Julia Bathory

The native form of this personal name is Báthory Júlia. This article uses the Western name order.

Júlia Báthory (December 31, 1901 - May 3, 2000) was a Hungarian glass designer.

Júlia Báthory was born in 1901 in Budapest into an aristocratic family. She pursued her high school studies in Debrecen and Budapest. She went to Germany in 1924, where she graduated at the Stadtschule für Angewendte Kunst in Munich, as a student of Adelbert Niemeyer, a painter and porcelain designer, a family relative of the well known Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. She also took lectures from local painter Max Müller (not related to the orientalist). Her fellow student was Margit Kovács, the well known Hungarian ceramic artist, with whom she had a lifelong, close friendship.

In the course of her graphic studies she became fascinated by glasswork and in 1929 she started her career as an independent glass-designer in Imre Huszár, a sculptor, who lived in Paris at that time, was such a success, that she decided to move there. She remained till December 1939.

The Paris years - 1930 - 1940

These ten years were the most productive years of her lifework. During her years in Paris she visited excavations from the Roman period in the south of France, she travelled to Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. After her exhibition in 1930, she presented her first independent one in 1933. She received a diplome d'honeur in the 1937 Paris World Fair. She lived as a member of the Hungarian colony, formed by Endre Rozsda, Brassaï, André Kertész. In the beginning, she shared an apartment together with Andre Kertész and Margit Kovács. Also in 1937, an interior column-panneau for Le Printemps store was made. She was member of the Salon d'Automne, formed by Matisse and the fauvists, where Maurice Marinot and René Lalique famous French glass-designers, also exhibited. For "La Crémmaiere" she produces her revolutionary flat-glassdesign artifacts. She also makes panneaux for the interior decoration department of the store of Louis Cartier, at Rue de la Paix. Christofle was also selling her works in Paris. In 1934 she has already her own atelier, Studio La Girouette, which she forms from an old dairy-hall near Sorbonne (7bis Rue Laromiguiere, Paris Ve).

She produces her own designs in small series by the Swedish Orrefors Glasbruk. She gets her flat glass boards from Belgium. She also deals with interior decoration: she designs and produces furniture, too. She had a great success not only with her figural panneau, but with her plaquettes, decorated with abstract animals. In 1937 the city of Paris bought her plaquette called The Hunting (La Chasse) and an engraved vase. These two pieces of art were later placed in the collection of modern art of the Louvre. She achieved her greatest success by working with cold glass, by monumental, sculptural drawing-derived forms, while her contemporaries, Lalique, Marinot and his circle made their art in glass-works and treated glass as one block.

Her invention was a unique use of intaglio engraving, cutting and the artistic use of the sand-blasting technique. She was able to create outstanding visual effect with their combination.

French critiques started to use for her extraordinary works the expression: "reliefs du verre", which is appropriate to express the monumental style of Julia Báthory. She visited home in 1938 to exhibit and she received a Professional Silver Medal. The same year she became an invited exhibitor of the City of Paris. The following year she reaches overwhelming success overseas. She returns from the New York World Fair with a diploma of honor.

Moving back to Hungary - 1940

She remains in Paris until 1939, but in order to save her studio, she moves it in January 1940 to Budapest. She works continuously until 1944, when the operations of war reach the territory of Hungary. In 1940 she receives a Gold Medal at the Milano Trienale. In 1942-3 she gets awards from the Ministry of Culture. In the Second Hungarian Exhibition of Applied Arts, she was awarded by the city of Kassa. The National Organisation of the Applied Artists of Hungary awards her with the Silver Medal, and gets the Gold Medal of the capital city, Budapest. At thet time she works abroad with interior designer, Elek Falus. She makes great engraved and cut figural panneau, that cover columns for the Zürich exhibition hall of the Goldberger Textil Company. But at that time she mostly makes ecclesial works. She made other religious images earlier in 1937 for the Exhibition of Religious Art (l'Exposition d'art religieux, 1935) in Strasbourg. She received great attention for one of her engraved triptichons.

During the war her Studio was almost completely destroyed. When the war was over, she was often robbed and great number of irreplaceable documents, machines, works of art disappeared. Her return, what she planned as temporary became permanent. But this fact does not break Julia Báthory's enthusiasm to create. In 1949 she elaborates an educational system for glass design for the Secondary School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Julia Bathory, the teacher 1953 - 1970

What she has worked out was a unique initiative. That was the very place where she constructed the whole basis of theoretical and practical education of glass-design in Hungary. The system is similar to the Kodály-method. Students learn how to work with the elementary hot glass, to use drawing-derived techniques and they discover the whole range of glass- work. This method was not only of great influence on the education of glass-art, but changed the whole structure of secondary art-education in Hungary. At this time her attention turns towards the possibilities of hot glass. She retiers from teaching in 1970.

As an appreciation of her work, she received the title of Excellent Teacher and the Munkácsy prize. In 1958 she exhibits at Brussels World Fair. Since then her work has not been presented to international publicity. She returned from Brussels with a diplome d'honeur. In 1967 and 1968 she was awarded again and so she retires, seemingly for good. Despite of all she worked on in her atelier and organised her lives work.

Last years - 1990-2000

The artistic resurrection, for Julia Báthory was brought in 1989 with the Juliana Kovács. A great, still unfinished work begins, Julia Báthory decides to recreate the works lost or destroyed during the last decades. The Studio reproduces these disappeared works and carries out the designs which were made by the artist.

Her life work has been exhibited in the Pécsvárad at the great age of 99 years.

Since then Dömsöd.


  • Au Salon d'Autumn: Art et Décoration, 1930/2 p177-194, 1932/2 p 353-364, 1933/2, 1938/ p214-222, p230-232, p235, p250, p254, p256
  • Arwas, Victor: Glass: Art Nouveau to Art Deco, Yale University Press, London – New York, 1977
  • Bachet, Roger:T.S.F. et Décoration - Un probléme d'esthétique, Plaisir de France, 1937 November
  • Beard, Geoffrey: International Modern Glass, Barrie & Jenkins, 1976, London
  • Brinhammer, Yvonne – Tise, Suzanne: French Decorative Art 1900-1942, Flammarion, 1990, Paris
  • Bruckhardt, Lucius: The Werkbund: Studies in the History and Ideology of the Deutscher Werkbund, Design Council, London, 1980
  • Campbell, Joan: The German Werkbund: The Politics of Reform in Applied Arts, Princeton University Press, 1978
  • Drescher Károly – Rudák István – Száder Rudolf: Szakmai alapismeretek üvegesek részére, Építésügyi Tájékoztató Kózpont, 1981, Budapest
  • Duncan, Alastair: Art Deco, Thames & Hudson, 1995, London
  • Falus János: Báthory Júlia, Magyar Iparművészet, 2000/3 p14-17
  • Gurmai Mihály dr.: Az üvegművészet technikái, Tankönyvkiadó - MIF, 1980, Budapest
  • Hallóssy István: A párizsi világkiállítás magyar pavilonjának sikermérlege, Budapest, 1937
  • Hoffman, Josef – Wagenfeld, Wilhelm: Glas-kunst der Moderne, Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1992, München
  • ifj Richter Aladár: Báthory Júlia, Magyar Iparművészet, 1937/ p42-43, p48-49, p157-162
  • kat.: Exposition 1937 Paris, Paris, 1937
  • Kovács Anikó – Szilágyi András: Interjú Báthory Júliával, Széchenyi István Irodalmi és Művészeti Akadémia, magnóval rögzített, utólag legépelt anyag iksz.: MA-52-1/94
  • Le Corbusier: L’Art Décoratif d’aujord’hui, 1925, Párizs
  • Lengyel Ferenc: Az 1939 évi new yorki világkiállítás és a gyorsközlekedési úthálózat fejlődése, Budapest, 1939
  • Lhote, R.: Au Salon d'Automne - Julia de Bathory, Glaces et Verres, 1937
  • Lotz, Wilhelm: Exposition der Deutscher Werkbund á Paris, Die Form, 1930/5.
  • Magyar Iparművészet, 1941/ p133-138, p145
  • Melegati, Luca: Az üveg, Officina Nova, 1995, Budapest
  • Mihalik Sándor: Az első Magyar Országos Iparművészeti Tárlat, Magyar Iparművészet,
  • Muller, Joseph-Émile – Elgar, Frank: Modern Painting, Eyre Meuthen, 1980, London
  • nn.: A kassai Országos iparművészeti tárlat krónikája, Magyar Iparművészet, 1942-44/1943/ p61-63, p67, p103, p112-114
  • nn.: A new yorki világkiállítás magyar pavilonja, Magyar Iparművészet, 1939/ p154, p157-164
  • nn.: Az 1940-es Egyházművészeti kiállítás mérlege, Magyar Iparművészet, 1941/ p29-30, p33, Dr Ruzicska Ilona: „Művészet az iparban” Az iparművészeti Társulat karácsonyi tárlata,
  • nn.: Az Orsz. Magy. Iparművészeti Társulat nyári tárlatának mérlege, Magyar Iparművészet, 1931/ p133,141
  • nn.: Beszámoló a Brüsszeli világkiállításról, Magyar Építőművészet, 1958/2 p47-51, 1959/1-2
  • nn.: Egy Debreceni származású magyar hölgy nagy sikere az országos iparművészeti kiállításon Hajdúföld, 1929 július 17.
  • nn.: Magyarország az 1937 évi világkiállításon, Budapest, 1937
  • nn.: Salon d’Automne, L’Illustration, 1937/4 p 354-368, 1934/2 p433-451, 1935/1 p126 1936/2 p456-467 1937/2 p360-378
  • Passarge, Walter: Deutsche Werkkunst der Gegenwart, Im Rembrandt Verlag, 1934, Berlin
  • Pasurek, Gustav E.: Gläser der Empire und Biedermeierzeit, 1925, Lipcse
  • R.M.U.: Les expositions des Décorateurs, Beaux-Arts: Le Journal des Arts, 1937 XII.24.
  • Rivir, A.: L'Orvfévrerie, La renesaince, 1937/2
  • Sághelyi Lajos, dr.: A magyar üvegesipar története, Budapesti Üvegesek Ipartestülete, 1938, Budapest
  • Szablya János: A VII. Trienálé, Magyar Iparművészet, 1940/ p43-47, p51, p91-94
  • Szilágyi B. András: Báthory Júlia, 2000, Báthory Júlia Üveggyűjtemény ISBN 963-00-9166-6
  • Tasnádiné Marik Klára: A síküveg felhasználása belső térben, Építőanyag, XIX,évf. 1967/7 p245-249
  • Varga Vera: Báthory Júlia - Párizs Budapest, az Iparművészeti Múzeum katalógusa, 1992, ISBN 963-7098-38-0
  • Varga Vera: Báthory Júlia, Magyar Iparművészet, 1993/1 p46-50
  • Varga Vera: Báthory Júlia, Új Művészet, 1991/12 p26-30
  • Vávra, J.R.: Das Glas und die Jahrtausende, Artia, 1954, Prága
  • Wettergen, Erik: The Modern Decorative Arts of Sweden, Malmö Museum – American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1926, Malmö - New York
  • Woodham, Johnathan M.: Twentieth Century Design, Oxford History of Art, Oxford University Press, 1997, Oxford


  • Szilágyi B. András: Báthory Júlia, Báthory Júlia Üveggyűjtemény, 2000, ISBN 963-00-9166-6
  • Varga Vera: Báthory Júlia - Párizs Budapest, Iparművészeti Múzeum, 1992, ISBN 963-7098-38-0

External links

  • Her short biography in Hungarian
  • The summary of her biography by Vera Varga in Hungarian
  • An article about her and others in English
  • Her Museum's address and contacts

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