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Elizabeth Brunner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy Tales around

 

Elizabeth Brunner and how I met her 

 

 

Elizabeth 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.

The 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 longer.

Elizabeth 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.

 When her mother decided to go to India, Elizabeth joined her. They went via Italy, Egypt and Libya and arrived in India in 1930.

Elizabeth's 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.

My first 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 up 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.  

Naga Boy

            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.  

Head of Buddha

            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.

 

 
     

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Copyright Dagmar Barua 1997 Sass Brunner East West Trust, 75, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi - 110 003