Axentowicz began his career as a photographer, he also painted many realistic genre scenes in the Polish countryside, in a style that was strongly influenced by impressionism, symbolism and Art Nouveau style.
A novel about a wise girl
Why does the soul go dark? Why fate?
Never together! And the time is empty.
Is there anybody else besides myself,
What is the sadness that I’m going to deny?
Date: before 1938
May 13, 1859 – Aug 26, 1938
Teodor Axentowicz was a Polish-Armenian painter and university professor. He was a portraist,also dealt with illustrative graphics and poster design while worked as an illustrator in magazines and made copies of paintings by former masters, among others. Axentowicz was famous for his portraits and subtle scenes of Hutsul life, set in the Carpathians. He was also the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
Between 1879 and 1882 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. From there he moved to Paris, where he was a student of Carolus-Duran and continued his education until 1895. During that time he started a long-time cooperation with various journals and started his career as a copyist, duplicating the works of Tizian and Botticelli for Le Monde illustré. He also made numerous travels to London and Rome, where he prepared a set of portraits, one of the first in his career.
In the years 1890-1899 he made many trips to London and Rome, where he painted portraits of women and the Polish aristocracy. In 1894 he started collaboration with Wojciech Kossak and Jan Styka during the preparation of the Racławice Panorama, one of the largest panoramic paintings in the history of Polish art. The following year he moved to Kraków, where he became a professor at the local Academy of Fine Arts. He was also active in the local society and cooperated with various societies devoted to propagation of arts and crafts. In 1897 he founded an artistic conservatory for women and soon afterwards became one of the founders of the Sztuka society.
In 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Axentowicz received a Special Commemorative Award in recognition of distinguished service in connection with various national sections of the Department of Art. In 1910 he became the rector of the Academy and since 1928 was also an honorary member of the Zachęta Society. While in Paris, he received the prestigious title of Officier d’Académie Ordre des Palmes Académiques and Member of Académie des Beaux-Arts.
He was awarded many gold metals at both national and international exhibitions. Throughout his life he had numerous exhibitions, both in Poland and abroad. In addition to Society of Polish Artists “Sztuka”, he was also a member of Hagenbund and a founding member of the Vienna Secession.