(Jánd, 1893 – Baia Mare, 1944)

”For years, the young artist roamed the Baia Mare area, a land consecrated by artistic traditions, only to find himself in Siberia, as a result of the war, in a place where nobody cared about the race and religious beliefs of the prisoners of war, wounded ones or people who went missing. From his wanderings, he brought home the love for mankind and this heart-warming love shines through the gloominess of his paintings” (József Egry).


The exceptionally talented artist, Dávid Jándi, sprouting from a period in which the Baia Mare school of painting flourished for the second time, had a rugged, short life characterized by exploding internal forces, frustration and a commitment to painting above all else. He was born in Jánd as the third son of Lipót Léderer, an impoverished Jewish landowner. The family later moved to Nyíregyháza. However the “tiny, dishevelled Jewish boy” soon found himself in Baia Mare as one of János Thorma’s favourite pupils. Jándi identified with his pseudonym to such a degree that he later even made it official. His creative self had overcome the mundanity of life. His biblical and mythological themes, the powerful messages his paintings convey through spots of colour turned him into a mature artist at a young age. Like so many of his contemporaries, Jándi was absorbed and hardened by World War 1. His combat experiences yielded gloomier colours and robust shapes. The troubled spirit of the age started to gain more and more ground in his art, all this within the ideal framework provided by Neoclassicim. “After having discovered the darker side of the world: now rediscovering the whole world in its completeness, with its neglected spirituality and its almost forgotten brightness: what else could this be than a path leading to the new classicism…” –Mihály Babits’ words, awakening the muse of poetry after the war, sound as if he was imparting Dávid Jándi’s creed, clad in dark colours. His main forms of expression on the front line were drawing and graphic art. Colour returns to his works of art following his study trips to Italy, in the inter-war period. Alongside his abstract paintings, landscapes start to regain his attention. Related to Jándi’s art, Károly Kós makes the following observation in the spring of 1930, at the Barabás Miklós Céh (fine artist guild) exhibition: ”His power lies in angry colours orchestrated in harmony. The soft, effusive, vibrant colours of his landscapes in pastel are particularly distinguished. His compositions are characterized by an orgy of colours and high drama.” His progressive art dis not receive explicit expression of appreciation but it dis provide the artist with creative fulfilment for a short period of time, which ended with the introduction of the anti-Jewish laws to Hungary. He refused the invitation of the world-famous Korda brothers to leave the country and it costs him his life to provide an answer to the great dilemma whether mental or physical survival is more essential in dark times. He created till his last breath…He died after jumping off the deportation train in the autumn of 1944.

The Taormina (1935), a robust female nude portrayed in the midst of people in a Sicilian landscape, is one of the fruits of the Mediterranean-inspired, allegorical, strongly suggestive series of painting. In Jándi’s creations, and in Neoclassicism in general, the nude, stripped of sensuality is a preferred form of representing the petrified world which turned the ideals of classical beauty into cold and harsh reality. The Mother with child (1942), also part of the series pervading Jándi’s body of work, is a reinterpreted Renaissance Madonna to suit the style of the painter and his era.