Henryk Siemiradzki

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Siemiradzki, Henryk


(also Genrykh Ippolitovich Semi-Radskii). Born Oct. 10 (22), 1843, in the village of Pechenegi, in present-day Kharkov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; died Aug. 23, 1902, In Strzałkowo, near the city of Częstochowa, Poland. Polish-Russian painter.

Siemiradzki attended the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1864–70); he received a stipend to study at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts (1871) and at the Rome Academy of Fine Arts (1872–77). He lived mainly in Rome but maintained contact with Russia and Poland. He became a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1873 and was made a professor there in 1877.

Depicting primarily ancient Greek and Roman and early Christian scenes, Siemiradzki produced works distinguished by masterful composition and line, a light palette, and meticulous rendering of sunlight. Although his paintings are outwardly imposing works and outstanding examples of academicism, their superficial theatricality and eclecticism drew a harsh response from Russian art critics and artists of the democratic camp, including I. E. Repin and V. V. Stasov. Siemiradzki’s most important paintings include Luminaries of Christianity (1876, National Museum, Kraków), Dance Among Swords (1881, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow), and Phryne at the Feast of Poseidon in Eleusis (1889, Russian Museum, Leningrad).


Lewandowski, S. R. Henryk Siemiradzki. Warsaw, 1911.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Kraszewski, and Romain Rolland; artists such as Ignacy Paderewski and Henryk Siemiradzki; translators such as Bronislaw Kozakiewicz in France and Alfred Jensen in Sweden; scholars such as Jan Aleksander Karlowicz, Bronislaw Morawski, and Karol Potkanski; journalists and publishers such as Adam Krechowiecki of Gazeta Lwowska and Edward Leo of Gazeta Polska; actors and directors such as Jozef Kotarbinski and Jozef Mikulski; politicians such as Gabriel Narutowicz and Eustachy Sanguszko; and friends and doctors (Sienkiewicz often complained about his health).
Apparently it was suggested to him on a visit to Rome, with his painter friend Henryk Siemiradzki, who showed Sienkiewicz a small chapel in the city, where the Latin inscription was written.