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Pór, Bertalan

1880 - 1968

Bertalan Pór was a painter, active during the first half of the 20th century.

He studied in Budapest and Munich. His master Simon Hollósy for a while then he began his education at the Julian Academy in Paris where he studied under J.P. Laurens.

He started his career as a portraitist and the human figure always remained important throughout his oeuvre. He went on several field trips to various cities (Paris for instance) where other future members of the Nyolcak (The Eight) group learned and painted for some time during the decade (including Berény). He was present in exhibitions with these artists many times in Budapest from 1909. At the Nyolcak exhibitions Pór participated with classicist compositions with extraordinary, expressive nude figures.

The Eight is considered as the first real Avant-Garde artist group of Hungary; their artistic principles stems primarily from Cézanne’s painting. Most members of this modern painters group were leftist, so in 1919 (after coming back from military service at World War I) they welcomed the new regime, the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Pór became the head of the Painters’ Department at the Directorate of Arts, and two of his propaganda poster designs were printed for recruiting campaigns. These two pieces are outstanding works of the Hungarian political poster art. They reflect Pór’s painting style: expressive figures, dynamic shapes and strong contours. The core of both compositions are the dynamic figures in motion. These works show the influence of Expressionism. Pór was a successful modern painter before 1919; he had several exhibitions, and he got commissions for big mural paintings.

After the fall of the regime, he moved to a small town in Czechoslovakia, and lived his life aloof. Later he emigrated, first to the USSR, then to Paris, where he was arrested during the German occupation. After returning home, he taught at the Academy of Art from 1948 until 1960, and painted socialist realist paintings.                                                                                                           .