck fat at room temperature (substitutable with vegetable oil). Some families add the goose liver but without it it is very delicious. Mustard shouldn’t be too pronounced, but it shouldn’t be missing either.

Prepairing: Grated boiled eggs are grated or chopped very finely. The chopped onion is simmered in two tablespoons of fat until glassy, then we throw in the liver and simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Remove the wine or sugar from the flame. In another bowl, mix the other ingredients. The steamed liver is cut into very small pieces and this is also added to the eggs. Refrigerate for  at least an hour to bring the flavors together, served with fresh crackled bread, rolls or baches.

© Aggie Reiter

National Fine Arts Film Days @ the Capital & Szeged, Debrecen

A special selection of programs coming within the series of the popular Temple of the Arts @ Budapest and also at the Cities of Szeged and of Debrecen between October 14 – 21. 2020.

Masters, Museums, Art Collectors on the cinema screen.

Including to  the National Fine Arts Film Days, the most popular earlier parts of the series return to the big screen.  The latest episode featuring Amadeo Modigliani’s career debuts at pre-premiere screenings.

Valeria Parisi‘s new film, entitled Centennial Modigliani will be screened in the Urania Cinema @ Budapest on October, 22. just for a week at Art Cinemas across the country.

The film reveals Modigliani’s artistic career as a hitherto unknown point of view and his scandalous, bohemian and tragic private life. The memoirs of his love and partner, Jeanne Hébuterne, who committed suicide two days after Modigliani’s death.

There are  venues of Modigliani’s career, including Livorno, Florence, Venice and Paris, the center of the art world at the time, come to life on special archival footage, and the detailed frames of the series also feature millions of works of art on the canvas. The film reveals the treasures of renowned institutions such as the Albertina in Vienna and the National Gallery in Washington, the exhibition at the Livorno City Museum and significant art collections in Paris.

During the program of the Film Days cannot be missing the most successful works of previous seasons screened at major cinemas throughout the country in the frame of the “Temple of Art” films, including the first episode of the series, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, as well as the history and magnificent collection of the Prado Museum – Madrid and St. Petersburg Hermitage, Hokuszai, Paul Gauguin, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali are also films showing the life and art, lesser-known works of Impressionist masters. Related to 20th century modern art, three special documentaries were also included into forthcoming Fine Arts Film Days program.

Already screened portrait film (who did not have a chance to see it, may do it) of Peggy Guggenheim, the best-known collector and patron of modern art, Obsessed with Art, an art-persecuted Nazi dictatorship and an investigation into stolen art treasures, will be screened on October, 15. 2020. – Urania Cinema – Budapest.

The new award-winning American documentary Bauhaus, about the life and heritage of László Moholy-Nagy, a world-famous photographer, constructivist painter, designer and outstanding teacher of the Bauhaus school, born 125 years ago, still today inspires the creators.

A II. National Fine Arts Film Days are organized in cooperation with Pannonia Entertainment, the Urania National Film Theater, the Apollo Cinema and the Downtown Cinema, with the support of the National Cultural Fund.

Recommended by Aggie Reiter

Day-By-Day #6 … Hungarian Cruisine – Chicken Ragout Soup with Tarragon

Chicken Ragout Soup with Tarragon – Tárkonyos Csirkeragú

This is a well-known traditional Hungarian fragrant creamy chicken soup with tarragon can be made with pork or chicken, choice depends on preference as at each region in Hungary everyone has their own recipe for it. Some people make it with chicken breast which is also fine and also may in using thighs because they give more flavor to the soup.

Easy to make this soup any day of the week. This healthy vegetable soup made with the twist of using tarragon and lemon juice.

Receipt for 4 persons – preparation time: 40-90 mins.

Ingredients: 2 chicken breast fillets, 1 head onion, 3 cloves garlic, 3 carrots, 2 white beets, 1 medium size kurnips, 1 medium size celery, 25 dkg mushrooms, 20 dkg green or yellow peas, 4 tbs oil, salt, pepper, tarragon, 4 veggie soup cubes, 2 dl cooking cream, 1 tbs flour, 1 tbs parsley, half a lemon.

Cooking: Cut the chicken breast fillet into small cubes. Chop the onion and garlic. The vegetables are cleaned and diced except for the green or yellow peas.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions over it. Add the meat and fry until white. Add the two types of beets, turnips and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, tarragon and chopped garlic. Then add to it as much water (cca 2 liters) as you want to make the soup… less water to make the soup thicker. Add the veggie soup cubes, bring to a boil, then add the peas and mushrooms. Cook until all ingredients are soft (about 10 mins).

Pour the cream into a small bowl, sprinkle with flour and mix. Add 3-4 tbs of less hot soup, stir until smooth, then add to the boiling soup. Bring to boil on it and finally add the chopped fresh parsley and freshly squeezed lemon juice (it is recommended to taste, rather add less lemon, which can be replaced to taste when served).

To read more about traditional Hungarian soups, visit previous receipt @ “Q” & “A” Culinary Heritage Into Hungarian Kitchen.

© Aggie Reiter

Day-By-Day #5 … Hungarian Cruisine – Palóc Style Soup

Palóc Style Soup – Palóc leves

The Palóc were a tribe of people of Slovak origin who settled in North-Eastern Hungary from where this soup originates.

The writer and MP, Kálmán Mikszáth, who is often referred to as the Great Palóc, asked János Gundel, the founder of the most famous dynasty in Hungarian gastronomy, to make him a dish that would be characteristic of the region where the Palóc folks live and with their cuisine. The most widely known village of the Palóc region is Hollókő – Hungary. The village is declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. The landscape of the village perfectly fits into fairy tale. The venue comprises 58 heritage buildings that are representative of 17th century village architecture.

The origin recept calls for mutton or lamb, yet if  prefer can also subsitute for pork or beef. Keep in mind, different meat pieces cook shorter and/or longer. Many people add some fresh dill or some drops of vinegar to it  depending on theindividuals taste.

Receipt for 4 people – preparation time 40 to 90 mins.

Ingredients: 900 g pork, beef or mutton, 1 big onion, 250 ml sour cream, 1 handful green fresh or fozen beans … In Hungary green and yellow beans are available. Growing in the season having fresh and if out of it the frozen one are cooked. Two médium size potatoes, 4-5 Bay leaves, sweet red paprika powder, dalt, ground caraway, ground pepper to taste and 1/2 tbs flour. A hint … add as many or as a few potatoes and beans as prefer, but roughly cca 1 medium potatoe and about 150 g beans/person to serve.

Cooking: Chop and fry the onions and season with bay leaf and caraway. Cut the meat in cubes, Wash and place them into a saucepan with the fried onions. Season with red paprika powder and some ground black pepper and stew slowly until about the meat is half tender. Add potatoes, cook and sauté them a little bit longer. Pouring water on it if needed and boil. Add the green or yellow beans and cook on for 10-15 mins more and look afterwards that all parts are cooked well. When the soup is ready, set aside to cool down a bit.

Next to thicken with the sour cream first take a seperate bowl in which add a little flour and mix together. Be careful when addig sour cream. Make sure to have non boiling temperature. Might wish to use a strainer, but addig the sour cream to the less hot soup it will be easy to mix the two.

To read more about traditional Hungarian soups, visit previous receipt @ “Q” & “A” Culinary Heritage Into Hungarian Kitchen.

© Aggie Reiter

Day-By-Day #4 … Hungarian Cruisine – Bean Soup á la Jókai

Bean Soup á la Jókai

(Jókai Bableves)

The soup is named after Jókai Mór who was a famous Hungarian novelist of the 19th century and this soup was his favorit. The bean soup is an exceptionally luscious dish. The flavor of the delicious vegyies mix with knuckle, sausage. At the end  may serve with 1-2 tbs of sour cream it brings the taste you cannot let go, simply marvelous  …  and nowonder just as the novalist you will love this bean soup. It is really a mouthwatering soup with the scrumptious smoky meat  that brings a perfect harmony of taste.

In Hungary the dried beans are grouped according to hardness, most Hungarian sorts have to be soaked well. By soaking the beans will grow and allow a shorter in time for cooking. The soup also preserves the most nutrients, and get the benefits of all proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Good to Know … It is common knowledge that beans are difficult to digest, but if at first only cook the beans in in cold water and after boiling  pour the  hot water off  twice, thenafter in fresh water cook with smoked meat, we get a much lighter soup and less harm to digest.

Receipt for 4 persons  – preparing time: cca 90-120 mins.

Ingredients:  300 g dried beans (soaked overnight), 300 g smoked pork sausage and ham shank, 1 celeriac root, peeled and diced, 3- 4  medium size carrots, 1 parsnip, 2-3 bay leaves, 2 tbs oil, 2 tbs flour 1/2 tbs sweet red paprika powder (but if prefer hot then use stronger one), 2 garlic cloves crushed, salt, peppercorn, vinegar to taste, hot chilli paprika on the top to feel the heat of the soup,  2-4 tbs sour cream, 2-3 tbs tinny rolyale (levesbetét).

Cooking: Soak the beans and the smoked ham overnight seperatly. Discard some of the water if too salty (it depends how smoked it was previously), pour some fresh water in the pot. Put them with bay leaves, peppercorns and sausage in a casserole and bring it boil over low heat. The same pot can be in use as soaking and cooking. Peal and cut the carrots, parsnip and celeriac. After 30-40 mins or when the beans and ham are already tender may add the vegyies to the casserole. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add flour, keep stirring and heat it until it turns light brown. Take it off the heat, then add papirka powder and  sliced garlic. Take alittle out of the soup and add it to the roux, quickly mix well to get a liquid gravy. Stir th eroux into the soup, so it will thicken and bring it to boil. Add the tiny dry royale into the soup. Within that it will require 10 mins further cooking, best to know when ready seeing the royale slowly floating up to the top of the soup, then cca 3-4 mins and served.

To read more about traditional Hungarian soups, visit previous receipt @ “Q” & “A” Culinary Heritage Into Hungarian Kitchen.

© Aggie Reiter

Day-By-Day #3 … Hungarian Cruisine – Sour Cream Potato Soup with Sausage

As many already know by visiting Hungary or friends who have found out the for the Hungarians generally love soup. Hungarian cuisine is charactersed by light and heavy soups with herbs and also soups made of fresh fruits, creamed veggie side dishes, warm pasta dishes, fricassees, and of course countless variation of selicious sauces. Then comes te variety of fried, braised and cooked beef, pork, lamb an poutry dishes, oh and almost left out the mouthwatering fish from the lakes and river at Hungary. The history of Hungarian is a nutritional evolution accepting combining good ideas and even incorporating dominances … a synthesis of ancient, normadic, Slavic, Turkish, Italian, German, Austrian and French influences.

The Soup is an integral part of a meal at the table, but that doesn’t mean all Hungarians are dieing for soups, Some like it hot … spicey but not nessesary. Soup is an integral part of a meal in Hungary and one of course the first meals that come to your mind will probably the goulash soup.

Soup of the Day  – Creamy Potato Soup with Sausage

(Tejfölös burgonyaleves kolbásszal)

Receipt for 4 persons – Preparing time: 45-60 mins.

Ingredients: 4 big potatoes, 150 g smocked sausage, 3 tbs. oil, 2 tbs. flour, 2 tbs. sweet red paprika powder, 2 bayleaves,120 ml. sour cream,1 tbs.  vinegar, 1 small piece celery root, salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking:  Peel, cut the potatoes in large size of cubes.Slice sausage. Chop celery into 4 huge pieces. Add cca 3 times  as much water, salt, pepper and byleaves. Boil it until the potatoes get soft. Be sure to have enough water covering the potatoes. Then when its cooked , prepare the roux (hungarian – rántás) Heat the oil in a pot  then add flour, stirring constantly. After getting light brown, pull away from the fire and add one tsp of red paprika. Mix  some of the roux slowly with the potatoes. Follow sour cream. Take some of th gravy from the soup and mix it with the sour cream. Thenafter bring it to boiling point once more. When cooked as tasting adjust a little vinegar and salt if necessary.

Also, there ar some houeholds and regional variations… some people addsautéed onion as they make the rough, other like to put carrot and/or marjoram. Some people eat  with the potatoe soup the celeriac.

Sour cream (tejföl) it is a diary product that is produced by souring heavy cream very popular in Central and Eastern Europa. Mainly sold with 15% to 20% milkfat. It curdles less when cooked or added to the hot soup.

Hungarian smoky sasauge (Füstölt kolbász) is finely ground and contains nice  color red paprika than the Western sausages.

This soup is a fine example how something so simple can taste so good.

To read more about Hungarian soups, visit previous receipt @ “Q” & “A” Culinary Heritage Into Hungarian Kitchen.

© Aggie Reiter