Who is Franciszek Smuglewicz?

Franciszek Smuglewicz (Lithuanian: Pranciškus Smuglevičius; 6 October 1745 – 18 September 1807) was a Polish-Lithuanian draughtsman and painter. Smuglewicz is considered a progenitor of Lithuanian art in the highly developed era. He was precursor of historicism in Polish painting. He was moreover a founder of Vilnius moot of art, his most prominent students were Jan Rustem, Jan Krzysztof Damel, Gaspar Borowski and Józef Oleszkiewicz. His father Łukasz Smuglewicz and brother Antoni were in addition to painters.

Franciszek Smuglewicz was born in Warsaw as son of Łukasz Smuglewicz, who was as a consequence a painter, and Regina Olesińska. His mother, Regina Olesińska, was the niece of painter Szymon Czechowicz. He made his first steps as a painter in his dad and Czechowicz joint workshop in Warsaw. In 1763 Franciszek journeyed to Rome, where he began the scrutiny of Good arts under the tutorship of Anton von Maron. He stayed in Rome for 21 years, where he embraced the Neo-Classical style.

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In 1765 he usual a royal scholarship from the King of Poland Stanisław August Poniatowski and was admitted into the Saint Lucas Academy. As a associate of Vincenzo Brenna he participated in cataloging artifacts from Nero’s Domus Aurea. In 1784 he returned to Warsaw, where he founded his own university of fine arts, one of the predecessors of the futuristic Academy of Fine Arts.

A classicist, but below strong move of the Polish baroque,[citation needed] Smuglewicz became a notable representative of historical paintings, a genre that dominated the fine arts of Poland throughout the 19th century. Around 1790 he started working on a series of sketches and lithographies inspired by Adam Naruszewicz’s History of the Polish Nation. Although never finished, this series gained him much popularity.

In 1797 he moved to Vilnius, where he became the founder and the first deacon of the Institute of Sketch and Painting at the Academy of Vilnius.

In 1801 he painted allegorical ceiling paintings for Tsar Paul I at his other imperial palace, the Mikhailovsky Castle, in St Petersburg, which was also designed by Brenna.

A teach of generations of Polish-Lithuanian painters, Smuglewicz devoted himself to historical paintings in the latter years of his life. He brought to Lithuania classical ideas and views of futuristic classicism. He painted run of the mill life, and the architecture of Vilnius in a viable manner. His works helped similar to the ongoing reconstruction of the Royal Palace of Lithuania in Vilnius.

Among the notable surviving works of that times are A Meeting of the Four Years’ Sejm (1793) and Kościuszko’s Oath at Kraków’s Old Town Market (1797), Lithuanian Peasants, Freeing Peasants from Serfdom in Merkinė. Among his works of the period are views of the city walls and city gates that were demolished during the 19th century.

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He was buried in Vilnius at Rasos Cemetery (Polish: Cmentarz na Rossie), although the precise location is not known.

Ryszkiewicz, Andrzej (1999–2000). “Franciszek Smuglewicz”. Polski Słownik Biograficzny (in Polish). 39. Warszawa-Kraków: Polska Akademia Nauk. pp. 374–378.

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