Ladislav Záborský: Imprisoned for His Catholic Art

foto1Living Catholic artist, Ladislav Záborský was sentenced in Slovakia for treason to seven years imprisonment in 1954 but was released on Christmas Eve 1957. His crime? He painted Christ as a worker in 1949.  His other religious art was labelled corrupt.ladislav_zaborsky_1


obraz_zab-svetlo_z_hora-250x250While imprisoned, Ladislav felt as if his hands were nailed to the cross because he could not paint but only seek God in the depths of his soul.  He felt as if he was crucified because he could not walk where he wanted to. In poems written after his release, Ladislav expressed the deep spiritual transformation which occurred during his imprisonment. The result of his inner crucifixion meant he no longer fulfilled his own desires but only saught God and His desires.


1395_zaborsky_najvacsi_milosrdny_samaritan_1976_olej_240x300The following poems are found in The Walls Behind the Curtain: East European Prison Literature, 1945-1990. edited by Harold B. Segel, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012

Thus I was likened0090a_ukrizovany

to Your Son

so in me might be born

a new person

who will not fufill his own desires

bur who seeks Your desires.

Hence I am suspended on this cross

bur salvation quickly approaches me.




I even have a radio in this empty cell of mine,

when the voice of God reads in my soul and awakens feelings with open arms

because heaven broadcasts continuously throughout the entire world

you merely have to listen and know how to understand.



Each painting is an attempt to discover God, eternity because Ladislav Záborský is a painter of spiritual light.

“The substance of my work is the experience of God transferred into my heart (…) Art that seeks truth and beauty is the anticipation of eternity.”




32 thoughts on “Ladislav Záborský: Imprisoned for His Catholic Art

  1. My response to a repost: Yes, you are here for a reason, but it’s not what you think: Why am I here? | Church Set Free

    Once Watchman Nee ( A pastor in China, and prolific writer) found a famous missionary, hidden in a backward village. When he lamented that she was wasting her God-given talents, the missionary replied by saying she was where God wanted her and, therefore, the most useful to Him there

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Rebloger and commented:
    “The substance of my work is the experience of God transferred into my heart (…) Art that seeks truth and beauty is the anticipation of eternity.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing. I’ve just done a cursory look at the website you shared. It looks like you might have to be a member to bid on the art? It looks like primarily his landscapes are up for auction. I actually tracked down a company that sold prints of almost all his work… the kicker? They could only sell it in Slovakia because they didn’t accept payment outside of Slovakia – major disappointment!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Melanie, I’m wondering whether you would know how to contact the Zaborsky family. I’m interested in publishing prints in the US.

    Thank you in advance.

    Scott Usher

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would be interested, too. There is a Slovakian company online that produces giclee prints of his work but they only ship within Slovakia. 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Melanie,
    I found your blog and this story about Ladislav Zaborsky when looking for a pic idea for the cover of a book I wrote. I love this artist’s work and testimony. Do you know if it would be a copyright infringement to use one of his works for a book cover? Or could you direct me to where/how I could find out?


    1. Hi Melanie,
      Praise God! I contacted someone in Slovakia and I was given permission to use Ladislav Zaborsky’s painting, “Modlitba-dusa ponorena do Svetla” for my book cover design. The book is titled, “I Thought You Said You Love Me? Who Are You Really Worshipping?” I just see Jesus crying over how so many of His people who say they love Him are being decieved into thinking abortion (child sacrifice) is ok.
      Anyway, I sent some books to Slovakia to be given to Ladislav’s family. Thank you for writing about this man and exposing his gifting for us to see. I love his anointed art.
      I would love to send you a book so you can see the finished product.
      God bless you.
      Lisa Muller Munoz

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We are interested in buying Zaborsky litographies.
    Where could We find them?
    Thanking You in advance


    1. I have been looking for several years, and the only online site I could find is through Slovakia, and they don’t ship internationally. If you or the blogger knows where I can find these prints for sale that would reach the United States, I would be very interested.


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