Francis De Erdely


Francis De Erdely was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1901. De Erdely’s traditional academic training was conducted at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, at the Real Academie de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, and at the Sorbonne and Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Trained in Europe, De Erdely’s technique, draftsmanship, and compositions were steeped in classicism. But his exposure to the devastation of both World Wars strongly informed the content of his work. As his career developed, he became less interested in history painting and the themes of classical Antiquity. He became increasingly more interested in depictions of the human condition and themes of memory, loss, and struggle began to permeate his work.

He immigrated to the United States in 1939. It was after his move to the City of Los Angeles where his most mature work developed and where he found his inspiration, identity, and impact as an American artist. He is best known for his figure-based paintings done in Los Angeles during the 1940's and 1950's of immigrants, and other ethnic or social outsiders. It can be argued that the subjects of these paintings relate directly to De Erdely’s own experience as an immigrant in a new country.