A key figure in Hungarian 20C painting, the ambition of Vajda Lajos was to become an icon painter on Mount Athos in order to "create an eternal work, to try to render the invisible visible". His time in Paris from 1930 to 1934 inspired him deeply: orthodox icons, cubism, Russian constructivism, surrealism and abstract art. During the rise of Nazism and Stalinism, he portrayed the blackness of the human soul and of nature in dark, unnerving pictures and self-portraits which hint at mysticism.
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