Friday 27th September 1996...
went to take photographs of the paintings. Then I asked
Elizabeth about another painting. A sweet little girl, the
painting standing right in front of a pile facing the
very first painting
got all excited and called, "this was my very first
painting ever! There was a 'mela' (festival, fun fair) near
Lake Balaton where we stayed and we all went to the 'mela'.
Wondering around in the 'mela', I lost my family."
Dagmar asked, "how old were you then?" Elizabeth,
"seven or eight."
on the back her father's unfinished portrait
I just could not believe it, the painting of the
little girl was so utterly beautiful! Painted by Elizabeth
when she herself
was but a little girl! And when asked to turn this painting
over to the other side, there was the unfinished painting
of a man by her father!
carried on, "you see the law in our house was that none
of us was allowed to touch my father's brushes or paints or
anything he was working with! There was great fun in the 'mela',
the various carrousels were going on, the music was playing
everywhere and the multitude was moving this side that side.
So somehow I was pushed from my family group. And as I
walked, I saw this little girl and I thought, I must paint
So, I just grabbed this little girl's hand,
completely unknown by me, and took her out of the 'mela' and
went home. In a second I decided. Something forced me. There
was an open covered space in front of our house (kind of a
veranda) where my father used to paint. His newly started
painting was on the easel. There were his palette, his
brushes, and his colours. I, with firm feet, went and turned
over the painting on the easel. I took his palette and his
brush and started painting and I painted this little girl.
With full authority. And I loved it!
Now in between, and I didn't know about it because it
happened in the 'mela', both the families were searching for
their children. That family theirs, and my family me. And
the town authorities were informed and the police people
were searching every place. But nowhere the children could
be found. And finally, at about seven thirty in the evening,
broken, my father and my aunty and the others (I don't
remember whether my mother was there or not), the family
And then my father noticed me, because when entering
the house, the open covered place in front of the house had
to be passed. And I became frozen and I did not know what he
would do with me. His eyes were wild seeing his brush in my
hand. And he walked to his easel and stood there and looked.
While he was looking, his entire stature became limp, his
arms fell down and he said, 'this was not done by a child!'
That was his only remark," Elizabeth said.
"After that he gave me a brush and colours ...
You can see the back of the painting, that is the beginning
of my father's painting." Dagmar could only breathe:
"This little girl is incredible beautifully
the pile of paintings named 'Santiniketan' there
leaned one of Elizabeth's self-portrait's, painted in
Santiniketan in 1930. She could not remember the
circumstances which made her paint it. It showed once again
the incredible beauty of this lady in her youth!
in Shantiniketan in 1930
But Elizabeth went on with another snip about another
self-portrait. This one was painted on the Shikine Island
in Japan in 1935. "You see, my mother had one of those
looking glasses or mirrors, I don't know what you call it.
We just had had a bath. I was passing, and seeing myself in
the glass. So I thought I must paint this. The result is
that painting with my hair hanging around my face. I look so
relaxed, don't you think?"
in Shikine in 1935