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Tavik Frantisek Šimon was widely known in the early twentieth century, particularly for his colour etchings and aquatints of Prague, Paris and New York.
He was born František Šimon on May 13, 1877, in Zeleznice, Bohemia, and later adopted the name 'Tavik', which was his mother's maiden name, generally signing his work T. F. Šimon.
He considered himself a painter first and foremost and following a move to Paris in 1904 he specialised in graphic arts such as etching, aquatint, dry point and wood-cut, exhibiting his work across Prague, Paris and London with interest extending from Chicago and New York. He produced many colour aquatints, became involved in the graphic design of books and created a great number of ex-libris for bibliophiles collectors.
He married Vilma Kracikova in Prague on February 17th 1906 and had four children, Kamil (1906 -1912), Eva (1908-1997), Ivan (1914 -2009) and Pavel (1920 – 1958). During the First World War, he founded the ‘Association of Czech Graphic Artists Hollar’ which provided support to artists.
In 1926, he fulfilled a life-long dream of travelling around the world and produced many drawings, sketches and paintings of his adventures.
In 1928 he was appointed a professor at the Academy of Arts in Prague to head the school of graphic arts. Following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the school was closed in November 1939.
Šimon took the events of World War II very hard and the stress started to affect his health seriously. He died at home, December 19, 1942 by heart failure following a heart attack some months earlier.
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