Return to homeland

Two works by Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Stanislav Zhukovsky return to Belarus

Two works by national pictorial school’s classical painters — Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Stanislav Zhukovsky — return to land of their authors
Two works by national pictorial school’s classical painters — Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Stanislav Zhukovsky — return to land of their authors.

Stanislav Zhukovsky’s Thaw: Svisloch Pushcha

Belgazprombank bought both landscapes from a private collector, in its efforts to support the Art-Belarus project: aiming to return works by internationally-known artists born in Belarus to their homeland. The project has brought pictures home by such Parisian school painters as Marc Chagall and Chaïm Soutine, after a century of absence. The collection has also been enriched by Simeon Polotsky’s Rod of Power (published in 1667), 19th century romantic painter Walenty Wankowicz’s Portrait of Tomasz Zan (the first of his works to come to Belarus), and Leon Bakst’s Firebird, among other acquisitions.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc’s Cowshed and Shelter for Straw

Until recently, Belarus had only one picture by Ferdynand Ruszczyc, held by the National Art Museum. Now, we have another: his Cowshed and Shelter for Straw (1899) set in the village of Bogdanovo, in the Volozhin District. His house still stands there, where his best paintings were drawn and he was buried.

In contrast, the National Art Museum has around 40 works by Stanislav Zhukovsky, but no Belarusian landscape was among them, although the artist (born in the Volkovysk District) visited open-air workshops in the Grodno Region every year. Now, Belarus is proud to exhibit his Thaw: Svisloch Pushcha (1935) — devoted to the beauty of the Svisloch Pushcha, in the north of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Meanwhile, the museums of Poland — where the artist spent his last twenty years — have few of his works.

MT’s reference:

Stanislav Zhukovsky graduated from the Moscow College of Art, Sculpture and Architecture, trained by Levitan. In 1899, the Tretyakov Gallery bought his Moon Night. Until the early 20th century, Zhukovsky was among the most famous impressionists in Russia, and established a private school in Moscow, where he lectured until 1917. In 1923, he returned to Belarus and then moved to Poland. Sadly, during WWII, he died in a concentration camp, in 1944, having been arrested by the fascists.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc studied painting under the guidance of Shishkin and Kuindzhi, at St. Petersburg’s Emperor Academy of Arts. He lectured at Krakow’s College of Pictorial Art and Music and was a Professor at the Krakow Arts Academy. From 1918-1919, he headed the Art Department at Vilno’s Stephen Bathory University and became its first Dean. He was awarded the Order of French Legion D’Honneur’s.

By Alexander Pimenov
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