Antal Neogrady was born in Galsa, Hungary in 1861. His father was Antal Neogrady, who was renowned as both an acclaimed watercolorist and a talented teacher. The son studied under Ede Ballo at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hungary. He went on to attend the Budapest Academy and the School of Modern Drawing under Janos Greguss before traveling to Munich, Germany to continue his art education at the Munich Academy. There he studied under Gabriel von Hackl, a genre painter, and Alex von Wagner, an historical genre and landscape painter. It was Wagner at age twenty-eight and already a full time professor who instilled in Neogrady the importance of simplifying his subject and then conceiving it in a direct manner that could be easily understood and hence more readily appreciated. While in Munich, Neogrady took part in exhibitions in 1888 which featured his watercolors. He eventually returned to Budapest and was appointed a Professor of Watercolor Studies at the Budapest Academy where he taught from 1893 until 1931. He had exhibitions of his works in 1904 in Budapest and in Arad in 1908. Antal Neogrady felt most comfortable working in the medium of oil painting. His landscapes were celebrated for their naturalistic touch. He was also remembered for creating comely and attractive portraits. He created his canvases that came alive with great feeling and sentiment. Neogrady possessed the ability to imbue his subjects with his own particular, personal, and recognizable sensibility. He died in Alaq, Hungary in 1942.
Springtime in the Forest artfully combines one of Antal Laszlo Neogrady's signature naturalistic atmospheric landscapes with his gifted penchant for creating attractive portraits of comely young girls. A peaceful shady glen resplendent in soft natural greens and imbued with a soft pervasive light instills the painting with a sentimental and somewhat romanticized feeling. The tranquil setting is poetically traversed by a calm brook in which the young lady dressed pristinely in a modest white layered frock accessorized by a gold locket searches for her reflection or for any sign of aquatic life in the still waters below. The artist's assured use of light is dramatically played off this elegant young lady, as she balances somewhat precariously on two wooden beams that provide a bridge over these untroubled waters. Neogrady has masterfully succeeded in portraying a dreamy picturesque scene of an idealized forest glen that provides a genteel backdrop for his idealistic, yet touching and appealing portrait of a young girl.
Private Collection, Greenwich, CT