Stanisław Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz

The painter Stanisław Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz (1869–1927) grew up in Vilnius, studied at St Petersburg Academy of Art, and perfected his skills at the Académie Julian in Paris, and in the Munich studio of the Polish painter Józef Brandt. He took part in exhibitions in Munich, Warsaw and Berlin, and his pictures were sold by the famous dealer Goupil. Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz painted portraits for the aristocracy, and between 1900 and 1907 he travelled around estates in Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine and painted portraits for their owners. He made witty pen and ink drawings of scenes of everyday life in provincial towns, including horses and marketplaces. He lived in Vilnius between 1907 and 1920, and loved the city. He was saddened by the disappearing heritage and the invasion by the new mercantile taste. His skilful watercolour shows St Catherine’s Church, a jewel of Late Baroque, viewed from the Benedictine convent. This sensitive drawing in the Art Nouveau style renders the gracefulness of the towers and their intoxicating height, while the light and the gentle colouring give it a charming summer feeling.

Art album "Vilnius. Topophilia" (Volume I). Compiled by L. Laučkaitė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2014, P. 210.

Born on 26 November 1869 in the Nemenčinėlė folwark at Verkiai near Vilnius, died on 24 May 1927 in Warsaw. He studied drawing privately under Medard Rudnicki, and after 1881 – at the Vilnius Drawing School. From 1888 to 1894, he studied painting at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, in 1894–1895, improved his professional skills at the Académie Julian in Paris, later studied under Józef Brandt in Munich, and was a member of the Kunstverein society in Munich in 1895–1896. In 1898–1899, he lived in Paris and sold his works for the Goupil art trade company. From 1900, with intervals, he lived in Vilnius, was one of the organizers and directors of Ach Cabaret and a member of the Vilnius Art Society. In 1919, he led the evening studio of nude painting at Stephen Báthory University, and in 1920, moved to Poznań. Bohusz- Siestrzeńcewicz wrote articles about art. He painted genre compositions and landscapes, which were distinguished by features of painterly realism, symbolism and art nouveau. He also created representational portraits of aristocrats, and worked in the field of graphic art: printed his drawings and caricatures in the periodical press, created illustrations, made artistic design for carnival parties, fairs, productions of Ach Cabaret and its publications. In particular, the artist became famous for his pen drawings in Indian ink, representing genre scenes from the life of small towns and markets, and dynamic compositions with horses.

Reference: Académie de Vilna. VILNIUS DRAWING SCHOOL 1866–1915. Exhibition Catalogue. Compiled by dr. J. Širkaitė, Vilnius 2017, P. 102.