1891 born in Kemenesszentpéter in Vas County as the third son of a manorial overseer.
Among his brothers and sisters were novelist and journalist Margit (Horváth) Bozzay (1893–1942)
and agricultural writer László Jobbaházi Horváth (1897–1974)
1908…1909 1911…1914 a student of Imre Réti, Aladár Edvi Illés and László Hegedűs
at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest
1914…1915 studies under János Thorma at the Nagybánya artists’ colony
1915 conscripted into the army. Goes to Vienna, where he is released from military service because of a bad leg
1916…1920 art teacher in Zombor. Following the collapse of the Austro–Hungarian monarchy,
leaving his pictures and everything he has behind and risking his health, defects from Serbia
1921 received a teacher appointment in the principal secondary school in Sopron.
Practically speaking, this is when career as art teacher and fine artist truly begins.
Switches from oils to watercolours, becomes genre-creating master in watercolours over the following decade,
gains national recognition
1921 Old Man (watercolour) Esterházy Prize
1929 Farewell (watercolour) Izor Halmos Prize
1928 Interior of St. Michael’s church in Sopron (watercolour) Budapest Capital City Prize
1930 Farewell (charcoal drawing) State Graphics Prize
1930 medical treatment and study in Germany.
Encounters the works of Wilhelm Leibl, the great artistic and moral icon
1931 Motherhood (watercolour) St. George Guild Prize
1933 opens atelier in Sopron’s farming quarter,
after which he paints his most beautiful watercolour nudes and genre paintings
1933 Man with a Hoe (watercolour) Transdanubian Art Exhibition Gold Medal
1933 marries Hermin Mühl (1906–1981) of Sopron, the sister of his friends Gusztáv (Mühl) Mende (1899–1964)
and Aladár Mühl (1901–1981). A daughter and a son are born of this marriage
1934 Bathing (watercolour) Szilárd Rökk Prize.
Horváth is attacked in the press for this work, and a scandal ensues
1934 In Front of a Mirror (No. 11, watercolour) State Watercolour Prize
1936 Woman in Black (watercolour) Kornél Neuschloss-Knüssli Medal
1936 Bathing Girl (watercolour) Balló Prize
1936 Sleeping Girl (watercolour) Balló Prize
1937 In Front of a Mirror (No. 37, watercolour) Balló Prize, Esterházy Jubilee Prize,
Association of Hungarian Fine Artists Outstanding Recognition
1938 Old Hungarian (watercolour) Balló Prize
1938 Brown Harmony (watercolour) National Association of Hungarian Fine Artists Outstanding Recognition
1938 The Red Bodice (watercolour) London, Royal Academy Outstanding Recognition
1938 the Academy of Fine Arts (László Baransky) offers Horváth a teaching position in the watercolour department
1939 Samaritan (watercolour) Sopron Fidelity Prize Gold Medal
1938 Sarah (watercolour) Balló Prize, Sopron Fidelity Prize Gold Medal
1939 one-year tour of Western Europe and one-man exhibition in England is cancelled when war breaks out
1943 Portrait of János Stetka (watercolour) National Association of Hungarian Fine Artists Grand Prize
1943 Hungarian Madonna (watercolour) State Gold Medal
1943 Waiting for Someone (watercolour) Sopron Fine Artists Circle Gold Medal
1944 Horváth and sculptor Ernő Szakál build a new atelier on Árpád Street in Sopron.
He gives an interview to Hungarian Radio, the recording of which still exists.
He gives precise responses to reporter Sándor Budinszky’s questions about his artistic and ethical creed
and about that principled intransigence which not much later causes him to be slighted and misunderstood.
Sends his paintings to Switzerland to avoid destruction in the war. His atelier is destroyed that same year
1945…1951 because of his opposition to the representatives of controlled art, he is not able to thrive,
despite his public prestige
1949 he does not sign the high school teachers’ collective petition calling for the condemnation of Cardinal Mindszenty.
He is sent into retirement not long thereafter. He does not receive a pension
1953 Shapers (watercolour) Ministry of Culture competition prize.
Horváth’s only work with a socialist realism theme that was awarded a prize
1953 november. Aurél Bernáth visits Horváth and brings news that artistic honours have been conferred upon him
1954 April. Horváth is awarded the Munkácsy Prize, even the public expected more.
A let-up in the political situation and the improvement of living conditions led to fundamental changes
in his financial situation, work conditions, and esteem.
The official title of ‘Soproni’ (of Sopron), which he never used, was bestowed upon him
1956 August. Aladár Mühl, Pál Lomositz and Jenő Sárkány make a documentary film about Horváth, which still exists
1958 Summer. Finishes his memoirs, entitled My Life, and holds public readings
1959 April. An exhibition of Horváth’s entire oeuvre is held in National Salon, which stood on Erzsébet Square in
Budapest and was demolished two years later. The praise that Professor Gyula László lavishes on Horváth
at the opening can be found in the monograph on Horváth he publishes thirty years later. An exhibition
of Soviet fine art is staged at the Mûcsarnok (Hall of Arts) at the same time. The contrast between the two
exhibitions in terms of viewers and success enrages the official critics of the time and prompts them
to boycott the press
1961 April 21. József Horváth dies
1961…1972 permanent memorial exhibition of Horváth’s legacy in his former Árpád Street atelier in Sopron
1972 a memorial museum, established through the efforts of Government leaders and Horváth’s widow,
is opened in the Sopron city centre. The permanent exhibition, still on display in the Caesar building,
presents paintings and furniture owned by the Horváth family, the City of Sopron, and the Sopron Museum