István Sándorfi, also known as Étienne Sandorfi, was a naturalised French painter of Hungarian origin. He received his formal art education at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris.
He mastered what art critics now term hyperrealism. But he did so with his very own blend of surreal elements. Having been introduced to oil painting at the age of 12, Sandorfi dedicated much of his life to perfecting his painting techniques in order to achieve the photoreal and at the same time pull the carpet away under the viewer by letting part of a person dissappear in thin air.
He worked at night and was reclusive. If he could choose, he saw very few people other than his family. The contact with galleries and collectors was kept to the bare minimum and enough to make ends meet. To begin with he survived on advertising illustrations and portrait commisions.

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