The quiet artist we are all familiar with has quite a vivid past: in 1956, Victor took part in the Hungarian Uprising. When a building that he and his fellow students held came under fire from the Soviets, he escaped and he eventually left his native Hungary. On his arrival in London, he began to study at the Royal College of Art.
At the age of 20, while still at the RCA, he began his career as a book illustrator. His first experience as a historical illustrator came with an assignment to illustrate a large book on the history of Britain for Reader's Digest. Since then, in the pictures he has contributed to almost 300 books, he has covered everything from the Stone Age to the early Middle Ages, with the occasional foray into the 17th and 18th centuries. He has also designed six sets of historical stamps for the Jersey Post Office and one for the Royal Mail.
Among his recent work are illustrated editions of The Iliad and Moby Dick. He has also been working with Professor Martin Carver on a book – to be published by British Museum Publications – on the Anglo-Saxon ship burials at Sutton Hoo, including negative images of acid-eaten figures (some of which are, according to Victor, quite horrific). He is now involved in the illustrations for a book on the King Arthur legend.
He has won the World Wildlife Award and has been twice awarded the Kate Greenaway gold medal for the best illustrated children's book of the year. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Engravers and the Royal Society of Arts and is an Associate of the Royal College of Art, where he got his degree. As a side activity, he creates large figurative drawings from life, and in 1996 he won the Drawing Prize at the Royal Academy's Summer Show.
His ideal subject for illustration would be Grimes Grave in Thetford, where he could depict a Stone-Age community as well as prehistoric animals. He enjoys portraying the things that people know least about, as well as (pre)historical situations with human involvement