Henrich Fieles: Under the Nitra Castle

(SK) Fielesov Podzámok v Nitre sa vymyká z jeho tendenčnej maľby. V tomto diele preferuje kubizujúce prvky maľby, využíva geometrickú abstrakciu, impresívnu farebnosť, ktorou upriamuje pozornosť na centrálnu časť diela.


Inventory No.: O 350

Author: Henrich Fieles
Name: Under the Nitra Castle

Year of Origin: 1969

Technique: Aquarelle
Material: Paper
Dimensions: 54 x 43 cm
Marked: in the right bottom corner: Fieles 1969


Although Henrich Fieles was born in Košice, he loved Nitra. He included Nitra’s history and surrounding landscape from under the Tríbeč Mountains whether he painted in oil, tempera, pastel or aquarelle. The author was inspired by the whole history of the Nitra region and he devoted to it the biggest part of his work. He was confident in his artistic expression and building up his compositions with a lyrical undertone. His numerous compositions depict peaceful historical streets, the park in Sihoť, vedute of the castle, the castle courtyard and St. Emmeram’s Cathedral but also the transformations of the city of Nitra where the old buildings had been replaced with the new ones and thus the character of the city changed. Because the scenes he depicted are linked to the history and changing views of the region his work has also a documentary value.

His work Under the Nitra Castle is a poetic rendering of the Nitra castle area. It is different from his other works. He prefers cubist painting elements, uses geometrical abstraction, impressive colours and attracts the viewers’ attention to the central part of his work. The architectural motive is surrounded by Chagall-like Parisian blue that accentuates old houses under the castle presented from the eastern part of the castle hill. Some of them still exist and the visitors can enjoy a historical atmosphere of 19th C when artisans and small tradesmen had lived. There are silhouettes of urban construction of one floor blocks of flats from the middle of 20th century in the background of the painting that form Parkové námestie square and Mostná ulica Street today.

Henrich Fieles was born on August 22, 1913 in Košice. He attended a secondary school in Košice and the Eugen Krón School of Graphic Design. In 1932 he was admitted to the Czech Technical University in Prague where he studied descriptive geometry and drawing with professor Cyril Bouda, Josef Sejpek and Oldřich Blažíček. He finished the Czech Technical University in Prague in 1937 and became qualified as a secondary school teacher. He taught art at secondary schools in Šahy, Michalovce, Nové Zámky, Topoľčany and Šurany. In 1961 he moved with his family from Šurany to historical Nitra. From 1960 he worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Art Education at the Teacher’s Training College in Nitra. He was also a painter.

Henrich Fieles depicted in his works also other Slovak places, mainly from the east Slovakia. He also painted scenes from the south Slovakia. He depicted natural sceneries, he presented the life of village people, the countryside that had been undergone major transformations.

He had exhibitions in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, India. His works can be found in galleries and private collections not only in Slovakia, but also England, Canada and the United States.

He died on January 5, 2000 when his life closed down and his endeavours, plans and creative work ended. He rests in peace in the city cemetery of St. Cyril and Methodius over Nitra – in the area called Čermáň.

Residents of city of Nitra commemorated the 100th birth anniversary of Henrich Fieles with by organizing an exhibition of works that he left behind. The Synagogue and its exhibition hall provided an intimate venue for Fieles’ Genius Loci throughout the summer (June to August) of 2013.

Marta Hučková
In Nitra, September 17, 2013

Photo: Slávomír Žákovič