Henryk Hector Siemiradzki Poland
10-24-1843 Novobelgorod, RUS - 8-23-1902 Strzalkowo, POLBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Henryk Hektor Siemiradzki paintings depict scenes from antiquity, often the sunlit pastoral scenes or compositions presenting the lives of early Christians. He also painted biblical and historical scenes, landscapes, and portraits.
Henryk Hektor Siemiradzki was born to a Polish noble szlachta family of a military physician, Hipolit Siemiradzki, and Michalina in the village of Bilhorod or Novobelgorod near the city of Kharkov in the Russian Empire. Henryk Siemiradzki studied at Kharkov Gymnasium where he first learned painting under the local school teacher, D.I. Besperchy, former student of Karl Briullov. He entered the Physics-Mathematics School of Kharkov University and studied natural sciences there with great interest, but also continued to paint.
After graduating from the University with the degree of Kandidat Henryk Hektor Siemiradzki abandoned his scientific career and moved to Saint Petersburg to study painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in the years 1864–1870. Upon his graduation he was awarded a gold medal. In 1870–1871 he studied under Karl von Piloty in Munich on a grant from the Academy. In 1872 he moved to Rome and with time, built a studio there on Via Gaeta, while spending summers at his estate in Strzalkowo near Czestochowa in Poland.
In 1873 he received the title of Academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts for his painting Christ and a Sinner, based on a verse from Tolstoy. In 1878 he received the French National Order of the Legion of Honour and a Gold Medal of the Paris World's fair for the painting Flower vase. In 1879 he offered one of his best-known works, the enormous Pochodnie Nerona (Nero's torches), painted around 1876, to the newly formed Polish National Museum. The artwork is on display at the Siemiradzki Room of the Sukiennice Museum in the Kraków Old Town, the most popular branch of the museum today. Around 1893 Siemiradzki worked on two large paintings for the State Historical Museum (Moscow).
Art Movement: Academic Art
Influences: D.I. Besperchy, Karl von Piloty
Traveled: Italy, Poland, France, Germany