BAKTAY, Ervin (Erwin, to 1925 Baktay-Gottesmann). Dunaharaszti 24.6.1890 — Budapest 7.5.1963 (when 73). Hungarian Art Historian. Originally intended to become a painter, he studied under Simon Hollósy, whose brother Joszef was one of the first in Hungary to be interested in Buddhism. Served in WW I 1915-18. In 1926 he went to India for three years, studied Indian art and religion, and sought in Ladakh for traces of Csoma de Kőrös. In 1946-58 Curator of the Indian Section of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Art in Budapest. In 1956 he spent six months in India in order to collect material for his book. In 1962 visited London lecturing at the S.O.A.S.
Publications: Several books in Hungarian on India, on his travels there, on Indian religions, etc., e.g.:
– in Hungarian: Rabindranath Tagore az ember, a müvész és a bölcs. Budapest 1921 (RT, the man, the artist and the sage); Háromszéktől a Himálajáig. 299 p. Bp. 1942; Hindusztán. 194 p. Bp. n.d. (1928); A Pandzsab. 185 p. Bp. n.d.
– Translated: Mahabharata. Bharata nagy nemzetsége. 542 p. Budapest 1923, rev. and enl. ed. 276 p. Budapest 1943; Indiai regék és mondák. 531 p. Bp. 1963 (Indian tales and legends); also a collection of Indian short stories (1922) and speeches of Gandhi (1926).
– Kőrösi Csoma Sándor. 267 p. Bp. 1962, French transl. Un grand tibétain hongrois. 1983.
– India művészete. Bp. 1963, German transl. by E. Tóth, Die Kunst Indiens. 494 p. 444 ill. Bp. & B. 1963.
– “Recent acquisitions of the Museum of Eastern Asiatic Art in Budapest”, AOHu 1, 1950-51, 191-212 (mostly from India); “Indian Stone Sculpture in the Budapest Museum of Eastern Asiatic Art”, AOHu 3, 1953, 135–165; articles in the yearbook of the museum.
Sources: Bethlenfalfy 1980, 32-34, 52 (with photo)E. Tóth, AOHu 17. 1964, 361; AAHu 9, 1961, 471; works in N.U.C. and in Puskās 1991; List of members of D.M.G. 1926; *Hungarian Wikipedia (English only briefly); photo in S.N. Pandita, Aurel Stein in Kashmir. N.D. 2004.
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