1856, Pesta - 1929, Munich
Despite his academic education, his paintings are characterized by a free and modern artistic conception, which also had impressionistic features. His favorite subject, in addition to the local dress and peasant portraits of Dachau, was the representation of the female spirit.
A late, but not too late, calling
Born under the name Fritz Strobentz, he lost his father very early, at the age of seven, so he spent a lot of time at his uncle's estate in Dombiratos, Csanád county.
He discovered his calling for art at the Polytechnic University of Dresden, where he studied to become an engineer. Because it was more appealing to him, he enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf, where he studied under the guidance of professors Peter Jansen and Eduard von Gebhardt. From 1880 he studied in Munich, with Ludwig von Löfftz as his teacher, and later settled in this city. He often attended the arts center in Dachau, also being one of its founding members. In 1887, he went on a study trip to Paris with his friends Arthur Langhammer and Adolf Hölzel, where he became acquainted with the new artistic movements and the accomplishments of Manet and Monet.
Earning his existence and his recognition
Strobentz also illustrated magazines and books. This activity ensured his financial existence and contributed to his recognition. His drawings were published in the periodicals “Jugend” and “Simplicissimus”, along with those made by Eugen Kirchner, Leo Putz, and Paul Keller Reutlingen.
His works were exhibited at the Secession Halls in Munich, Berlin, and in numerous group exhibitions in Hungary. He became a member of the group of artists “MIÉNK” - the circle of Hungarian Impressionists and Naturalists (in 1908) and joined the Szinya Merse Society in 1922.
A natural and awarded painter
A milestone in his career was the retrospective exhibition at the Budapest National Salon in 1904. In his review, art critic Károly Lyka pointed out that, although Strobenz is considered an objective naturalist painter, his colorist side is also manifested: “A naturalist painter like Strobentz appreciates this element [color] that he is very attracted to: he emphasizes it, he makes it dominant. This is how the painting shows the imprint of one's own artistic perception and individuality.”
Strobentz was awarded several times for his artistic activity: he won the small Gold medal of the International Art Exhibition in Munich (in 1892), he received The Honorable Mention at the National Salon in Paris (in 1894), won the Great Gold medal of the Hungarian state for his painting entitled Lady in a Pink Dress (in 1906), and the King of Bavaria awarded him with the title of professor.
Recognized also after death
The painter passed away in Munich on June 5, 1929.
In his article written about the artist after his death, the art critic Károly Lyka, compared him to Károly Ferenczy - one of the most prestigious Hungarian masters of the early twentieth century. What differentiates the two of them is that Ferenczy’s art was developed in a freer direction due to the "Baia Mare atmosphere".