(1895, Marcali - 1982, Budapest)

La Riviera

Oil on canvas, 130 x 150 cm
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

"Riviera" is a highly praised picture which began a new era. This picture once and for all marked the way of artistic activity deterring from its direction at the beginning of his career and shows the most important features of an oevre soon to be over. "I painted "Riviera", the first picture of my life, in Italy. That's what I call it because I have been counting myself as a painter since I finished it. This picture puts an end to what I suffered during those two years and what I had to face because of my abstract attempts, and it was this picture which opened the way to work because it restored my self-confidence." "Riviera" speaks solemnly about sky, sea and land meeting where man is present as a shadow without face. The landscape of enormous dimensions flies the eyes until the endless. Lots of shades of blue from greenish blue to dark gentian-blue decide the atmosphere of the picture. Light is glimmering coldly on the rock and cold shadows are projected on the road. With this picture, Bernáth turned his attention to the visible world. "Riviera", however, is the result of imagination like the majority of his later pictures, its realistic elements are united into a composition by phantasy. The memory of not one landscape, but several landscapes and atmospheres are summed up and visualized in his canvasses with emotions of his personality.

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