Szyk grew up as the child of Jewish parents in the Russian-occupied part of Poland. His Jewish-Polish origin inspired a particular sensibility to societal prejudices and political discrimination. He formed a desire to use art for affecting society. During his art studies in Paris, he began to explore its modern trends. Rejecting abstraction, he saw medieval book illuminations and Renaissance prints as his role models. With the precision of a master craftsman, Szyk worked in a traditional and broadly understandable pictorial language to convey relevant messages. Szyk saw himself as a political artist. In the beginning, he mainly worked as an illustrator of books and historical texts. Many of his works dealt with the Jews’ situation in the European societies and the values of democracy and freedom.
to King George VI,
Palo Alto, Kalifornien: Robbins Family Collection