Status of Original Painting – Private Collection
Size: 12 x 18 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb d’Arches
Sopron (pronounced show-prun) is the city in Hungary where my dad spent part of his school days before heading off to university and, later, leaving the country in 1949. It lies near the Austrian border and is notable for its architecture, beautiful countryside, and subalpine climate. Depicted here is the Roman Catholic Kecsketemplom or “Goat Church” which was originally constructed in 1280. The facade of its 47 metre tower bears the image of a goat among Gothic wreaths, and local legend says that the building of the church was financed using treasure discovered by a goat! Maintained by Franciscan and then Benedictine monks, it was the site of several coronations, including the 1625 coronation of Ferdinand III, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. The dramatic view here is from the 61 metre Fire Tower which provides a panoramic view of red-roofed Sopron and the green, pine-covered Lever Hills in the distance. There’s a lot of detailed work in this painting that can’t be captured at the small size shown on the web.
Together with my wife and kids, I visited Sopron in 2007 and met four uncles and numerous cousins and other relatives. I took the reference photo for this painting during a tour of the town, and my wife chose it as the one that I should paint. My son Jamieson (then age 11) recorded a documentary about the trip for CBC Radio One’s OUTFRONT and it can be listened to at this link: My Hungarian Grandfather.
I did this painting as a present for my parents’ upcoming 50th wedding anniversary but delayed posting it here until they’d received the surprise package.