Easter 2022 – Christological Motives in the Works of P. M. Bohun (1822 – 1879)

The painter Peter Michal Bohúň was a member of an important group of artists who were intensively focused, even within our environment, on the national question and was involved in the revolution of 1848. Although most of his works that are known today are portraits of the Upper Hungarian intelligentsia, burghers and nobility, during his career he also accepted commissions from religious figures. These often formed a crucial part of his income as he needed to support his large family. His early paintings of religious notables come from the 1850s, but he also produced similar works later.

Christological motives are quite commonly found in Bohúň’s works, for example, in the altarpieces in Dovalov, Lovinobaňa, Mengusovce, Ružomberok and Partizánska Lupča. A painting inspired by the Ascension of Christ is displayed in the Evangelical church in Bátovce, originally a tolerance church built between 1780 and 1790 (i.e., after the issue of the Patent of Toleration by Joseph II). Again, in 1873 Bohúň was commissioned to create an altarpiece with a christological motif. He painted a scene which had taken place forty days after the resurrection of Christ. His work was inspired by drawings made by the old masters, which was common practice with sacral themes. When he portrayed Christ and his disciples, he attempted to reflect his own devoutness. The figure of a hovering Christ forms the centre of the piece. He is surrounded by a colourful mandorla. This symbol is often used with a resurrection theme and is intended to create a theatrical effect. The apostles, who are either standing or sitting, with their eyes reverently gazing towards heaven, can be seen at the bottom of the altarpiece.

Date of issue – 04 mar 2022 denomination 0.65 Euro