Csaba Markus on da Vinci and painting women

Csaba Markus

Aurora” (2014), Csaba Markus

Park West artist Csaba Markus is known for painting ethereal and beautiful portraits of women, carrying on techniques from the old masters.

When asked, Markus has a quick answer for why women are his subject of choice:

“I am painting women because I am a man,” he says with a smile.

Joking aside, Markus’ answer goes much deeper. Markus has studied the techniques of the masters, including Durer, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt and others, and this becomes all too apparent when viewing one of his amazing works of art. As a contemporary artist, he bridges the centuries-wide gap between these techniques, and chooses to do so with a particular subject: women.

He says honoring women in art has roots in Greek and Roman sculptures depicting female figures with idealized but realistic bodies and faces. The idea adheres to that of “El Greco” art, which is romantic art focused on imagination, myth and mannerism. Markus has done this so well that one of his works was included on a top 10 list of “Most Sensual Paintings” by the Toronto Sun.

“In my art, I am making an idealized woman who is confident, peaceful, mysterious, sensual and beautiful,” he says.

"Sabinya" (2014), Csaba Markus

Sabinya” (2014), Csaba Markus

One of the most famous paintings, let alone a portrait of a woman, is da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Markus poses the question: What is the secret to Mona Lisa being so famous?

“It is not because she is beautiful, because she is not that beautiful, and it wasn’t a big picture,” he says.

Markus took it upon himself to study the “Mona Lisa,” as well as da Vinci’s notes to unlock the secret, and what he learned was that there was more to Mona Lisa than her smile.

“There is balance, there is grace, there is femininity,” Markus says.

During and after World War II, Markus says women began to take on more roles, whether it was in the workforce or politics. Markus says this redefined women, and he wanted to capture that spirit in his art.

In particular, Markus concentrates on painting young women. While older women deserve just as much respect, he says that their youthful appearances are symbolic of the promise and hope. He is driven by a need to elevate art and those who view his art, and by doing so, honors women.

“When you look, my women are not smiling because they are not Cover Girls,” he says. “They are real women with real problems, but they are confident, they are balanced.”

The women in Markus’ paintings are adorned with large headdresses, silky garments and jewelry. This is done to give them a regal appearance without the need for painting tiaras or crowns.

“In my mind, every woman is a princess or queen,” he says.

Csaba Markus

Femenita du Paris” (2013),

Markus says there is so much bad news in the world, and he didn’t want his art to to be one of the “bad channels” broadcasting negativity. Instead, he strives to give people hope and beauty. He says women should be placed on a pedestal, and by painting his 21st century Mona Lisas, he hopes to honor his muse and puts smiles on his audience’s faces.

“Their eyes sparkle and they smile, and that gives me a lot of enjoyment to be an artist,” he says. “I make people happy and they give me back that happiness.”

Be sure to view Park West Gallery’s Csaba Markus art collection and contact our gallery consultants for more information.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Warm Up with the Winter Sale

    Are the winter blues bringing you down? Are chilly temperatures keeping you inside? Then warm your heart and home with amazing artwork from Park West Gallery’s Winter Sale.Select from over ...
    Read More
  • Chris DeRubeis Talks Abstract Sensualism® and Style

    Artist Chris DeRubeis keeps most of his techniques for creating his unique metal art to himself, but opened up to Park West Gallery to give a glimpse into how he ...
    Read More
  • 7 Reasons Cruises are the Best Vacation

     When it comes to planning a vacation, not all trips are created equal. Here are 7 reasons cruises are the best choice to fit the most fun into your next holiday: 1. Relax ...
    Read More
  • Are Emojis Art?

    Smiley faces, confetti streamers, dazzling hearts and tiny palm trees each assume a rightful place on your iPhone screen and social media feed, but what about in the permanent ...
    Read More
  • Port of Call: Havana, Cuba

    Mingle with locals and experience a place untouched by time in Havana, Cuba. Immerse yourself in unique opportunities, fascinating culture, and timeless sights. Hemingway’s HavanaEncounter Havana through the eyes of author ...
    Read More
  • Science is Examining Your Brain on Art

    When walking through a museum or gallery, you will likely find a work of art that interests or captivates you without understanding why.Humankind has a deep connection with art. While ...
    Read More
  • In Memory of Charles Bragg (1931-2017)

    By Morris Shapiro  Charles Bragg was one-in-a-million. I’ve never known anyone like him, nor is it likely that I ever will again.He was an amalgam of many parts: a supremely gifted ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery Staff Share their Favorite Artists

    From abstract expressionists to colorful cartoonists, Park West Gallery is home to a diverse range of talented contemporary artists. While, for many, choosing a favorite artist is like choosing a ...
    Read More
  • Andrew Bone Boosts South Africa’s Lion Population

    Wildlife artist and conservationist Andrew Bone does more than create stunning, photorealistic paintings to bring about awareness of African wildlife – he actively tries to save it.Bone and his non-profit ...
    Read More
  • Princess Cruises Reveals Ocean Medallion Concierge Tech

    Imagine your cabin door unlocking as you approach it, or a server bringing your favorite drink without having to order it.Carnival Corp. is inviting guests ...
    Read More
  • Explore Pino’s Innovative Illustrations

    As a fine artist, Pino is remembered for his sensual portrayals of women and warm depictions of family life. The artist's innovative technique precedes him, blending a mixture of impressionism ...
    Read More
  • Duaiv and Romero Britto Create Unique Car Art

    Ever wanted to take a Rolls-Royce or a Corvette for a spin? How about getting behind the wheel of a work of art?Two of Park West Gallery’s internationally-renowned artists,
    Read More