Walenty Wańkowicz

Walenty Wilhelm Wańkowicz ( Belarusian: Валянцін Ваньковіч, born February 14, 1799 in Kalużyce in Minsk, † May 12, 1842 in Paris) was a from the Minsk province derived, Belarusian painter. He was a representative of classicism and romanticism as well as a supporter of the embossed from the Vilnius University Vilnius Art School.


Wańkowicz was born on the family estate in the former Russian Minsk province. His father was Melchior Wańkowicz, an agent working in Minsk judge. From 1811 the son attended, run by Jesuit Academy in Polotsk, where he was trained in civil and military architecture and drawing. His teacher was Jakub Pesling; Wańkowicz graduated here in 1817 with honors. In 1818 he enrolled at the University of Vilnius and studied here led by Jan Rustem and Jan Damel.

St. Petersburg

From 1925 to 1929 he was then at the Russian Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg in Aleksiej Yegorov and Vasily Szebujew. In Petersburg he made ​​many friends with famous personalities among those living here Poland. One of these friends was the young but already famous poet Adam Mickiewicz, he portrayed the turn of the year 1827/1828 ( " Portrait of Adam Mickiewicz on the Ajudah - rock "). Around this time also emerged Portraits of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, the pianist Maria Szymanowska as well as by the poet and satirist Antoni Gorecki ( an uncle of the artist).


In the following years Wańkowicz lived in the nearby near Minsk Ślepianka Mała and in Minsk itself, where he chatted with Jan Damel a studio; from here he frequently traveled to Vilnius, whose Malszene exerted a great influence on the painters in Minsk. It created portraits of Towiańskis, the spouses Gutta and 1834, the allegorical portrait of Napoleon " Napoleon before the fire " (Polish: Napoleon przy ognisku ). In recognition of his artistic achievements of the Senate appointed him in 1832 as a member of the Academy. The end of 1839 he took a trip to a foreign country. In 1840 he lived for a time in Dresden, followed by short stays in Berlin, Munich and Strasbourg.


In 1841 he reached Paris, where he remained until his death. He renewed contact with at the Collège de France teaching Mickiewicz, who influenced him greatly. The philosopher and founder of champagne Andrzej Towiański affected him.

Wańkowicz was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre. The Wańkowicz villa, former residence of the family in Minsk, is now a museum that is dedicated to the painter.


Wańkowicz painted mainly portraits (including miniatures), religious and historical pictures; latter with designs from the Napoleonic period. Classic elements with strong romantic tendencies for subjects such as the Scenic marks many of his works. The often imitated Mickiwicz painting was his outstanding performance and is attributable in its style of romantic Vilna Art School.