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Boleslaw Cybis

The Artist  

Early Life
It was in central Europe that Boleslaw Cybis, founder of the Cybis Studio, spent most of his youth. Born on July 23, 1895 in Wilno, Lithuania, Cybis received various athletic awards for gymnastic excellence during his school days in Warsaw. In 1915, he attended St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts while his father, a noted architect and engineer, said to have designed Peterhoff, the summer palace of the mother of Czarina Maria Fiodorowna, was designing and building in Russia.

 In 1921, the White Russian cause collapsed and Cybis took refuge in Constantinople where he lived an worked with artists, Constantin Alajalov and Pavel Tchelitchev. Here he eked out a living of bread, olives and goat's milk in exchange for sketching portraits in cafes, painting sidewalk advertisements for theatres; painting murals in nightclubs and cafes; painting and designing stage backdrops for the ballet; fashioning clay pipes in ornate designs from native clays. One of his first "paid jobs" was a gigantic billboard advertising Nestle's chocolate. In 1923 he saved enough money for transportation to go back home to Warsaw, and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. Upon graduation, Cybis was appointed a professor at the Academy and traveled extensively throughout Europe recording his experiences in his art while studying the old masters and emulating their techniques. 

In 1926 he married Marja Tym, a talented fellow artist and student at the Academy.

 


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