The Munich art schools

In the 1880s, the inert and outdated level of academic education in the pre-reform Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg did not satisfy young artists from Belarus. Instead, they were more and more attracted by art schools in Europe. Munich with its Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the network of private schools was one of the destinations.

One of the best known alumni of the Royal Academy was Alfred Romer, who had family roots in Belarus. In 1880, the 18-year-old Israel Krupienie, the son of Slonim rabbi entered the Royal Academy of Arts. Abram Manevich, a native of Msсislaŭe, studied at the Academy of Arts, where the exquisite and a bit broken style a famous Modern and Symbolism artist Franz von Schtuk influenced Manevich’s world-view.

Some artists from Belarus preferred private schools. Z. Lenski was attracted by the schools of Polish military painter J. Brandt, an iconic person in the Polish colony, who glorified the life of the Polish gentry. Robert Genin, a native of Vysokae village of Klimavičy district, studied at the school of Slovenian Anton Ažbe, who laid great store in studying human anatomy.

In the 1910s, Munich with its schools was only a prelude to what happened later in Paris, a necessary stage of escape from academism, learning new themes and motives, of a new understanding of creating shape in drawing and painting. Many native Belarusian artists like Lenski, Genin left Munich for the Paris Academies where the spirit of impressionists-innovators soared. There they continued their education and formation as painting masters.