János Mattis-Teutsch

János Mattis-Teutsch

János Mattis-Teutsch
Born (1884-08-13)13 August 1884
Brassó (Braşov), Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary
Died 17 March 1960(1960-03-17) (aged 76)
Braşov, Socialist Republic of Romania
Nationality Hungarian
Education Franz Stuck
Known for painting, sculpture, linocut
Notable work Seelenblumen
Movement Post-impressionism
Abstract art
Baia Mare School
Socialist realism

János Mattis-Teutsch or Máttis-Teutsch, Mátis-Teutsch (the most common Hungarian-language versions of his name, all of which have also been spelled without the hyphen; his first name has been rendered as Hans or Johannes in German and Ioan in Romanian; 13 August 1884–17 March 1960) was a Hungarian and Romanian painter, sculptor, graphic artist, art critic, and poet. Best known for his Seelenblumen ("Soulflowers") cycle of paintings, he was an important contributor to the development of modern art and avant-garde trends inside Romania (where he spent the larger part of his life). He was the grandfather of the artist Waldemar Mattis-Teutsch.


  • Biography 1
  • Notes 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


He was born in the Transylvanian city of Brassó (Braşov), then part of the Kingdom of Hungary within Austria-Hungary, now part of Romania. He was the son of János Mátis, an ethnic Hungarian of Székely origins, and his wife, the Saxon Josefin Schneider.[1] After Mátis died during his son's early years, Josefin married the Saxon Friedrich Teutsch, who adopted János.[2] He completed primary school in Hungarian, and then attended the German-language Honterus Secondary School; between 1901 and 1903, he studied sculpture at the National Hungarian Royal School for Applied Arts in Budapest, and then left for Munich, where he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and Paris — during the period, Mattis-Teutsch appears to have moved from Art nouveau to Post-Impressionist and Fauvist themes, and eventually embraced Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter ideas.[3]

Composition, 1923

Soon after his return from

  • Bio at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts
  • Works by Mattis-Teutsch
  • ArtScene. The Guide to Art Galleries and Museums in Southern CaliforniaJohn O'Brien, "János Mattis Teutsch" at
  • (German) Roland Prügel, "Mattis-Teutsch, Hans" at the University of Klagenfurt site
  • (German) Claus Stephani, "Mattis-Teutsch-Retrospektive in München", in Siebenbürgische Zeitung, 28 August 2001

External links

  • (virtual exhibition)Mattis Teutsch and Der Blaue Reiter:
    • Chronology
    • On the Sculptures of Hans Mattis TeutschAndreas Franzke,
    • Works and PeriodsValéria Majoros,
    • On Mattis Teutsch's Figural StyleS. A. Mansbach,
    • The Career of János Mattis TeutschJenő Murádin,
    • Mattis Teutsch and the Romanian Avant-gardeMariana Vida, Gheorghe Vida,
  • Vasile Drăguţ, Vasile Florea, Dan Grigorescu, Marin Mihalache, Pictura românească în imagini, Editura Meridiane, Bucharest, 1970
  • Dan Grigorescu, Istoria unei generaţii pierdute: expresioniştii, Editura Eminescu, Bucharest, 1980
  • , 163/XLII, Autumn 2001The Hungarian QuarterlyKrisztina Passuth, "The Landscape Visions of János Mattis Teutsch", in


  1. ^ Mansbach; Murádin
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Murádin
  3. ^ Franzke; Majoros; Murádin
  4. ^ Grigorescu, p.128, 441; Murádin
  5. ^ Grigorescu, p.441; Majoros; Mansbach; Passuth; Vida
  6. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.260; Grigorescu, p.373, 389, 440, 441; Majoros; Murádin; Passuth; Vida
  7. ^ Murádin; Vida
  8. ^ Grigorescu, p.389; Mansbach; Passuth; Vida
  9. ^ Grigorescu, p.442; Murádin; Vida
  10. ^ Franzke
  11. ^ Franzke; Majoros; Mansbach; Murádin
  12. ^ Drăguţ et al., p.259-260; Grigorescu, p.440; Passuth
  13. ^ a b Majoros


The 1933 death of his daughter and political factors caused him to cease work until the 1940s.[13] At the end of World War II, with the onset of the Soviet occupation and, eventually, the establishment of the communist regime, his earlier work was subject to propaganda attacks while he attempted to adapt to the themes of Socialist realism,[2] creating portraits of Joseph Stalin and Stakhanovite scenes featuring bricklayers and miners.[13]

Later on, he returned to figurative art, an interest which he fused with his socialist beliefs in an attempt to create a socially-aware art (as defined by his Kunstideologie, "Ideology of Painting", a magazine he edited in Braşov).[11] After the Contimporanul moment, he joined the editorial staff of Integral, and defined his new style, considered to be close to Surrealism, as "constructive realism".[12] Although he was among the painters who spent summers in Baia Mare (see Baia Mare School), Mattis-Teutsch never adapted his themes to the landscape art encouraged by the group, and remained mainly interested in social themes.[2]

He was present in Transylvania by mid-1919, and organized several exhibitions; as the region became part of the Kurt Schwitters, Paul Klee, Constantin Brâncuși (whom Mattis-Teutsch had already met in person),[10] Hans Arp, Janco, Brauner, and Maxy.

Present in Budapest at the time of the Aster Revolution, Mattis-Teutsch probably witnessed first hand the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic; despite conflicting accounts and his socialist creed, it seems that he was not involved in the pro-Bolshevik movement.[2] He remained a committed anti-Fascist, and later spoke out against the influence of Nazism inside the Transylvanian Saxon community (see German Party (Romania)).[2]

He became an acquaintance of Vienna and establishing connections with Herwarth Walden and his Expressionist group around Der Sturm — eventually, he adopted the style, continuing to be directly influenced by the abstract art of Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich, and moving towards a non-figurative outlook.[6] His success was contrasted by an emotional crisis caused by the death of his wife in 1916; he remarried with Marie Conrad, an Austrian woman, in 1919.[7]