Mihály Zichy  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
19th century erotica, Venus in Hungary

Mihály Zichy (October 15 1827 in Zala, Hungary; February 28 1906 in St. Petersburg) was a Hungarian painter and graphic artist, best remembered today for the erotic pencil drawings in his X portfolio. He is not to be confused with his nephew Count Theodore Zichy.


Mihály Zichy was a significant representative of Hungarian romantic painting. During his law studies in Pest from 1842, he attended Jakab Marastoni's school as well. In Vienna he was Waldmüller's pupil in 1844. "Life Boat", his first major work, comes from this time. On Waldmüller's recommendation, he became an art teacher in St. Petersburg. He swore allegiance to freedom by painting the portrait of Lajos Batthány, the first Hungarian prime minister, in 1849. From 1850 onwards, he worked as a retoucher, but he also did pencil drawings, water colours and portraits in oil. The series on the Gatsina hunting ordered by the Russian tsar raised him to a court artist. He founded a society to support painters in need. "Autodafé" on the horrors of Spanish Inquisition was painted in 1868. He traveled around Europe in 1871, and settled down in Paris in 1874.

He painted "Queen Elisabeth is Laying Flowers by the Coffin of Ferenc Deák" on Treffort's order. "Drinking Bout of Henry III", his next large scale picture came from 1875. "The Victory of the Genius of Destruction" painted for the Paris Exhibition was banned by French authorities because of its daring anti-militarist message. He left Paris in 1881 and returned to St. Petersburg after short stays in Nizza, Vienna and the county Zala. From this time onwards, he was mostly engaged in illustrations ("The Tragedy of Man" by Madách, 1887, and twenty-four ballads of János Arany, 1894-98).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mihály Zichy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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