Ferdynand Ruszczyc: Pedagogue and Landscape Painter of the Vilnius Region

Aleksandra Giełdoń-Paszek (PDF)

The following phases are distinguished in the landscape painting by Ruszczyc: artist studies at the St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts from 1892 to 1897, intensive independent development in Bohdanow (1897–1904), teaching in Warsaw (1904–1907) and Krakow (1907–1908), and the creation of the concept of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Vilnius University in 1919. He considered St Petersburg and Russian artists as his career background. Symbolism and realism were the starting point of the artist’s independent career. In Bohdanow, Ruszczyc gradually escaped the influence of his studies in St Petersburg. The first encounter of Ruszczyc with the artistic environment of ‘Sztuka’ from Krakow occurred in 1900. His work after 1900 was characterised by an intensification of the symbolic character, manifested in the deformation of landscape elements. From 1904, he was a professor of painting at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Disappointed with the school programme and the atmosphere in Warsaw, Ruszczyc decided to take up a position as head of the Landscape Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in 1907. However, the feuding caused by the unfavourable reviews of ‘Sztuka’ members led to honour cases between the professors. The artist decided to leave the school in 1908 rather than work in an environment of mutual hostility. Only the period in Vilnius after the restoration of the university in 1919 caused satisfaction. The Faculty of Fine Arts concept, which Ruszczyc developed at Vilnius University, was undoubtedly based on the experience in St Petersburg, Warsaw and Krakow.

Keywords: St Petersburg, Bohdanow, Warszawa, Cracow, ‘Sztuka’, Vilnius University