BIHARI, ALEXANDER (1856–1906), Hungarian genre painter. The son of a poor housepainter, Bihari studied in Budapest and Vienna. In 1883, a wealthy patron made it possible for him to travel to Paris, where he fully assimilated the style of the French naturalist or realist masters, such as jules adler . Upon his return to Hungary, Bihari settled in Szolnok, an agricultural center in the great Hungarian plains, rather than in a fashionable Budapest studio. He continued to paint genre pictures and was soon recognized as Hungary's leading painter in this field. A quality of Parisian wit seemed to guard him against the temptation of overt sentimentality. Using broad brush strokes, Bihari grouped and painted his figures as he saw them in their everyday surroundings. Bihari's masterpiece is perhaps his Sunday Afternoon which showed the influence both of Courbet and the impressionists. His work is represented almost exclusively in Hungarian collections. (Edouard Roditi)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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