The Heart - Jesuit journal
B3 (cca. 35 x 50 cm)
Very good, fold marks, small tears, creasing and staining.
Hungarian commercial poster from the interwar period, for a Hungarian Jesuit journal, called 'A szív' (The Heart). It was founded in 1915 as a spiritual and cultural magazine. It still exists today, thus it is one of the oldest products of the Hungarian press which has been continuosly present ever since its foundation.
The Jesuits or the Society of Jesus is a male religious congregation of the Catholic Church. Ignatius of Loyola founded the society in 1540. The main values of the order became poverty, chastity and obedience. The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church. Today the order is the biggest one in numbers of its members worldwide. They appeared in Hungary quite early, in 1554. The most famous member the society was Péter Pázmány in the 17th century, who was an influential archbishop, the founder of the ancestor of Hungary's biggest university and the author of a big number of Jesuit writings and books, among others. Later in the beginning of the 20th century an independent Hungarian Jesuit province could come into being which already had 400 members in 1945. Communication and media presence was always an important tool of the order, they had 8 journals, containing The Heart, appearing here.
This poster for the Jesuit magazine was created by Lajos Márton (1891 - 1953). He was a painter, illustrator and a graphic artist. After studying at the National School of Applied Arts, he was painting portrays, landscapes and he was illustrating books. He early became the illustrator of the journal 'Zászlónk' (Our Flag) - a Catholic magazine for students - and he worked for several other religious journals, such as 'Magyar Cserkész' (Hungarian Scout), 'Vezetők Lapja' (Leaders' Paper), etc. He was exhibiting his works from 1916, and he was taking part in the collective exhibitions of the National Salon in 1926 and 1928.
Márton was also a member of the Cennini Társaság (Cennini Society), a group of young Hungarian artists who aimed to remain far from the avant-garde tendencies of the time, choosing a traditional, religious and deeply moral art. The society was founded by the former college students of Aladár Kőrösfői-Kriesch, a Hungarian painter, who was member of the Gödöllői Művésztelep (Gödöllő Artists' Colony). This was one of the influential artists' colonies in the first half of the 20th century, and an especially religious one. Kőrösfői had a huge respect for Cennino Cennini, the one-time Italian master (c. 1360 - before 1427) and his work 'Il Libro dell'Arte o Trattato della Pittura' (c. between 1390-1400). This was the inspiration, too, for the young artists who founded the Cennini Society. The group had several exhibitions, Lajos Márton was taking part in the ones of 1921 and of 1926. Besides, he painted frescos and altarpieces in about 40 churches of Hungary.
Márton was also closely connected to the Scout Movement, he was one of the most fasmous Hungarian member of it. He designed numerous posters, illustrations and postcards for them. The movement was founded by Lord Robert Baden-Powell in England in the beginning of the 20th century, and it is the most prevalent youth movement of the world even today. In Hungary the first groups were being created from 1910, and the Hungarian Scoup Association was formed in 1912. The peak of the movement was during the interwar period, at the time of the poster's creation.
Due to the fact that the artist was clearly associated with religious art, it is not a surprise the Jesuit journal chose him to design a series of posters during the period. In one earlier piece he used the symbolic representation of the magazine's spiritual character by depicting a huge heart motif in a crown of thorns, and with flames above, shining to people. In later pieces, just as here, he applied the motif of the newsboy who is holding the journal in his hand, showing it to the audience. On an other piece the newsboy is placed in front of a church, here the figure can be seen in front of a blue backround with a white cross. The figure of the newsboy appears to be young and kind as he is calmly smiling. He wears the Scout uniform: a blue hat with a feather, a white shirt with a red bow in the neck, a pair of blue shorts with a green ribbon on the hips, white shoes and long, white socks. The title of the magazine appears below, in a beautifully curved, red and black typography which was originally used by the journal during the era.
At the time of the poster's creation, the magazine was as popular as it was published in 200 000 copies.