Ad Code: 3
The Yellow Turnban o/c on board; 37.8 cm x 31.6 cm
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|This full biography of Hungarian-American painter Denes de Holesch has
been provided by Klari Fekete, Hungarian journalist, friend of the
1910 Denes De Holesch was born on 9 February, 1910 at Besztercebanya, Northern Hungary.
1913 From an early age he showed a keen interest in painting, music and horses.
He received a formal education, concentrating on the study of art and
in 1928 won a scholarship to the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts,
1933 After completing his degree he travelled to the Orient. He remained in China for the next two years.
1934 An exhibition of his Chinese works was held in Peking.
He left China and travelled through Hong Kong to Japan where he briefly
stayed before moving to the Philippines. He lived with a tribe of
1937 He left the Philippines and travelled
to Java and the on to Bali. In Bali he continued to paint the natives
at work and at play and the natives helped him construct a studio from
the local timbers.
1938 He was invited to join the Australian
Government backed Northern Australian expedition as the official artist
by Mr. Hugh Stuart, General Manager of the 'Sydney Morning Herald'. A
number of landscape works depicting the aborigines of Northern
Australia in their natural environment were produced as well as a
number of portraits.
1939 Returning from the expedition, he
established a studio in a boat shed on Lavender Bay, near Sydney. He
remained there for close to five years, and received during this time
many commissions for portraits.
1940 In March, an exhibition of his works was held at the Macquarie Galleries in Bligh Street Sydney.
1944 On the 23rd March he married the Melbourne concert pianist Joyce Greer in Sydney.
In October, the couple left Australia for New York. At this point of
his career his interest turned to the painting of horses. Exhibitions
were held at Gallery Wildenstein, Herve and F. A.R.
moved to Montreal, and continued with his portrait and horse paintings,
which were exhibited at the National Gallery of Montreal.
Early in the year he moved to Boston and continued painting portraits
and horses. His works were exhibited in Ehrmann's and Vose Galleries.
Later in the year he moved to San Francisco.
1948 He produced a
clay sculpture head of Egon Petri. He also produced a number of wood
carvings. His paintings were chosen in the 'Renoir to Picasso'
Exhibition held at the Maxwell Gallery in San Francisco.
1949 He left San Francisco for a short stay in New York.
1950 He travelled to England to live in St. John's Wood.
He returned to New York to complete a number of portrait commissions
and was accepted as a member of Portraits Inc., New York.
1952 In August, he took out a United States of America Certificate of Naturalization.
1953 His works were included in a Group Impressionists Exhibition held at the Ohana Gallery, London.
1954 He travelled to New York where he was commissioned to paint Herbert Gasser, Nobel Prize Winner in Biochemistry.
1955 He returned to England and then travelled to Paris to exhibit his works in the Galerie Marcel Lenoir.
He again returned to New York to work on portrait commissions and
exhibitions of his works, mainly of horses. These were held in New
York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.
1957 An exhibition of his works was held at the Veerhoff Gallery, Washington, D. C.
He returned to England to live in Markham Square, Chelsea. He continued
with his paintings of horses, mainly oils on canvas.
moved to Antibes, on the French Riviera in the South-East of France.
His works were now permanently exhibited at Galerie Madsen, Rue St.
Honore, Paris and Galerie Davis, Place Vendome, Paris.
was invited to attend a special bull-fight held in the South of France,
which was organized for Pablo Picasso's 80th birthday. Scenes of
bull-fights were later to appear in a number of his canvases.
He moved to Belgravia, London and soon after moved to New York for
portrait commissions. He than travelled to Mexico City where his works
were exhibited at the Galerie Arte de Coleccionistas. Late in the year
he returned to England and moved once again this time to Vienna.
He moved from Vienna to Wurttemberg, close to the Black Forest in
South-West Germany. He remained there for three years although there
were regular trips to Paris and Spain.
1967 From Wurttemberg, he
moved to an old stone farmhouse in the village of Voulangis, situated
some forty kilometres outside of Paris.
1967 On one short trip he travelled to Beverly Hills, California where his works were exhibited by the Art Collectors Gallery.
He painted the portrait of 'Octavio', the favorite Arab horse of Delia,
Princess Zu Oettingen of Wallerstein. Her husband, the Prince, being
President of the Baden-Baden Jockey Club.
1975 He moved from
Voulangis to Castelfontana in the Dorf Tirol overlooking Merano, Italy.
He exhibited his works in a group exhibition in Merano in which works
by Dali and Annigoni were also displayed.
1976 His works were chosen for a group exhibition held in the Museo de los Castillos, Manzanaves el Real, Madrid, Spain.
1978 He travelled to Ottawa, Canada where he stayed for three to four months, painting portraits on commission.
He returned to his old farmhouse at Voulangis for a few months and then
travelled to Westmount, Montreal, where he lived for just over a year.
He moved from Westmount to Oxford, England where he resided for a few
months before moving to Stoneythorpe Hall in Warwickshire.
After a short stay in Paris he travelled to Hungary and only four weeks
after his arrival he died of cancer on the 11th May.
behind a heritage of portrait and fine horse paintings, the latter of
which fall within seven distinct themes. These seven themes are polo,
circus, rodeo, hunt, bull-fight, race-course and running free.
1985 His works were selected for a group exhibition in Cascais, Lisbon.
Additional to de Holesch Biography
1989 Holesch-horse paintings in Budapest, Hotel Atrium Hyatt
1989 Catalogue and Biography was published by Andrew Mackenzie Australian art-writer
His famous painting "Courtship" can be seen /and two more/ in the
American film "One other day in Paradise" with Melanie Griffith.
2000 We love horses don't we? Holesch paintings were exhibited with contemporary Hungarian paintings in Budapest.
The next Holesch exhibition will be opening on 26th of November in Budapest, in House of Hungarian Press.
2001 Hungarian journalist, Klari Fekete published a book: "Holesch, in prison of freedom".
Joyce Greer de Holesch, Australian pianist and the painter's widow and
muse, passed away in Budapest, Hungary. Thanks to a wonderful
portrait of Joyce painted in 1949, Holesch could join Portraits Inc.,
New York. Unfortunately, that portrait was lost during the long
2010 The Centenary Year of Denes de Holesch exhibition, "Holesch 100", at the Hungarian Culture Foundation in Budapest with 70 paintings, many collected with help from the internet including AskART.com
2011 The artist's 1979 portrait of Pope John Paul II is exhibited at the Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary.
2014 A 40-minute documentary film detailing the half century journey of the painter titled: Prisoner of Freedom-Portrait of a Painter is available (English subtitles)
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following information is submitted by Klari Fekete. The source is ART MOZAIK, March 2003.|
Holesch's Horses Came Home to Budapest!
Holesch (Denes de Holesch) was born in 1910 in Besztercebanya, Hungary.
He entered the Academy of Fine Arts as a Hungarian with a
Czechoslovakian passport, since Hungary was divided after the Trianon
Treaty in 1920. That frustrating feeling made him try his fortune
abroad. He became devoted to freedom, while he was homesick constantly
During the fifty years he spent outside
Hungary, he lived and worked in fifteen countries. After China and the
Philippines he went to Bali. The seven years he spent in Australia
proved to be significant both in his career and private life. He met
the celebrated pianist, Joyce Greer there, and married her. He longed
to go to America, the land of freedom. He did not arrive to surrender
but to conquer.
He became a member of the American Portrait
Painters' Society and received the American citizenship. An Australian
critic told him once: 'Denes, you are the Stubbs of the 20th century!'.
He was more and more appreciated as an artist, but Europe's call was
Breaking his vow he made back in 1956, he returned
to Hungary in 1983. He could not enjoy his homeland for a long time, as
a few month later, on 11th May he died. Holesch's first run came to an
end. Wherever he went in the world, he claimed to be a Hungarian
painter. His death pushed him back to unfamiliarity.
As a result of the devoted work by his family members and Hungarian art lovers, he has become a recognized, popular painter in his homeland Hungary. Although his paintings appear regularly in international auctions, a tremendous proportion of his art heritage was discovered in the world and brought to Hungary for his Centenary Exhibition in 2010.
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