Balkay was born in Tiszaörs. Following his studies in Vienna, on the invitation of Ferenc Kazinczy, the reformist thinker who supported his activities, Balkay returned in 1808 to Hungary, where he taught art in the town of Eger from 1817.
He painted many altar pictures and allegorical compositions on mythological figures and themes including "Leda and the Swan", 1810, and "The House of Peace" in 1820. His well-known works include the portraits of Kazinczy and his wife as well as his self-portrait. He died in Eger.
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