Artist Marcell Jankovics dies at 79
Marcell Jankovics dies at 79, leaving behind a trace of his exceptional work. He is a well-known director of amazing animated films, book illustrator, cartoonist and graphic designer. Art, for him, had no boundaries and he explored multiple innate talents to create masterpieces of genius. He was president of the Hungarian Academy of Arts (MMA) from 2020 and his death was reported by MMA.
Jankovics was popularly known as the Artist of the Nation (Hungary) and the cultural historian spared no effort to follow the awarded title. Marcell Jankovics was born in 1941 in Budapest. His family was expelled to Osod in 1951, from where they could not return to Budapest until 1953. He taught for some years 1971–72 and was a master of animation at the High School of Fine and Applied Arts. In 1973 he contributed a remarkable milestone and a crucial turning point in the history of Hungarian animated cinema with Johnny Corncob. It was his first feature film, based on the poem János Vitéz by fellow Hungarian Sándor Petőfi, and was the first animated feature film produced in the country. In 1977, Jankovics began to create works on Hungarian folk tales, such as The struggle and Son of the white mare. The stellar personality took on several roles and was a screenwriter, director and designer until 2002.
Several generations have grown up on its beautifully executed folk tale animations. He is the owner of around fifty national and international prizes, including several Hungarian prizes. Jankovics has represented his country on several occasions as a member of the jury at international film festivals, which is one of the many feathers he had on his cap. He continued to make short films and cartoons and many of them gained international recognition. He created one of his best projects titled Sisyphus in 1974 and was nominated for the Oscars the same year.
MMA praised Jankovics by referring to him as a “visual artist and public figure, a fairy tale scholar … with extremely varied work. His contributions to Hungarian culture remain indispensable.