Dancing at 'The Place',
Zsuzsi Roboz (15 August 1929 – 9 July 2012) was a London-based Hungarian painter known for her portraiture painting and paintings of the arts. Her work is in public galleries including the Tate Britain and The National Portrait Gallery.
Zsuzsi Roboz was born in Budapest. During the 1930s, Roboz felt a change in Hungary as right-wing ideas became more prominent, especially with Nazi Germany invading Hungary's former sister state Austria in 1938. Eventually, the liberal arts fell out of favour and Roboz's father, Imre, was deprived of his job which resulted in him handing it over to a friend, writer Harsanyi Zsolt. It was soon necessary for Imre to go into hiding, shortly followed by Roboz and her mother being moved to a separate accommodation. They heard very little of Imre and was eventually declared dead, although his body was never found.
According to 'The Times', after the occupation of Hungary Imre was eventually forced to a concentration camp where he had been reported dead. However, different articles state different causes of Imre’s death, no one is certain of how he actually passed. Zsuzsi and her mother were hidden by a neighbour and eventually crossed the Danube where they were rescued by the Americans.
After the war, the pair moved to France as her mother had remarried a Frenchman, but Zsuzsi found life in France difficult and left for secretarial school in London at the age of seventeen. After arriving in London in 1947, she worked for an old friend of her fathers, Alexander Korda, an active and well-known figure in cinema, as a typist and occasional dinner guest with celebrities such as John Garfield.
It was during this time that Roboz attended art classes at the Royal Academy Schools under the supervision of Peter Greenham, and would later catch the eye of Pietro Annigoni. She later left to study in Italy as Annigoni’s pupil and upon returning to London after the year was up, she was considered a “brilliant draughtsman."
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