Suzanne Balkanyi

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Suzanne Balkanyi, self-portrait in Paris 1952

Suzanne Balkanyi (14 March 1922 – 7 April 2005) was a French-Hungarian artist born in Budapest, Hungary known particularly for her humorous etchings of Paris street scenes. After narrowly escaping transportation to Auschwitz in 1944, she left Hungary in 1947 to live in Paris, where she worked until her death.


One of four daughters of a liberal intellectual Hungarian family, Suzanne Balkanyi studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts Paris. The earliest known reference to Balkanyi as an artist, refers to her exhibiting at the Jewish Students Union in Paris in December 1948.[1] While working as an illustrator in the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris, she continued to develop her own work, commenting wryly on Paris life in drawing, etchings, woodblocks and other print techniques.

In the 1950s, she began to travel to Provence, and the little seaports of Brittany and Normandy. Later travels took her to Italy (Perugia, Venice and Sienna), the Netherlands, Spain (Toledo), Israel, Morocco and Senegal.

At her first one-woman show in 1966, she was recognised as "a printmaker of real and considerable quality" by the French artist Dunoyer de Segonzac[2] ("Son sens du ridicule ... révèle une sensibilité et une humanité très originale et sa technique d’aquafortiste d’une rare spontanéité qui touche à la naïveté, d’une réele et très grande qualité").

By the time of her death, she had had some eight solo exhibitions in Paris,[3] was a founder-member of the Society of Engravers known as Pointe et Burin Paris[4] and had showed regularly at the Fondation Taylor. In London her work has been shown posthumously at the Abbott and Holder Gallery.[5]

Public collections holding her work include those of the City of Paris (Un arrêt d’autobus), the Musée du Louvre Print Collection (Deux vieilles femmes[6] , Lourmarin[7], Salon de couture[8],[9] Vue de Lourmarin[10] ), the Zurich Kunsthaus, the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Belfort, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and The British Museum (La Rotisserie).

Her images have been published in: Acceuil de Paris, Le Trait, La Pointe et Burin and La Gravure Originale. Balkanyi illustrated a number of books including Francis Ambiére’s Le Bon Marché[11] and Brussac Philippe and Pierre Mac Orlan’s La Légion Étrangère[12] .

Monochrome etching of dressmakers shop
Suzanne Balkanyi, Le salon de couture, 1959
 Monochrome etching of a scene at a Paris bus stop
Suzanne Balkanyi, Un arrêt d'autobus (1952 ?)


  1. ^ Droit et Liberté n°00018 - 15 December 1948, Page 9 Jeunes Artistes in "Spectacles, Arts, Lettres"
  2. ^ Preface to "Suzanne Balkanyi" , Galerie "Le Nouvel Essor", Paris 1966
  3. ^ Suzanne Balkanyi (1922-2005) in "La Fondation Taylor présente la 48me exposition de Pointe et Burin" published by Fondation Taylor, Paris 2006
  4. ^ Varnews. "Bestiaire". Cette exposition présente un étonnant bestiaire à travers les gravures monotypes de 12 artistes renommés. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Abbott and Holder. "LIST 425 – APRIL 2013". Suzanne BALKANYI (1922-2005). Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Archives Nationales de France, Fontainbleau (acquired 1959). "Deux vieilles femmes". Balkanyi, Suzanne. Ref: ARP11570-2. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Archives Nationales de France, Fontainbleau (acquired 1959). "Lourmarin". Balkanyi, Suzanne. Ref: ARP11570-3. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Archives Nationales de France, Fontainbleau (acquired 1959). "Salon de couture". Balkanyi, Suzanne. Ref: ARP11570-1. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Archives Nationales de France, Fontainbleau (acquired 1954). "Salon de couture". Balkanyi, Suzanne. Ref: ARP11570. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Archives Nationales de France, Fontainbleau (acquired 1954). "Vue de Lourmarin". Balkanyi, Suzanne. Ref: ARP7754. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ Dasquet, Marcel; Présenté par Francis Ambrière (1955). le Bon Marché ("Les grandes réussites françaises", n° 7 ed.). Paris: Editions de Minuits. 
  12. ^ Brussac, Philippe; Mac Orlan, Pierre (1955). La Légion étrangère : Présentée par Mac Orlan ("les grandes réussites Françaises ed.). Paris: les Éditions de Minuit. p. 191. 

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