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Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, Danise comes from an artistic family. Her great grandfather Arthur Szyk gained international acclaim as the illustrator of historically significant texts, famous for their mastery of detail and vivid use of color and was her greatest inspiration.

Below you will find some further background information about Arthur Szyk and feel free to view his web site that offers further insight into his life, political views at the time which were his greatest influence to gain a better understanding of what and how this man inspired Danise.

Arthur  Szyk    (1894 —  1951)

Szyk was born in Lodz, Poland in 1894. When he was 15, after demonstrating a remarkable talent for drawing, he went to Paris to study art. There, he studied the work of the Persian illuminators. During WWI he served in the Russian army, surviving capture by the Germans. His first exhibition was in 1924, consisting mainly of miniature-paintings.

He later exhibited at the Library of Congress in the United States and at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1934. By 1937, he was considered one of the world's finest miniaturists (from the latin miniator, which means to write with red lead - historically, there is a close link between miniature-painting and illumination).

During WWII, he used his art to relentlessly depict the horrors of fascism and nazism. He took the commission to do 100 paintings for the Arabian Nights in 1946, but had only managed to do sixty of them by the time of his death in 1951. He painted the wonderfully detailed miniatures with thick magnifying glasses on his eyes. The Limited Editions Club (who commissioned the work) says of Szyk, "[he] was born to illustrate The Arabian Nights."

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