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Ignac Konrad (1894-1969)
A painter, sculptor and engraver, he was born in Kétùjfalu (Hungary) on January 31, 1894, and died in Paris (France) on February 23, 1969.
A student of the Fine Arts Academy in Budapest, he won the First Prize at the International Exhibition of Drawing Instruction in Dresden in 1912. After he came home from Russia where he spent seven years as prisoner of war during World War I, he became professor in Budapest in 1921.
His career as a pre-eminent painter of thoroughbreds began at Alag (Hungary) around 1923, where he painted the horses of the foremost Hungarian stables.
In 1927, on invitation of Mr. Ralph Beaver Strassburger, the famous American thoroughbreds breeder, he moved to Paris and then in 1929 to the United States to paint in Lexington the champion of champions Man O’War as well as Fair Play, a painting of which is exhibited among others at the “American Museum of Racing” at Saratoga Springs. He also paintend : Mad Hatter, Golden Broom, American Flag, Upset, Bubbling Over, Broomstick, Crusader, High Time and Sun Briar
In 1931 he went to Great Britain to paint Blandford and Diophon, the horses of H.H. Aga Kahn.
He made his second trip to the USA in 1932, on invitation of Mr. W.S. Kilmer, to paint Sun Beau. On his return to Paris, he painted Brantome for Baron Edouard de Rothschild.
In Hungary, where he returned in 1936, his clientele consisted of the great personalities of the time: the Regent Miklos Horthy, Duke Georg Festetics, Count Joseph Wenckheim, Count Béla Zichy, Mr. Eugene Horthy, Mr. Dreher, Mr. F. Mendel, the Jockey Club, etc. As he became deaf, he was not called up to arms during World War II.
From November 1944 to April 1948 he stood in Austria, near Villach, where he mainly painted the portrait of English officers.
Beginning 1948, once again in Paris, he devoted his talent exclusively to the enrichment of the private collection of Mr. R.B. Strassburger.
After the death of his patron in 1959, he painted, among others, the portrait of Larkspur and Tom Rolf at the request of Ambassador R.R. Guest, that of Bald Eagle for its owner Mr. Harry F. Guggenheim, and a few pictures for the Art Gallery of the Laurel Race Course which were purchased by its President, Mr. John D. Schapiro.
In 1981, a great part of the private collection of Mr. R.B. Strassburger had been given to France. These paintings are exhibited in the “Villa Strassburger” in Deauville (France).
One of his paintings is exhibited at the “Mendel Art Gallery” Saskatoon, Canada.
Two of his works are exhibited at the “Museum Festetics Castle” in Keszthely (Hungary) and others at the “Museum of Agriculture” in Budapest. In Dunakeszi-Alag (Hungary) at the “Jockey Club” is exhibited his big painting entitled Morning training in Alag. In this town a street bears his name and a commemorative plaque has been put on his house.
In the fortress of Szigetvàr (Hungary) are exhibited 22 pictures illustrating the epic poem of the Hungarian poet Miklos Zrinyi entitled The danger of Sziget describing the historical fight between his great-grandfather Miklos Zrinyi, the Hungarian defender of the fortress and Sulaiman the Magnificent, the great Turkish sultan. In the school of his native village Kétujfalu, who took over his name, there is an exhibition room with pictures and photography’s. Some pictures are also in the church and a commemorative plaque has been put on his native house.
A drawing Mare with Foal is in the possession of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II of England. It hangs in Sandringham.
Konrad Ignac made several exhibitions in Budapest and also in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français : in 1932 The four riders of the apocalypse, in 1933 a horse portrait, in 1950 The redemption and a horse portrait, in 1951 the portrait of Mme Morisot, in 1952 the portrait of Mme de Pauw and the portrait of countesse D. Wenckheim on her horse. In 1953 the painting representing the Regent of Hungary and his brother at the Morning training in Alag got the Prize “Honorable Mention". This painting is exhibited in the “Villa Strassburger” in Deauville. In 1951 he got in Deauville the Prize “Honorable Mention du Grand Prix de Peinture”.
Two films: “Konrad Ignac, The thoroughbred painter” and “Szigeti veszedelem” (the fight between Zrinyi and Sulaiman) have been broadcasted several times by the Hungarian Duna television.
Müvészeti Lexikon, Eber L.A. p. 578 (1935)
E. Bénézit, Edition 1999, Volume 7
Information provided by the artist's daughter, Hilda Konrad. konradignac.com
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