Ignacy Jan Paderewski


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painter (artist): Burne-Jones, Edward
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Edward Burne-Jones studied at the Birmingham School of Art and Exeter College Oxford. At Oxford he became a friend of William Morris, and later Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He is best-known for his designs for stained glass windows and for his paintings depicting figures from classical or Arthurian mythology. In 1890 he was walking in St John’s Wood when he saw “an Archangel with a splendid halo of golden hair, treading the London pavements”. He went straight back to his studio to draw this young man from memory, unaware that it was Paderewski. By strange coincidence they were introduced just a few days later, when Burne-Jones is said to have greeted the pianist with the words “My Archangel!”.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a pianist, composer and Polish statesman. He was born to Polish parents in 1860 in Kurylowka, Podolia, then part of Russia. He first came to international prominence as a pianist and used his fame to advance the cause of Polish independence with European and American political elites. During World War I he was increasingly active politically through his work with the Polish National Committee in Paris. This work was acknowledged in 1918 when he was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the newly independent Poland. It was in these roles that he represented his country at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. After 1920 he resigned from these posts and settled near Lausanne. He continued to perform right up to the outbreak of World War II, news of which reached him while he was in America. He died in New York in 1941.

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