Simon, Tavik Frantisek

1877 – 1942

Born in the town of Zeleznice in Northeastern Bohemia, Simon became a student at the Academy of Art in Prague when Impressionism was the latest style and the influence of Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro was very strong.

Simon’s talent earned him a stipend and he was able to travel to Italy, Belgium, England and Paris where he immediately felt at home. His contact with more modern graphic arts was very stimulating and he quickly learned and adopted etching as his preferred medium. He recorded his impressions of these trips in his prints and paintings, some of which were shown at his first exhibition in Prague in 1905. The next year his beautiful color and black and white etchings of Paris were exhibited in that city, and from then on these images became synonymous with Simon’s œuvre.

In the early 1900’s, Simon’s influence reached across the Atlantic and his artistry was recognized in America with exhibitions in Chicago and New York.

Simon was a very keen traveler and this love of travel is reflected in his work. After establishing himself as an artist, he visited Holland, Spain and Morocco and again, his etchings were his souvenirs. He continued to return regularly to his native Czechoslovakia, and stayed there during World War I. In the 1920s he visited New York and captured the impressive views in a series of beautiful prints. He also toured Ceylon, India and Japan and likewise depicted these exotic far-away places with his signature style.

Typified by a soft coloration and fine draftsmanship, Simon’s views of daily life in a variety of settings became hugely popular and remain highly desirable to this day.