Brunner was born on the first of July 1910. Her mother,
Elizabeth Sass Brunner, und her father, Ferenc Sass, were
both eminent painters. In the small picturesque town of
Nagykanizsa, some fifty kilometers from the famous Lake
Balaton in Hungary, she spent the first years of her life in
her grandfather's (mother's father) house.
First World War had a disastrous effect on both her father
and her mother. But, though, her mother eventually got a
hold over herself and found meaning in life, her father was
so utterly disillusioned that he could hardly paint any
spent her teanage years in Budapest and went to the Academy
of Fine Arts, under the guidance of Zsigmond Kisfaludi
Strobl, to become a sculptor.
her mother decided to go to India, Elizabeth joined her.
They went via Italy, Egypt and Libya and arrived in India in
residence at Rabindra Nagar
When I came to New Delhi in 1977 I was fascinated to
read quite often articles in the newspapers about a Hungarian
painter, called Elizabeth Brunner, her life, and her art. I
cut these articles out and meticulously kept them. I searched
for books on her in bookshops and libraries, but could not
find any. It took me several years before I picked the courage
and just walk into her house to meet her.
personal meeting with Elizabeth was in Rabindra Nagar, South
Delhi. I was overwhelmed by the kindness she showed me
straight away and has shown me ever since. We have developed
an understanding and trust which, I must admit, I have with
very few people. Even in this old age of hers, she has an
incredible gift to inspire people. Though she gets caught
sometimes in the day-to-day petty things, I always feel
enveloped in love and kindness of a special order when in her
presence. All this makes her so humane, and at the same time a
very special person.
I can simply say -
I have learned to love her very dearly. And what
fascinates me most is her sweet nature, her utter gentleness
and all embracing love for one and all, together with a firm
stand on what she believes.
Still, it is rather difficult to talk about Elizabeth
Brunner. Although my heart goes out to her as a wonderful and
precious person, I do not feel qualified to talk about her
paintings. I will just say, she is a fantastic and
accomplished painter, who painted the most beautiful, touching
and wonderful paintings.
During the many meetings we had (and my little recorder
was running), I noted down mostly her own stories, in her own
words, and in the circumstances I found her.