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Janina Zielińska

(b Warsaw, July 1, 1831; d Warsaw, Feb 25, 1901).

Polish painter. He studied (1844–50) at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw under Jan Feliks Piwarski (1794–1859) and Chrystian Breslauer (1802–82), and then at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1853–5) under Alexey Markov (1802–78). During a stay in Paris (1856–7) he trained for three months at Léon Cogniet’s studio, before returning to Warsaw in February 1858. Gerson was among the founders of the Towarzystwo Zachęta Sztuk Pięknych (Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts), the first exhibition-organizing body in Warsaw, which was set up in 1860. He also influenced a generation of artists from his position as Chief Professor to the Drawing Class at the School of Fine Arts. Gerson led the class until 1896, teaching life drawing, which he believed to be the foundation of art, and discouraging copying and imitation. A number of outstanding 19th-century Polish artists, both the more conservative and those of the avant-garde, studied under Gerson....