Stanisaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (VIHT-kah-vihts) was a talented and important writer and dramatist who also left his mark in painting, dramatic and aesthetic theory, and philosophy. He was born on February 24, 1885, in Warsaw, as the only child of the noted painter and art critic Stanisaw Witkiewicz. Taking his son’s education under his own aegis, Stanisaw Witkiewicz secured the best private instructors for his child and supervised his schooling at home. The future artist passed his maturity exam in 1901. Upon completion of his secondary studies, Witkiewicz set off for Germany and Italy for practical experience in painting. He also painted in Cracow and Zakopane. Accepted into the prestigious Cracovian Akademia Sztuk Piknych (Academy of Fine Arts), he attended lectures there only for a short while, against his father’s wishes. Witkiewicz soon began to write creatively. The years from 1910 to 1911 saw the composition of his first mature literary work, the novel 622 upadki Bunga (the 622 downfalls of Bunga), which, however, was not published until after the author’s death.aw Ignacy[Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy]}aw Ignacy[Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy]}aw Ignacy[Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy]}
Somehow tangled up in the unusual circumstances of his fiancé’s suicide, in 1914 Witkiewicz left Poland for Australia in the company of his friend, sociologist Bronisaw Malinowski. The outbreak of World War I, however, in this same year prompted the young artist to enlist in the Russian army, in search of the novelty of wartime experiences and military life. According to many, he served with bravery. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 exerted a great influence on Witkiewicz. Those close to the artist report that the dramatist and painter often referred to his fear of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union and considered Soviet iconoclasm a grave threat to European culture.
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