Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski
1849 Suwalki (Polen)
The Polish painter Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski was born in 1849. He grew up in the town of Suwalki in Podlachia in northeast Poland, part of the Russian czardom as of 1815. Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski began his art studies at the Warsaw Art Academy. In 1869 he studied in Dresden for a short time and then transferred to Prague. In 1873 Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski eventually went to Munich, in order to complete his education at the Royal Academy of Arts. He attended the class of the Hungarian painter Alexander von Wagner. First and foremost, however, he studied under the painter Jozef Brandt who had also immigrated from Poland and who had studied at the Munich Academy under Franz Adam and Karl Theodor von Piloty as of 1863. From 1867 on Brandt‘s studio was a meeting place for many Polish art students and as of 1878 he began to teach at the Munich Academy. The circle of Polish artists in Munich formed around the historical painter Jozef Brandt, who was mainly occupied with war scenes and motifs from military life. A lot of Polish painters – just as it is the case with Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski – count among the members of the Munich School. Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski soon became one of the most prominent members of the circle of Polish artists in Munich. In 1890 he was appointed professor at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.
In contrast to the paintings from his teacher Jozef Brandt, Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski was more of a genre painter. In dramatic and very lively scenes the Polish painter predominantly depicted folk life in Poland, often with horse-drawn carriages or swift sleigh rides through snow-covered landscapes. Wolves in a landscape are also recurring motifs. Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski‘s work was met with great approval by collectors and art traders not only for the agile depiction but also for his poised technique and the bright colors.
Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski received numerous awards and honors for his paintings. In 1896 he won the gold medal at the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Berlin. Today his paintings can be found in many museums and collection. Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski died in Munich in 1915.
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