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S. Kontha

[Nicolas]

(b Nagyszeben [now Sibiu, Romania], Aug 13, 1906; d Budapest, Jan 27, 1990).

Hungarian sculptor, medallist, draughtsman, engraver and painter. In 1922 he moved from Transylvania to Győr, Hungary, where, while preparing to become a painter, he learnt the craft of goldsmithing and engraving from his father. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, in 1928–9. He also spent considerable time during these years in Italy and southern France. His taste was influenced mainly by Classical work. The drawings and paintings from this period can be regarded as preparation for his career as a sculptor, although it was not until the early 1930s that he took up full-time sculpting. At first he produced copper embossings. In 1938 a trip to Transylvania inspired him to create larger copper reliefs, such as Women Hired to Mourn (1939; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.). His first stone statue Mother (Győr, Xantus János Mus.) was sculpted in 1933. Partly because of the nature of the material, and also because of his deep knowledge of ancient Egyptian and Greek sculpture, his figure sculptures are built from basic, essential forms. His success as a sculptor enabled him in ...