Page 8 - Centrum Dialogu im. Marka Edelmana w Łodzi. Artur Szyk, Man of Dialogue.
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Album-ksi„¿ka_ASzyk_wANGIELSKA.qxd  2012-05-27  19:48  Page 8
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                        Man and Boy in Turbans, Łódź 1910

                         Szyk's parents, or at least his father, did not want  The principal of the Merchants School, Mr. Klos,
                        their son to become an artist; Szyk senior was  encouraged the Szyks to send the talented boy to
                        hoping that he would be a merchant, so he sent him  Paris. In 1910, as a 16−year−old, he began studying
                        to a Trade School in Zgierz and later to the  painting at Académie Julian, learnig the craft under
                        Merchants Assembly School at 41 Narutowicza. His  distinguished professors H. Royet and M.A. Baschet.
                        notebooks, filled with colourful drawings, impressed  However, instead of sitting in classes, he spent hours
                        the teachers. They were less enthusiastic about his  at the Louvre, copying the old masters.
                        caricatures. In one of his interviews, he said: "my
                        hate of mathematics has made me a caricaturist".  "When studying in Paris, I became closely
                        From the very beginning, he was involved politically.  acquainted with the so−called modernism. I know
                        He was said to have been expelled from the Zgierz  that people will be angry with me for that, but I can't
                        School for having drawn a caricature of the Tsar,  help it ... I realized then – apart from a few
                        although this might just be a family anecdote.  outstanding and unquestionable talents, how much
                         In 1905, a revolution broke out in Łódź. Szyk's  of a hogwash it was, unhealthy sensationalism and
                        father was attacked by a factory worker, losing sight  disregard for solid painting technique."  A. Szyk
                        as a result. Still, the revolutionary experiences
                        forever remained a significant experience to Szyk.  Even before World War One, he made his
                        In one of the miniatures in his Statute of Kalisz,  debut in Łódź as a cartoonist and illustrator. Later,
                        dedicated to his home city of Łódź, he painted  he devoted himself almost exclusively to miniature.
                        barricades in the streets of the city.   He saw illuminated codices of Eastern
                                                                miniatures for the first time during his trip to
                                                                Palestine and Constantinople in 1914. "It was a
                                                                revelation for me" – he said. He set out for the
                                                                journey with a group of painters from Łódz.
                                                                 He marveled at the craft of the eastern artists and
                                                                their extremely serious approach to their work.
                                                                 As he explained to a journalist,  "The old
                                                                masters of miniature worked diligently,
                                                                whole−souled, with a thorough knowledge of their
                                                                craft. They poured their love and adoration for the
                                                                Creator into their work. They were animated by
                                                                their religious ideal, which they served. And I have
                                                 Portrait of the  always thought that art is not a goal in itself but a
                                                 artist before
                                                 World War One  service to humanity. "
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