Watercolour; signed and inscribed with title and 'London.'
17.25 x 11 inches
Stefi Geyer (1888-1956) was a celebrated and precociously talented Hungarian violinist, here painted in about 1904, when she played before the King at St James’s Hall in London at the age of fifteen. She was adored by the composer Béla Bartók, who composed his violin concerto for her three years later. That piece is also about her; the first movement is gentle, poised and quiet, much as he described her in his letters, and is marked andante sostenuto (slow and sustained). Bartók wrote to her that the second movement, marked allegro giocoso (fast and playful), depicted her ‘cheerful, witty, and amusing’ qualities. Both portraits were projections, and she could not reciprocate his feelings. She rejected him, and his concerto, but she kept a copy of the score in a locked drawer. After their deaths, it was revived by David Oistrakh. Jungman was a naturalised Englishman, but returned to Holland frequently and painted Dutch subjects for exhibition in London. He also illustrated books.