Egy kárpátaljai szentképfestő

Pusztai Bertalan: Egy kárpátaljai szentképfestő. In: Szentemberek - a vallásos élet szervező egyéniségei, (1). pp. 125-148. (1998)

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Sub-Carpathia (Hungarian name—Kárpátalja) lies between the Hungarian border and the Carpathians in Ukraine. In 1989.1.241.914 inhabitants lived in Sub-Carpathia from which 155.711 (12.5%) were Hungarians. The Roman Catholic and Calvinist population were regarded as Hungarians. The bulk of the Greek Catholic population was Ruthenian, but a minor part ofthemwas belonging to the Hungarian nationality. In 1949 the Greek Catholic Church of Sub-Carpathia was forced to accept the reunion (i.e. to unite with the Orthodox Church). Sub-Carpathia belonged to the Hungarian Kingdom till 1918. Between 1918 and 1938 it was the part of Czechoslovakia. During the World War II it belonged to Hungary and after the war it became the part of the Soviet Union. Now it belongs to Ukraine. István Smajda's native village, Gálocs lies south of Ungvár (which is the centre of Sub-Carpathia) near the Ukrainian-Slovakian border. There are 550 inhabitants in the village. The Hungarians - about 440 people - now belong to theRomanCatholic and theCalvinistChurches, butGreekCatholic worshippers representing about 25-30 per cent of the population were progressively adopting the Hungarian language, but at the same time, they have saved their ancient religion. In the year of 1902 all the Greek Catholic worshippers declared themselves to be Hungarians. István Smajda - who was Uniate in religion - was born in Gálocs in 1922. His grandfather and father were the shepherds of the village. As a child Smajda had exceptional manual skill like his father. When Smajda returned from captivity after the World War П, he was too old to get married (23-24 years old). He did not want to continue his fathers job and he had not got any land. In this time he started to attend a specialised secondary school in Ungvár where he learned something about painting. In this way Smajda became a townsman. He died in 1988. István Smajda was buried in the cemetery of his native village near the graves of his parents. Smajda's life was unusual: his manual skill was uncommon, but everybody remembered his revels. He stepped over the traditional norms and settled in the town. This caused that the villagers have personal remembrance with István Smajda. He did not practise his religion, because he was afraid of the retaliations. He did not have a conflict with the government because of his sacral painting. According to the villagers Smajda got his talent from God or he inherited it from his father. Smajda's sisters appreciate his sacral paintings. The people living in the village often speak about the beauty of the pictures as well, though they do not prefer them to other sacral pictures. Smajda's paintings were regularly consecrated by Roman Catholic priests. Beside painting landscapes and portraits for his amusement he started painting sacral pictures primarily at his relatives request, then for anybody who paid for it. Smajda worked as a propagandist painterin Ungvár. He painted inscriptions onto shop-windows and portraits of Lenin, Marx and Engels in houses of culture. This „parallel life" of Smajda symbolises the dichotomy of Chirstianity and atheism characterising the past several decades of East-Central-Europe. Studying this phenomenon would be one of the most important tasks of religious ethnology in the future. His landscapes and portraits show his unusual talent. Though Smajda always magnified his sacral paintings from small sacral pictures and postcards, since sacral themes were so saint for him. His patterns illustrate the connection between peasant and official (Church) iconography. The painter through his pictures introduced the cults approved by Church to his customers. The themes of the pictures were defined by the peasants taste and demand and the cults preferred to 1949. With his pictures he recreated the ruined sacral environment where the autocracy tolerated it: in private homes. After the opening of the church of Gálocs (1989) Smajda's pictures lost their importance in private home worship, they became simply ornaments and decorations. Smajda's paintings are always painted in oil on canvas. These pictures are hanging on the dominant places for the houses, because they are of great size and because they are often represent the Virgin Mary with the Child which is the most important sacral picture for Catholics.

Item Type: Book Section
Other title: A painter of sacral pictures in Sub-Carpathia
Journal or Publication Title: Szentemberek - a vallásos élet szervező egyéniségei
Date: 1998
Volume: 1
ISSN: 1419-1288
ISBN: 963 482 315 7
Page Range: pp. 125-148
Series Name: Szegedi vallási néprajzi könyvtár
Language: Hungarian, English
Event Title: Szentemberek - a vallásos élet szervező egyéniségei (1992) (Szeged)
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smajda István, Festészet - magyar - Kárpátalja - 20. sz., Vallási néprajz, Népi vallásosság - magyar
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 114-115. és a lábjegyzetekben ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 05. Social sciences
05. Social sciences > 05.04. Sociology
06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.04. Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)
Date Deposited: 2020. Sep. 16. 11:12
Last Modified: 2022. Feb. 03. 14:16

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