Entrance to the Mosque

Jan Ciaglinski

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Basic information
Jan Ciaglinski
Entrance to the Mosque
Date of creation
oil painting
canvas on cardboard oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
31.8 x 23.2
Information about author
Jan Ciaglinski
Artist's lifetime
Jan Ciaglinski was a Polish painter who lived and worked in Russia. His works are considered the first examples of Russian Impressionism. The artist was born on February 8, 1858, in Warsaw. After graduating from the Third Men's Gymnasium in Warsaw in 1876, he entered the University of Warsaw at the Faculty of Medicine. He was also taking drawing lessons with Wojciech Gerson. Between 1877 and 1878, Jan Ciaglinski attended the Art Class in Warsaw. In the second year of study, he transferred to the Natural Sciences Department. In January 1879, the artist went to St. Petersburg, where he was a non-degree student from February; after passing the exam in life drawing in summer of the same year, under the guidance of Pavel Chystiakov, he began regular studies at the Higher Art School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. In 1881, he began his teaching career, initially lecturing at the Art School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St. Petersburg, and from 1902, as a professor at the Higher Art School at the Academy of Fine Arts. The artist founded a private school. The impressionist Jan Ciaglinski taught "Three Zosia'', the young Polish aristocrats, namely Zofia Nalepinska, Zofia Segno, and Zofia Baudouin de Courtenay who all three fell in love with Mykhailo Boichuk; later they became Boichukists. In the autumn of 1906, Jan Ciaglinski was named an Academician for his creative and pedagogical work; in 1911, he became a full member of the Academy of Arts. Until 1893, the artist showed his art works in St. Petersburg at the annual academic exhibitions, however, when in 1894 he and other artists were rejected, they organized their own exhibition "Refuses". In the same year, he went for a short period to Paris where he studied with Benjamin Constant. From 1899, he took part in the exhibitions of the Independents, and from 1900 – in the exhibitions of the society "World of Art '' organized with his participation. In addition to the above-mentioned exhibitions, Ciaglinski repeatedly had exhibitions in Warsaw, Lviv (1894), Krakow (1900), Berlin (1891), and several times in Paris. The artist died of a serious illness on January 6, 1913, in St. Petersburg. According to the will of the deceased, all his creative heritage had to be divided between Polish museums in Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, Lviv, and Vilnius. However, the Heritage Distribution Commission decided to transfer the works to other museums as well, including the Lviv National Art Gallery. The entire collection of works by Jan Ciaglinski, which is housed at Borys Voznytskyi Lviv National Art Gallery, includes 137 works.
Object description
Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima is the northernmost region of Morocco. Tangier is an important port city on the shores of the Strait of Gibraltar. From ancient times, it played an essential role on the way from Africa to Europe and enchanted many travelers. Jan Ciaglinski brought the work from his trip to Morocco in 1908. As was common in the early twentieth century, the artist sought inspiration in traveling to exotic countries. Since Jan Ciaglinski lived mainly in St. Petersburg, a city characterized by a monochromatic landscape and little light, it becomes obvious why the artist travelled to sunny climes. Ciaglinski explored many areas. He traveled across Italy and the Caucasus, visited Constantinople, Spain, Morocco, Palestine, Egypt, and Greece. His most important travels included trips to India in 1907, Spain in 1908, the Sahara in 1909, Tunisia in 1911, and Turkmenistan in 1912. While traveling, the artist painted hundreds of works, about which he wrote in his memoirs: "… rich, in terms of colorful material", "I bathed in paints", and "I was looking for shades". An artist with an academic education, endowed by nature with an extraordinary sense of color, aimed to search for the play of colors, was interested in issues of color and light, and their perception at night. He painted quickly with bold and confident strokes, conveying to the viewer, on the one hand, the melancholy mood of the gloomy landscape, and on the other hand, the explosive colors of exotic landscapes from distant lands. The artist's later works are distinguished by a free, bold, and energetic style of painting with a clear, formative stroke, with a neutral, careless, chaotic, and as if hastily drawn background. The color palette is restrained, yet at the same time, it is strong and impressive. "This concept of mine – rendering nature by means of spots – may become clear only in fifty years," predicted the master.