Artistic episode in Tadeusz Kościuszko’s life
T. Kościuszko, Ruins of ancient Rome, drawing made of
Could Tadeusz Kościuszko, the famous leader of the Uprising in 1794, have been a painter?
In the National Museum in Kraków, there are nudes made with a red-brown chalk (so-called sanguine) and watercolour panoramas of Rome painted by Kościuszko. The future general of the Polish and American armies painted them during his stay in France, which lasted for more than four years (the views of Rome were probably painted by him on the basis of works seen in Parisian museums). He went to France thanks to a royal scholarship, which he owed to the intercession of Prince Adam Czartoryski, his teacher in the famous Corps of Cadets (School of Knights); he attended the school in the years 1765–1769.
As a prominent student, he continued military education in France. He was trained in the field of military architecture, the usage of artillery and tactics. He broadened his knowledge of building fortifications and soon became famous in his field: during the American struggle for independence. He was always interested in military engineering, planning and deployment of defensive and artillery positions; that is why he attended lectures given by famous French engineers and architects. He also enrolled as a student at the Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris. Did he treat his studies at the Academy as a complement to his military education and preparation for sketching strategic battle plans, or did he discover a different calling than the military in the artistic atmosphere of Paris?
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