Cartoon for Zászlónk magazine (1905).

Pál Spanyár was a Hungarian painter, cartoonist and drawing teacher, whose sketches of student life appeared in youth magazines like Jóbarát and Zászlónk.

Spanyár was born in 1874 in Nyitra, then a county in the Kingdom of Hungary, nowadays a town in western Slovakia. He studied to become a drawing teacher and in 1899 moved to the Transylvanian city of Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc), since 1918 part of Romania. Spanyár spent the rest of his life in the city, working as drawing teacher and then headmaster at a local Catholic high school. In addition, he worked as an artist, for instance painting portraits of the school's founders.

Between 1905 and 1925, Spanyár provided cartoons and caricatures to the Catholic youth magazines Jóbarát ("Good Friend") and Zászlónk ("Flag"). In the latter - a nationally distributed Catholic students magazine - he caricatured school events and student life. The students were either classmates or kids that went to the same pioneer camp, and consisted of characters like the stupid Ferkó Záp, the aggressive Gyuri Fal and Pista Horogh, the corpulent Dénes Gömbi, the skinny Mátyás and the dandy Olivér Nett. By 1924, Pál Spanyár was gradually succeeded by his assistant Lóránd Andor, who continued portraying everyday student life on Budapest's fictional "13th District Secondary School" (the city actually has only twelve districts) until 1936.

Later life
During the 1930s, Pál Spanyár's art appeared only sporadically in Zászlónk. The teacher/artist died in Székelyudvarhely in late 1936; he was buried on 6 November. His contemporaries remembered him as a modest person without artistic pretensions. After the death of Pál Spanyár's heirs, his house was left to the city of Székelyudvarhely, and is since 1978 the Haáz Rezső Museum of local history and art.

Cartoon for Zászlónk magazine (1905).

Pál Spanyár on

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