ZICHY, Mihály
(b. 1827, Zala, d. 1906, St. Petersburg)


Hungarian painter, graphic artist. He 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, watercolours 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 travelled 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 Triumph of the Genius of Destruction painted for the Paris Exhibition was banned by French authorities because of its daring antimilitarist message.

He left Paris in 1881 and returned to St. Petersburg after short stays in Nizza, Vienna and the county Zala inHungary. From this time onwards, he was mostly engaged in illustrations (The Tragedy of Man by Imre Madách, 1887, and twenty-four ballads of János Arany, 1894-98).