About Szyk’s Art

Overview

Viewing Szyk’s illuminations for the first time sparks many questions. What subjects did he paint? How did he achieve such brilliant colors and fine detail? Where has his work been shown? What do the critics think?

Arthur Szyk Painting in His New York Studio. Pageant Magazine, April 1945. Briefly, Szyk was an activist-artist who tackled a broad range of subject matter in his campaign for racial and religious tolerance and universal human dignity. Though his work frequently dealt with the events of the day, he intended his work to be timeless—he saw no division between applied art and fine art.

Szyk mastered illumination—an artistic style that had been forgotten for centuries—and updated the technique and style to meet the demands of a new era. The world’s finest galleries and museums, from Paris to London to New York and beyond, recognize his genius and stage major exhibitions of his work to this day. Szyk continues to astonish art critics and art historians, who proclaim him not only an outstanding artist of the 20th century but the best illuminator in 400 years.

Next: Learn about Arthur Szyk’s subject areas.