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Feliks Szynalewski was born in Kraków on 11 May 1825. During the period 1835–1837 he completed two classes of primary school for boys. Between 1837–1841 he attended three classes at St. Anna Middle School, and then he began to study at the Kraków School of Drawing and Painting. He was taught to draw by Jan Nepomucen Głowacki and Jan Nepomucen Bizański, to paint by Wojciech Korneli Stattler, and sculpture by Karol Ceptowski. During his studies, Szynalewski earned his wages by making lithographies.

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Feliks Szynalewski was born in Kraków on 11 May 1825. During the period 1835–1837 he completed two classes of primary school for boys. Between 1837–1841 he attended three classes at St. Anna Middle School, and then he began to study at the Kraków School of Drawing and Painting. He was taught to draw by Jan Nepomucen Głowacki and Jan Nepomucen Bizański, to paint by Wojciech Korneli Stattler, and sculpture by Karol Ceptowski. During his studies, Szynalewski earned his wages by making lithographies. He ended his education in 1843. A year later he left for Warsaw, where he started working in the lithography workshop of Franciszek Szuster. In 1845 he returned to Kraków and resumed his education at the School of Drawing and Painting. In 1850 he graduated from Kraków University. Owing to a government scholarship, he attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1852–1854, where he studied under the direction of Joseph von Fürich and Karl von Blaas. Szynalewski also visited Dresden and Munich, where he met Wilhelm von Kaulbach.
The presented drawing was made on 12 March 1852 in Vienna, as evidenced by the signature therein: “Vienna 12/3 [1] 852 Szynalewski”. It is not known how the study of two male nude figures by Szynalewski appeared in the collections of the Academy. One can guess that it was donated by the author himself. The drawing shows that the technique had been perfectly mastered by the 27-year-old artist.
Above all, Szynalewski devoted himself to religious paintings. His work was clearly influenced by his stay in Vienna and studies with Joseph von Fürich, a Nazarene artist.
In 1857, Feliks Szynalewski became Władysław Łuszczkiewicz’s assistant at the painting department of the Kraków School of Drawing and Painting. Initially, he taught drawing from casts of antique sculptures and perspective drawing. From 1865, he also lectured in sculpture. After the transformation of the university into the School of Fine Arts in 1873, he remained in his previous position. During this period, he also ran a preparatory course for teachers intended to educate the lower classes. At the end of his life, the painter gave up artistic creativity and devoted himself exclusively to teaching work. His students at the School of Fine arts were Jan Matejko, Wojciech Kossak, Aleksander Gryglewski, Aleksander Kotsis, Jacek Malczewski, Stanisław Lentz, Kazimierz Pochwalski and Ludwik Stasiak. In 1890, after thirty-three years of work, Feliks Szynalewski left the School of Fine Arts. He died in poverty in 1892.
The presented portrait shows an anonymous man wearing the Austro-Hungarian army uniform.

Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“Austrian Soldier” by Feliks Szynalewski

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