The School of Nagybánya and Artist Colonies in Hungary
A number of artists' colonies were in existence in Hungary in the second half of the 19th century. A group with a focus on rural realism formed around the Austrian August von Pettenkofen in Szolnok; another artists' group in Gödöllö was coined by the artisan reform in the early 20th century.
However, the greatest importance in the history of Hungarian artists' groups is ascribed to the School of Nagybánya. The group's development did not have its origins in Hungary, but in Munich, as numerous artists were educated at the academy in the 1870s and 1880s. In line with the trend in those days, the artists soon decided to spend the summers together in the countryside, in order to execute plein air paintings - they chose to go to Nagybánya: young Hungarian Bohemiens around Simon Hollósy (1857-1918) went to the picturesque town near the border to Transylvania in 1886.
The charming landscape, the mild climate and also the place itself favored the quick development and consolidation of the School of Nagybánya, which would last several decades and was attended by numerous artists.
At first Simon Hollósy was in the center of the School of Nagybánya, who also organized exhibitions in Budapest as of 1887, showing paintings made in Nagybánya during the summers. Besides Simon Hollósy, other artists such as Kŕroly Ferenczy, Béla Ivany Grünwald, István Réti and János Thorma also count among the group's founding members who continued the school into the 20th century after Hollósy had left the place in 1901.
Plein air paintings, realist and impressionist style variants were predominant n Nagybánya up until 1906, afterwards artists such as Béla Czóbel imported the new tendencies of Postimpressionism and Fauvism from France and shaped the movement of thew so-called "Neos" within the School of Nagybánya. The "Neos" gave the most important impulses for the Hungarian vanguard, so that Hungarian Modernism did not have its origins in Budapest, but in the rural Nagybánya.
Disagreements between the "Neos" and the plein air generation as of 1911 led to the exclusion of the "Neo" Tibor Boromisza and his supporters. The only remaining "Neo" was Sándor Ziffer and strongly influenced the young painters with his expressive style after World War I.
Between the wars János Thorma was the predominant character in Nagybánya, under his aegis the School of Nagybánya was integrated into Hungarian art. The vanguard, however, remained in Nagybánya, besides the official school, numerous artists were working in various style tendencies in the small village.
Along those that have already been mentioned, other important representatives are Béla Balla, Ágost Benkhard, Istvan Boldizsár, Valér Ferenczy, Dávid Jándi, Géza Kádár, Márton Katz, József Klein, János Krizsán, Jenó Maticska, Hugo Mund, Oszkár Nagy, Csaba Vilmos Perlrott and Péter T. Rátz.