Biography: Hungarian painter and printmaker. He was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in the autumn of 1913. His first master was Károly Ferenczy, who in the summer of 1914 took his students – among them István Szőnyi- to the Artists’ Colony of Nagybánya. As a soldier on leave, Szőnyi also spent the summers of 1917 and 1918 there. Szőnyi became one of the most gifted members of the Nagybánya group.
After being discharged in 1918, he returned to the Academy, this time as István Réti’s pupil. In 1921, Szőnyi had his first one-man show at Ernst Museum. During trips to Europe (Vienna and Berlin) he became acquainted with the great classical masters.
As a significant member of the “etching generation”, he contributed to the development of Hungarian graphic art at the beginning of the 1920s.Szőnyi was appointed to a professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1937. He taught for more than two decades. Though he was the leading professor of the mural department he got but a few monumental commissions.
During his last years he was often ill. He spent almost all his time in Zebegény. The Szonyi Istvan Memorial Museum in Zebegeny, Bartoky was established in 1967.