Tadeusz Kościuszko

born 1746, died 1817

Military general who served in both the Polish and American armies, military engineer and amateur draughtsman. He was raised to the rank of general lieutenant by King Stanisław II Augustus Poniatowski during the Polish national uprising against its occupying powers to the east. He was born in Mereczowszczyzna, near Kosovo (today Belarussian territory) and died in Solura, Switzerland. He exhibited an interest in the arts throughout his life, gladly sketching or making watercolor paintings of his own compositions. He demonstrated a great deal of skill and a marked attention to detail. However, his portraits drawn from life weren’t as well-executed. He began drawing as a student at the Knights Academy in Warsaw (1765-1768). In 1769, he enrolled in the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he remained until 1774. He made a considerable number of drawings following the demise of the uprising in 1794. After he moved to Solura in 1801, he gave drawing lessons to the daughter of his host Piotr Józef Zeltner. He also created objects on a lathe and gave the resulting objects (cups, boxes, tobacco cases) away as gifts.

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