Artist: Gustav Keleti (1834-1902)
Painting: The Exile's Park, 1870
Oil, canvas, 123x173 cm
Signed bottom right: Keleti G. 870.
Purchased in 1871
Gusztav Keleti began with Naturalism but also made use of the effects of Romanticism. Conceived in the spirit of Romanticism this picture quite clearly champions the patriots who were outlawed after the defeat of the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Independence. The basic mood of this painting is one of sad despair. The house has been left to fall to ruin; pigs root in the park, well-kept in bygone days; the statues, relics of the pomp of yore, indicate a love of the arts. The most heart-rending of the emotional motifs is perhaps the giant tree, condemned to slow decay, in the centre of the composition. The dark, heavy clouds of the storm, now over, still haunt the scene. This painting appealed to all who followed the destiny of Hungary with anxiety and love.