Ambroży Mieroszewski

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Ambroży Mieroszewski (1802–1884) was a Polish painter who was Frédéric Chopin's first known portraitist.

Life[edit]

Mieroszewski was active in Warsaw, in the Kingdom of Poland, at least as early as 1829.

Works[edit]

Mieroszewski's works included oil portraits, painted in 1829, of composer Frédéric Chopin (the earliest known portrait of him); his parents — Nicolas Chopin (1771–1844) and Justyna Chopin, née Krzyżanowska (1782–1861); the older sister of Fryderyk (as he then was) Ludwika (1807–1855), and his younger sister Izabela (1811–1881). In that same year, Mieroszewski also painted a portrait of the Fryderyk's first professional piano teacher, Wojciech Żywny.[1]

All six portraits were the property of Laura Ciechomska of Warsaw when they were lost in the opening days of World War II, in September 1939. Only black-and-white photographs of them survive,[1] though attempts have been made to reconstruct the paintings in color—the portrait of Fryderyk (Frédéric), in 1968 by Anna Chamiec; the other Chopin family members, in 1969 by Jan Zamoyski; and Wojciech Żywny, in 1969 by Jadwiga Kunicka-Bogacka.[2]

The set of five 1829 portraits of the surviving members of the Chopin family (the youngest child, Emilia, had died of tuberculosis at age 14 in 1827) were painted about a year before Fryderyk would leave Warsaw and his native land forever in November 1830.

The 19-year-old composer's portrait provides unique iconographic evidence of the state of his health this early into his precocious career; in 1913 Édouard Ganche wrote that the portrait shows "a youth threatened by tuberculosis. His skin is very white, he has a prominent Adam's apple and sunken cheeks, even his ears show a form characteristic of consumptives." His younger sister Emilia had already died of tuberculosis in 1827, and his father would do so in 1844.[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1] Catalog of Polish paintings lost in World War II.
  2. ^ [2] Frederick Chopin Society in Warsaw — Iconography.
  3. ^ Jachimecki, p. 421.

References[edit]

External links[edit]