Born in 1894 in Łódź, the son of the director of a weaving factory, a Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk, was a citizen of several countries during his lifetime. He was born in the Russian Empire, lived in Poland, which regained its independence, worked in France, North Africa, Palestine and Great Britain, and became most famous in the United States, where he died in 1951.
During his life, Szyk was a witness of two world wars and many local conflicts, the redefinition of his own Poland and other countries he knew well. This could not leave a mark in his work.
The first drawings that caught Arthur's parents' attention were made by him at the age of 6 and dedicated to the boxer rebellion in China. Then the boy was interested in biblical subjects. His father sent him to Paris to study drawing, where Arthur spent four years. He finished his art education already on the eve of World War I in Krakow. In following years, Szyk was an infantryman in the Russian army and a cavalryman in the Polish army. And by the end of the Soviet-Polish war, found himself as head of the propaganda department of the Polish army. Perhaps it was the familiarity with the military life, that played later a major role in shaping of the own style of Szyk, that was known for small detail on the uniforms.
Szyk worked as an illustrator in the interwar years. His most important works were focused on biblical subjects and the history of Polish Jews. However, after Hitler came to power, his drawings became increasingly politicized. Made with colored ink and pen, they brought him the greatest fame later.
These are the drawings in today's selection.