Julius Komjati (1894 - 1958)
Etcher Julius Komjáti, the son of an Inspector of Forests, was born in Komjat, Hungary. He received a teaching diploma at Budapest in 1911 and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1914. Called up for service in the First World War, he was awarded a diploma as Professor of Design at the Academy upon his return, and in 1920 produced his first etchings. In 1927, Komjáti received a scholarship to study in England under Malcolm Osborne at the Royal College of Art and arrived there in 1928. He spent the next ten years in England, and during that time produced a body of superb work, some 74 plates, which were published by H. C. Dickens of London. His work was so highly regarded that he was one of few foreign artists elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.
His wartime experience as a prisoner of war, held by the Romanian Army for eighteen months in deplorable conditions, had a profound effect on Komjáti’s art, imparting both an intensity and spirituality that calls to mind the later work of Käthe Kollwitz. He returned to Hungary in 1938 and remained their for the rest of his life.
Old Man Reading The Bible
Etching, 1928; edition of 75. Image size 10-1/8” x 8¼”; sheet size 12¾" x 9-5/16". Published by C. H. Dickens, London. Signed in the plate, and in pencil by Komjati in the lower margin. A nuanced impression on laid paper with printing smudges at the edge of the left and right hand margins, and an irregular upper edge.