67 Self-portrait


Izsó Köves


Oil, canvas

Gift of the widow of Izsó Köves, 1939

Izsó Köves (Careii Mari, 1853 – Budapest, 1917), drawing teacher of the Boys’ Middle School of the Jewish Community, was known also as a painter. Commissioned by the community, he made the portrait of Márton Schweiger, the president of the National Bureau of the Hungarian Israelites and that of Sámuel Kohányi, teacher of the community. His painting ‘Mendelssohn in front of Frederick the Great’ was donated to the Jewish Museum in 1913 by the National Hungarian Israelite Fund. More than twenty years after his death, his widow donated several of the artist’s letters and paintings to the collection with photographs taken of his pieces of art.  The pictures were taken of such paintings as ‘Spinoza in front of his Judges’, ‘The Disputation of Tortosa’, ‘The Jews of Buda Welcome King Mathias’ or ‘Jews in Titus’ Roman Triumphal Procession’. On the ‘Self-portrait’, which was donated at the same time, scenes from Nicolas Poussin’s ‘The Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem’ can be seen behind the figure of the artist.