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Birthplace of Napoleon Orda

Birthplace of Napoleon Orda


 - . Napoleon Orda <br> (1807-1883)

Napoleon Orda
(1807-1883)

 - . Napoleon Orda. Photo 1880

Napoleon Orda. Photo 1880

 - . Monument to Napoleon Orda in Janava (Ivanava, Belarus). Author - I.Hołubieŭ

Monument to Napoleon Orda in Janava (Ivanava, Belarus). Author - I.Hołubieŭ

 - . Vilnia (Vilnius, Lithuania). Common view with the Słuška (Słuszka) estate, ruins of the castle and Cathedral

Vilnia (Vilnius, Lithuania). Common view with the Słuška (Słuszka) estate, ruins of the castle and Cathedral

 - . Vilnia (Vilnius, Lithuania). Catholic church at Calvaria

Vilnia (Vilnius, Lithuania). Catholic church at Calvaria

 - . Biržy (Biržai, Lithuania). Lutheranian church, ruins of the Radzivil (Radziwiłł) castle and catholic church

Biržy (Biržai, Lithuania). Lutheranian church, ruins of the Radzivil (Radziwiłł) castle and catholic church

 - . Kejdany (Kedainiai, Lithuania). Calvinist church with the Radzivil (Radziwiłł) tombs

Kejdany (Kedainiai, Lithuania). Calvinist church with the Radzivil (Radziwiłł) tombs

 - . Troki (Trakai, Lithuania). Ruins of the castle

Troki (Trakai, Lithuania). Ruins of the castle

 - . Łandvaraŭ (Lentvaris, Lithuania). Tyškievič (Tyszkiewicz) estate

Łandvaraŭ (Lentvaris, Lithuania). Tyškievič (Tyszkiewicz) estate

 - . Kraslava (Latvia). City hall

Kraslava (Latvia). City hall

 - . Liksna (Latvia). Ruins of Zyberki castle and catholic church

Liksna (Latvia). Ruins of Zyberki castle and catholic church

 - . Varklany (Latvia). Borch estate

Varklany (Latvia). Borch estate

 - . Vielony (Latvia). Fabric

Vielony (Latvia). Fabric

 - . Schlossberg (Latvia). Plater-Zyberki estate

Schlossberg (Latvia). Plater-Zyberki estate

 - . Lanckorona (Latvia). Karnicki estate

Lanckorona (Latvia). Karnicki estate

 - . Belozorka (Ukraine). Brzostowski estate

Belozorka (Ukraine). Brzostowski estate

 - . Belokrynica (Ukraine). Czosnowski estate and ruins of the Zbaraski castle

Belokrynica (Ukraine). Czosnowski estate and ruins of the Zbaraski castle

 - . Dzygovka (Ukraine). Catholc church and Jaroszyński estate

Dzygovka (Ukraine). Catholc church and Jaroszyński estate

 - . Goloby (Ukraine). Catholic hurch

Goloby (Ukraine). Catholic hurch

 - . Romanov (Ukraine). Iliński estate

Romanov (Ukraine). Iliński estate

 - . Charny Ostruv (Ukraine). Przeździecki estate

Charny Ostruv (Ukraine). Przeździecki estate

 - . Kazimierz over Wisła river (Poland). Ruins of the castle

Kazimierz over Wisła river (Poland). Ruins of the castle

 - . Chęciny (Poland). Ruins of the castle. Litography of N. Orda drawing

Chęciny (Poland). Ruins of the castle. Litography of N. Orda drawing

 - . Biecz at Ropa river (Poland). Ruins of the castle. Litography of N. Orda drawing

Biecz at Ropa river (Poland). Ruins of the castle. Litography of N. Orda drawing

 - . Gniezno (Poland). Cathedral. Litography of N. Orda drawing

Gniezno (Poland). Cathedral. Litography of N. Orda drawing

 - . Grodna (Belarus). Former uniate church

Grodna (Belarus). Former uniate church

 - . Minsk (Belarus). Former Jesuits monastery

Minsk (Belarus). Former Jesuits monastery

 - . Navahradak (Belarus). Ruins of the castle and the catholic church

Navahradak (Belarus). Ruins of the castle and the catholic church

 - . Kreva (Belarus). Ruins of the castle

Kreva (Belarus). Ruins of the castle

 - . Halšany (Belarus). Sapieha castle

Halšany (Belarus). Sapieha castle

 - . Vysoka-Litoŭsk (Belarus). Ruins of the Sapieha castle

Vysoka-Litoŭsk (Belarus). Ruins of the Sapieha castle

 - . Dabośnia (Žyličy, Belarus). Bułhak estate

Dabośnia (Žyličy, Belarus). Bułhak estate

 - . Albiartyn near Słonim town (Belarus). Pusłoŭski (Pusłowski) estate

Albiartyn near Słonim town (Belarus). Pusłoŭski (Pusłowski) estate

 - . Niaśviž (Belarus). Radzivił (Radziwiłł) castle and the catholic church

Niaśviž (Belarus). Radzivił (Radziwiłł) castle and the catholic church

 - . Niaśviž (Belarus). Radzivił (Radziwiłł) castle

Niaśviž (Belarus). Radzivił (Radziwiłł) castle

Napoleon Orda was born on February 11, 1807 in the village of Varacevičy in the Pinsk district of Minsk guberniya in his family manor (now Ivanava district, Brest voblast, Belarus). His father was an impoverished noble and the marshal of the powiat of Kobryn.

Orda got his primary education at home from the parents, then he continued further studies at Śvisłač Gymnasia (secondary school) which he successfully finished in 1823. Right after that, Orda entered Vilnia University, and became a student at the department of physics and mathematics. At those times, this famous University was the biggest educational center, a spotlight of liberal democracy.

Though studying at the University came easily to him and professors marked his outstanding abilities, Orda a gifted student did not graduated from the University successfully. In 1827 he was sent down from the department because he was exposed as a member of secret student society "Zaranie" (the Dawnbreakers). Members of this society among whom there were such outstanding personalities as Adam Mickievič (Mickiewicz), Tomasz Zan, Jan Čačot (Czeczot), Ignat Damejka (Ignacy Domeyko) dreamed of independence for Rzech Pospolita the political union of Poland and Litva. After his arrest and 15-month detention, Orda came back to the native village of Varacevičy, where he, however, stayed under police supervision.

In the revolt of 183031 against russian occupaton of Litva and Poland, Orda fulfilled his revolutionary liberation intents brought up during his studies at the University of Vilnia. He took an active part in that revolt as a rifleman of Cavalry regiment 4, the Lithuanian Corps in Polish Kingdom. Battle at Kocke was a success for him then he received a high award Virtuti Militari (Golden Cross Decoration) and was appointed a captain of rebel army. In 1831, after the revolt was suppressed, Orda had to emigrate to Italy, across Austria and Switzerland. In 1833 he moved to Paris. At those times Paris was a center of revolutionary and democratic emigrants from Litva and Poland.

Atmosphere of rapid cultural life, artistic and scientific circles in Paris added much to the development of Orda's multiple skills and abilities, his creative nature. By that time, Orda had already revealed professional interest and sense toward music and painting. Fryderyk Chopin mastered his musical art, in which Orda showed great achievements. Orda's polonaises, waltzes, serenades and mazurkas were highly admired by F. Chopin, F. List and S. Maniuška (Moniuszko) who were conquered with melody, drama, virtuoso style, rich contents and lyrics of his musical works. Orda composed music for romances and songs written by S. Witnicki and A. Plougue. He published Album Of Polish Composers (1838), Musical Grammar (Warsaw 1837). In the mid-1840s he was a director of Italian Opera House in Paris.

Orda also means an outstanding name in literature. He wrote articles about famous people and interesting places. In 1856, Orda published a Polish-French handbook. Earlier in 1839 he was accepted a member of Polish historical and literary society. In Paris Orda attended studio of the famous artist Pierre Girard who's genre was architectural landscapes. There Orda got his artistic education and there his artistic genre was basically shaped.

Archeology and architecture became trie sphere of his artistic interest. Drawing turned for him not only a piece of art but a historical document in which there are depicted valuable architectural monuments. That is why Orda furnishes his works with historical annotation. He tends to record every possible detail like names of manor and palace proprietors, religion of the churches, year of foundation, construction, etc. His works vividly show his desire to share his own foundings and impressions from travels with the audience.

In Paris, Orda married his friend Irene Bougle and worked as the head of a commission shop (Maison de Commission). He was also the director of the Italian Opera in Paris, until the institution was closed due to the February Revolution of 1848. He was also an active member of various Polish political and social organisations, including the Towarzystwo Historyczno-Literackie and the Committee of Polish Emigrants. Most of his spare time he spent travelling. He visited France, England, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Lorraine, Spain, Portugal and Algeria.

In 1856, after russian tzar announced amnesty to political immigrants, 49-year-old Napoleon Orda came back to native Varacevičy. Later on, from 1862-1863 he lived in Grodna, then he moved to Pinsk, where he settled down for a short while. Orda worked as private teacher of music for a family of General Adam Rzewuski at Valyn for living.

In his spare time Orda traveled a lot over Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, where he made many sketches of architectural and historical monuments, townships and villages. Those travels resulted in an impressively great collection of over 1150 pieces; about two hundred of those drawings are views of Belarus.

For his works, Orda chose the special manner of drawing, which was pencil sketching, lightly tinted with water colours, gouache or sepia. This kind of technique perfectly fit dynamic style of Orda's travels. It allowed him to make quick but detailed sketches of architecture and landscapes. Orda even set constant paper format for his works he always used a 30-centimeter long sheet glued to a plate.

Most of Orda's attention was focused on the pictures of several manors and memorable places, somehow related to such famous names in culture as A. Mickiewicz (manors in Zavośsie (Zaosie) and Tuhanovičy (Tuhanowicze)), M. Aginski (Ogiń ski) (palace in Retavas, Lithuania), S. Maniuška (manor in Ubiel village), I. Chodźka (manor in Dzieviatnia village, Lithuania), U. Syrakomla (manor in Smolhava) etc.

Twice during 1860, Orda made sketches of his native places and his dear manor Varacevičy. In his drawings there is a single-store bar wooden house for two families. This house has traditional four-column portico threshold in the center of front facade with a small garret over it. In front of the house there is a front yard with the picturesque park behind. Such manor of a small lithuanian gentleman was the most typical and the most spread in Belarus, which is shown in other Orda's drawings. Those cozy manors with modest apartments, parks and utility buildings seem to be closer than anything else to the artist's heart.

The series of drawings by Napoleon Orda generates the image of Belarusian village from the 19th century. Each of them shows national wooden architecture in a good detail, and fully retains national atmosphere. We see picturesque drops of Belarusian settlements amongst and alongside rivers and lakes, straw-roof huts, wooden churches and bell-houses, water and wind mills, wells and other rural views.

Orda classified his drawings, and put them into separate folders, where there were kept his works created during the period from 1840-80. Materials about Belarus are stored in the folder on Grodna gubernia (1860-77, 144 plates), Minsk gubernia (1864-76, 64 plates), Viciebsk gubernia (1875-1876, 35 plates), Vilnia gubernia (1875-77, 50 plates), Mahiloŭ gubernia (1877,15 plates). Besides that, the artist also separated folders with drawings of landscapes in such far-away lands, as Volhynia, Kiev, Podolia, Kovna gubernias, Poznan Principality, Western Prussia and Galicia, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal. The most valuable Orda's drawings are copied with gravures in many periodical historical editions (for example, in Polish magazine "Tygodnik illustravany" under the headline "From Napoleon Orda's Folder").

In 1873, Napoleon Orda began one more monumental work, which was the publication of "Album Widoków Historycznych Polski" Album of Historical Sights in Poland. He invested his own money to this project. However, there were published only 8 series (nearly 120 pieces represent landscapes of Belarusian gubernias) of 260 lithographic printings, cut in stone by Aloizy Misyrowicz in the lithographic studio of Maximilian Faiance in Warsaw. Lack of money in Orda's family, who became rather poor, along with censors who revised materials for publishing and put their admission stamps, were the reasons for the incomplete publication of artist's works.

Most of Orda's drawings (977 plates) are now kept in National Museum in Cracow, where they got by donation in 1886 from the relatives after artist's death (1883). Part of drawings are in National Museum in Warsaw, album of watercolours is kept in the library named after V. Stefanik in Lvov (Ukraine). Considerable collection of lithograph printings from the original Orda's drawings are preserved in the National library of Belarus.

Life and creative work of Napoleon Orda is a bright page in history of national culture. Decency and modesty, multiple worthy interests, extraordinary talent and constant interest and sympathy to the destiny of native land were the peculiarities of Orda's personality, which featured him as one of the most outstanding figures educator and philosopher in Belarusian culture in the 19th century. Only at the fall of the 20th century we begin to realize the significance of our compatriot Napoleon Orda.

Napoleon Orda died April 26, 1883, in Warsaw. He was buried in the town of Janaŭ (Janów) near Kobryn.

In 1997, in Janaŭ (currently Ivanava) town there was open a monument to Napoleon Orda, created by sculptor I. Hołubieŭ.
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