Photo album of works by Mihaly Zichy for the artist’s birthday in the museum Photo Gallery

The Hungarian painter and graphic artist Mihaly Zichy (1827-1906), who "served" in Russian Empire for more than 50 years, was called "the artist of four Russian emperors". By coincidence, the fate of Mihaly Zichy was closely connected with Russian Empire. In January 1848, Zichy arrived in St. Petersburg. A young talented painter, born draughtsman, an inquisitive man interested in all kinds of fine arts, he quickly became famous in the aristocratic circles of St. Petersburg.

On 30 April 30, 1858, Mihaly Zichy was elevated to the rank of academician of watercolour painting. A year later, on May 30, 1859, Emperor Alexander II "granted Academician Mihaly Zichy the title of painter of His Imperial Majesty with his accession to the Imperial Hermitage". On February 10, 1860, another order from the Tsar followed - to provide Zichy with room in the lower floor of the New Hermitage for his studio. In 1863, "the Emperor granted Zichy the Order of St Stanislaus, 2nd Class, for the execution of eight large drawings for chromolithographs and ten engravings for the text of the next edition describing the "Holy Coronation of Their Majesties".

Events of state importance - visits of the German Emperor, the Shah of Persia, receptions of ambassadorial deputations, scenes of the betrothal and wedding of the heir, the birth and baptism of the Grand Duke (the future Nicholas II), military inspections, parades, as well as entertainment of the tsar family and persons close to the Court -- plays, fancy-dressed balls, acting charades and especially Imperial hunting with their elaborate ritual of actions of each participant – everything was the subject of scrupulous depiction by the artist.

М. Zichy rarely used oil paints. A more mobile language of graphic tools was required to quickly record events on the spot. A brilliant memory helped the artist to remember what his hand had no time to capture. With flexible, brittle, fine strokes or smooth pencil lines, the artist conveyed compound turns of figures in motion and postures -- from dignified to grotesque. A large place in Zichy's oeuvre (besides his work at the Court), especially in the last decades of his life in St Petersburg, was occupied by illustrations and easel drawings. Some of them were connected with a peculiar interpretation of literary works, others were born by the artist's inclination to historical and allegorical concepts; sometimes both were combined together.

To mark the birthday of the talented painter and graphic artist, we have prepared a photo album featuring some works of Mihaly Zichy, which are stored in the collection section "Graphics".


A.S. Kantor-Gukovskaya - At the Court of the Russian Emperors Works by Mihai Zichi from the Collections of the Hermitage. LibKing.Ru