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Retro Rule Five: The Sketchwork of Mikhail (Mihaly) von Zichy


My artist friend Steven Givler can appreciate Mikhail (Mihaly) Zichy’s use of light and dark, shade and shadow. This sketch of Port of Sebastopol with the Czar’s yacht Livadia, 1881, shows a true draughtsman’s hand.

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Mikhail Zichy, View of Sebastopol 1881, Sketch

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(b zala, 14 oct 1827; d st petersburg, 29 feb 1906). Hungarian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied under Giacomo [Jakab] Marastoni (1804–60) in Pest, then under Ferdinand Waldmüller in Vienna. From 1847 he lived mainly in Russia, in the service of the tsar at the imperial court at St Petersburg. Between 1874 and 1879 he lived in Paris, where he was active in the Hungarian Association, a charitable cultural institution. In 1880 he travelled to Hungary, Vienna and Venice and the following year (1881–2) he spent some time in the Caucasus before resettling in St Petersburg. Zichy was influenced primarily by Viennese Biedermeier painting and the french romantic masters, although in some of his work he approached the Russian realists. His paintings are conservative both in subject and in method of execution. He favoured an anecdotal approach and compositions designed to be representative, effective and dramatic. In his works a literary or political message often takes precedence, and Zichy frequently resorted to the use of allegory. He was highly important as an illustrator, his graphic style being noted for its dynamism.

Indeed. Zichy was also highly noted for his work’s frank eroticism. [Adult content. -Ed.]

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Mikhail Zichy:The Rebuff, 1887, (pencil on paper?)

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Mikhail Zichy: Nu Pensive, 1885, lithograph

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We shall return to Zichy now and then; his women are irresistible. In the mean time, you’ll enjoy two classic beauties featured by Maggie Thornton and Bob’s reprise of Carrie-Ann Moss.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011/07/28 14:10

    Thanks my friend. I’ve had about 9 pencil etchings of Germany framed and in my family room for many, many years. I adore them.

  2. 2011/07/28 14:45

    Thanks as always, Ran. Wow. To be able to convey so much information without using color. It’s amazing.

    I was in Mallorca recently, and accidentally found the home/museum of J. Torrents Llado, none of whose amazing paintings are apparently visible online. The museum allowed me to take photographs though, so I’ll share them soon.


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