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Alexander Orlowski

1777 Warsaw – 1832 St. Petersburg

The painter and printmaker Alexander Orlowski studied in Warsaw under Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine and enjoyed the patronage of Prince Joseph Poniatowski. After the partition of Poland the young artist sought his fortune in the land of his country’s former arch-enemy, settling in St. Petersburg in 1801. In order to continue his education as an artist he undertook study trips to France, Germany and Italy. In his new home of St. Petersburg, Orlowski, whose name is now largely forgotten, became a much sought-after painter of historical subjects, animal studies and scenes of Russian daily life, which he depicted in evocative, atmospheric genre scenes. In addition, he was the first lithographer to work in Russia and was undoubtedly inspired in his efforts by French models. In 1812 the artist was appointed painter to the Imperial Court.