Victor Ambrus pictured during his visit to Athlone Castle for the official opening of its new visitor centre in 2013.

Illustrator 'who brought Athlone Castle's story to life' dies aged 85

Victor Ambrus, a renowned illustrator who worked on the Channel 4 series 'Time Team', and whose historical paintings of Athlone are on display in the town's Castle, has died at the age of 85.

Mr Ambrus worked on a series of illustrations for Athlone Castle, which captured its past and the Siege of Athlone, and he was there in February 2013 on the day when the new-look visitor centre was officially opened by then-Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring.

Athlone Arts and Tourism, which operates the Castle and Luan Gallery, this week issued a statement expressing its sadness at the passing of the Hungarian-born British illustrator of history, folk tales, and children's books.

"For us, he was the artist whose wonderful illustrations bring the history and story of Athlone Castle and the Siege of Athlone to life. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. May he rest in peace," it said.

An artist's impression of Athlone Castle during Middle Ages by Victor Ambrus.

'Time Team' was a popular archaeology series which aired on Channel 4 between 1994 and 2014. Working for the show, Mr Ambrus created illustrations to show how sites under excavation might once have looked.

His death, on February 10 last, was announced on social media by 'Time Team', which described him as "an exceptional and unique artist and a wonderful human being" whose work "brought the past to life."

In another tribute, Mall Galleries, the home of the Federation of British Artists, said he would be greatly missed.

"Victor passed away peacefully in his sleep and was still drawing and painting almost every day until he was admitted to hospital," it stated.

In addition to his work for television, Mr Ambrus contributed illustrations for almost 300 books, including a number of collections of children's fairy tales.