Polish-Armenian painter Teodor Axentowicz

For several millennia, our ancestors traversed empires, kingdoms, and nations, leaving an indelible impression on their new lands. One of these “diasporan” hubs is the region we now call Transylvania, where Armenian presence was once so vibrant, an entire city was named Armenopolis (“Armenian city”). 

Last month, we celebrated the legacy of Armenian-Hungarian-French photographer Brassai, who was born in the Transylvanian city of Brasov.

Today, we honor another great artist, whose Armenian ancestry is not often known or discussed: the Polish-Armenian painter and university professor Teodor Axentowicz, who was born in the same city, and died on this day in 1938.

Just as Brassai’s talent earned him the moniker, the “Eye of Paris,” Axentowicz’s stroke captured the environment around him. A prominent artist of the Young Poland modernist period, he later became a founding member of the Vienna Secession art movement.

Renowned for his portraits, Axentowicz’s work earned equal distinction for depicting the everyday lives of the Hutsul people of the Ukrainian Highlands.   

From knighthood by the Austrian Emperor to gold medals at exhibitions, Axentowicz earned many accolades throughout his lifetime. Today, his paintings can be found in galleries and museums across Poland, as well as private collections across the world.

By h-pem

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