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Zichy, Mihály

Biography

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Biography

Mihály Zichy was born in 1827 in the South Transdanubian Zala city. He learnt from Jakab Marastoni in Pest and from Waldmüller in Vienna. He was the court painter of Tsars since he was twenty years old, with short breaks until his death, for forty-nine years he had been working in Russia. From 1844 he studied painting in Vienna. In 1846 with his master he took a study tour in Italy, from he returned home with several experiences, which was affecting in the rest of his life. Returning to Vienna he painted the most outstanding pieces of this era, the ‘Lifeboat’, following the tradition of romantic disaster images.

In 1847 he went to St. Petersburg by recommendation and he became art teacher at one of the relative of the Tsar. In 1853 for the Russian tsar ordered, he produced a drawing series about the Gatchina hunting, and with it he won the court artist title. In 1856 he painted the coronation ceremony of Tsar Alexander II. Two years later (1858) he became elected member of the Russian Academy of Arts, in 1859 he received the court painter title of his Majestry, the Imperator. The poetry of Pushkin and Lermontov had influence on his arts until the end of his life. For the illustration of Lermontov, Demon titled, in 1860 released Russian edition he prepared a number of composition. The Institute of Russian Literature Museum guarded 12 original drawings, signed by the artist. In 1869 he had the first exhibition in the Russian capital. Zichy in the summer of 1871 traveled through Western Europe, Germany, in Munich he met with Alexander Wagner, in Düsseldorf he acquainted with Munkácsy, in Brussels, the Belgium painter Gallait had a great impact on him. 

From 1874 he was living in Paris. For the Paris World's Fair in 1878 painted his ‘The genius of the destruction triumph’ titled anti-war painting were censored from the exhibition. In 1881 he returned to St. Petersburg and he dealt mainly with illustrations. The Georgians honored Mihály Zichy as "national painter" of them country. His illustrations had a significant impact on the Georgian arts. In the March of 1883, during the Zichy exhibition opened in Budapest, he again assumed the position of the tsar’s court painter; he lived in St. Petersburg until his death in 1906.
 

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