Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz

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2016. 2. 5.

Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz (1857 Złotopol 18 April 1893 Warsaw, Poland) was a Polish painter, known for her portraits. She was born Anna Bilińska, the daughter of a Polish doctor in the formerly fronteer town of Złotopol in the Russian Empire (once at the border with Poland, now in Ukraine), where she spent her childhood. She lived with her father in Imperial Russia, where her first art teacher was the exiled Michał Elwiro Andriolli, before studying music and art in Warsaw where she became a student of Wojciech Gerson in 1877. During this time, she began to exhibit her work at the Zachęta Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts (Polish Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych) in Warsaw.


In early 1882 she accompanied her chronically ill friend Klementyna Krassowska on a journey to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and northern Italy, before travelling to and settling in Paris where she studied along with Marie Bashkirtseff at the Académie Julian, and where later she also taught. She lived in France until 1892, where she married a medical doctor named Antoni Bohdanowicz and took his name (Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowiczowa). They returned to Warsaw after their marriage, where she intended to open a Parisian-style art school for women, but fell ill with a heart condition and died a year later at age 36.


Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowiczowa is best known for her portraits, painted with great intuition. Her Self-Portrait with Apron and Brushes,(1887), which innovated a new self-portrait pose by placing the artist in front of a model's backdrop, thus stating that she is her own model. She also painted still lifes, genre scenes and landscapes, and was a representative of realism. Her paintings can be found in the National Museum Warsaw and National Museum Kraków.