About the author: Waleria Tarnowska, (1782 Bubnów – 1849 Dzików), One of the most talented and skilled Polish miniature painters. Born in Volhynia, she was a daughter of the chamberlain of Busko, Walerian Stroynowski of the Strzemię coat of arms. She received a fine education at home. She learned the art of miniature painting from one of her governesses. She also took classes in drawing and monumental painting. In 1800, Waleria Stroynowska married Count Jan Feliks Tarnowski of the Leliwa coat of arms. From 1800-1803, she was a pupil of Wincenty Lesseur, the court miniaturist to King Stanisław August Poniatowski. He was the first to instill in her the correct principles of miniature portrait painting. She owes to him her technical skills, the elegance of her compositions, the mood of her paintings, and even the discreet style of her signature. In 1803, the Tarnowski family went to Italy, where Waleria received instruction from the miniaturist Teresa da Maron. After her return to Dzików, she painted numerous portraits of family and friends, as well as copies of portraits of Polish kings and hetmans.
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