(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).