Nicholas Hornyansky, 1896-1965

Nicholas Hornyansky - biographical notes below.
Hornyansky - Osgoode Hall & Canada Life
Hornyansky - Outpost, Old Fort Henry
Hornyansky - Grey stragglers over Peggy's Cove

The clock tower

The Town Clock, Halifax

Halifax, 1941

From an engraving by Nicholas Hornyansky, entitled "The Town Clock, Halifax, NS" published by Rolph-Clark-Stone, Ltd., in 1941. The accompanying text states:

"The Town Clock, Halifax. The Halifax Town Clock took up its position two years and a day before the battle of Trafalgar. Plans were prepared on instructions from H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, while commanding His Majesty's Forces in Nova Scotia - the same Duke of Kent who was later to become the father of Queen Victoria. they were finally approved in 1801. the clock itself arrived from England on June 10th, 1803, in H.M.S. "Dart", and was placed in position on October 20th of that year.

Those were trying days for England. The Garrison clock, as it was called then, ticked off the tragic hours of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. While still strange to its new surroundings, it recorded the time spent by Bonaparte in his fruitless preparations to invade England. It continued to serve the good people of Halifax during the dark days prior to Waterloo and the victorious days which followed. It told the time for all to see during the depressing campaign in the Crimea. It said "Goodbye" and "Welcome Home" to those Canadians who fought in South Africa. It struck the departure hours for countless thousands sailing from Halifax to do their part in the World War of 1914 - 1918, and struck as confidently during the retreat from Mons as during the last glorious hundred days.

town clock

Detail, Town Clock, right edge

And now, mellowed by the years, it looks on once more while the Empire fights its greatest fight - mildly amused perhaps, by the same doubts and fears so often expressed during other wars it has watched. When the time comes to record the end of this war, the job will be done, and the faithful old clock, its roots in the past, its face to the future, will go on as before, keeping a kindly eye cocked toward the little island from whence it came.

The clock tower

Detail, Town Clock, left edge

Out of respect for our subject, we entrusted it to Nicholas Hornyansky, Member of the Canadian Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art and the American Colour Print Society. He gave us an etching in colour, imbued with the mellowed dignity of the scene itself. In applying our modern methods of reproduction, we have been conscious of its character, and have done our utmost to retain it.

In these days when friendships mean so much, may our friends everywhere be reminded of the value we place on theirs. This is the mission we have entrusted to our calendar for 1941


Nicholas Hornyansky (11 April 1896 - 25 May 1965)

The following represents the limited information that we have assmbled so far on this artist.

Nicholas Hornyansky was born in Budapest in 1896, studied art in Budapest at the Academy of Fine Arts, at the Munich plein-air school, in Amsterdam under Professor Mendlik, and also studied landscape painting in Belgium in the school of Franz Hens, then immigrated to Canada arriving 10 August 1929; he became a Canadian citizen in 1934. He was based in Toronto (55, Huntley Street, etc., etc.), but traveled extensively from coast to coast. He became a member of the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers (elected 29 November 1929), the Ontario Society of Artists, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, and Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy. The artist died on May 25, 1965 in Toronto.

Collections of Hornyansky's art include:

Some of Hornyansky's exhibitions include:

  • 1932 - One Man Show, Hart House, University of Toronto.
  • 1936 - The Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg, S.A. A catalog may be available.
  • 1936 - Ottawa National Gallery; this was an exhibition of contemorary Canadian painters, financed by the Carnegie Corp of New York for a tour through the "southern Dominions of the British Empire". A catalog may be available.
  • 1939 - World Fair, New York. A catalog may be available.
  • 1961 - Winnipeg Art Gallery. A catalog may be available.

Some files on Hornyansky's work may be available at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Ontario Society of Artists, the London Public Library and Art Museum, the Public Archives of Canada and the Metro Toronto Central Library

There is a book "The Golden Phoenix" published 1958 by Oxford University Press, 144 pp containing 300 years of childrens' stories spoken in the tradition of Canada; Marius Barbeau collected them and Michael Hornyansky retold them in English. We have been told that this may be Nicholas Hornyansky's son, but have not been able to contact him. This book is illustrated by Arthur Price.



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