Boleslovas Mykolas Ruseckas
This year we commemorate the 190th birth anniversary of the painter and collector Boleslovas Ruseckas. B. Ruseckas was born on 23rd November 1824 in Rome. His parents were the Vilnius School of Art painter Kanutas Ruseckas and Antanina Červinskytė. In 1831 Ruseckai together with their son came back to Vilnius. The first art lessons Boleslovas received from his father at home, subsequently in the Vilnius Institute of Nobility. During the period of 1843-1850 he studied in the Petersburg Academy of Arts where Ruseckas’ teachers were Karl Bryullov and Fiodor Bruni. Ruseckas collaborated in publication ‘Rocznik Literacki’ during the studies. In 1850 he was awarded by the nomination of free artist for a portrait he painted. In 1851 Ruseckas was willing to continue studies abroad, however Tsarist government forbade this desire. In 1853 Ruseckas sought for academic title and painted allegorical painting ‘Neman and Neris’. In 1857 artist travelled around the Europe, visited Warsaw, Krakow, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Paris, the period of 1858-1861 he spent in Rome.
When artist came back to Vilnius he lived in the Šv. Jono (St. John) Street, had a workshop in the Pilies (Castle) Street, a manor house in Vilnius suburbs. Ruseckas painted religious compositions, oil and watercolour portraits, drew portraits of renowned persons for lithography, architectural monuments of Vilnius and its surroundings. The artist was a collector of archaeological antiques and art works. He accumulated the Vilnius Art School painters (Pranciškus Smuglevičius, Vincentas Dmachauskas etc.) art works. Ruseckas assembled data for art history researches. He was a member of the Society of Friends of Science of Vilnius, the Museum of Art and Science, the Society of History and Antiques Admirers of Krakow. Ruseckas took care of cultural monuments, funded art and science institutions and patronized indigent art students. Artist died on 31st January 1913 in Vilnius, buried in Vilnius Bernardine Cemetery. Collection of art and archaeology bequeathed to the Society of Friends of Science of Vilnius. The most of the art work bequeathed to the Society of Friends of Science of Vilnius is now stored in the Lithuanian Art Museum.