Biography and U.S. contact
Mária Bernhardt was born in 1961 in Budapest, Hungary. She was brought up in a small town near Tata. This is where Hungary’s most famous thoroughbred stud, the Hungarian National Stud, which is more than 100 years old, is located and where she spent much time during her childhood. She was educated in Hungary in Budapest, studying classical drawing and painting at a professional school. Her training consisted mainly of life drawing. She got interested early with the race track in Budapest with her husband who is one of the colleagues of the Hungarian Jockey Club. Since then she has painted many horse portraits. Almost one thousand Irish, English, French and German racehorses were painted over the last 30 years. She often goes to the stables – for example in Bábolna – to create series of paintings of famous sires. Maria’s first exhibition was held at Kincsem Park, the racing hub of Budapest. Later she held a successful exhibition at the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture as well. Maria considers as role models the British traditional horse paintings starting with Stubbs and Munnings, through E. Adam and Crawford to Curling. She admits and professes Munnings’ thoughts: ”Think of that famous horse’s skeleton, once covered and articulated with tendon, muscle and nerve, all under the rich, dark-chestnut coat, groomed and polished day after day throughout his short span...” Maria Bernhardt is the leading horse painter in Central Europe. Her paintings are awarded as trophies at international racetracks.