After the 1831 uprising, Vilnius University was closed by the Imperial Russian authorities for being a hotbed of revolutionary ideas. It reopened only after the First World War in 1919, as Stephen Báthory University. During the interwar period, it was highly valued by the Polish community, and artists often chose to portray it in their work. Adam Międzyblocki (1883–1956) was one such artist. After attending the Vilnius School of Drawing, he became a student at Cracow Academy of Art. He lived in the Caucasus during the First World War, returned to Vilnius in 1922, and painted a series of watercolours of the city. He was skilful in combining precise realistic imagery with the lucid minimalism of the watercolour technique. Międzyblocki was one of the few artists whose townscapes of Vilnius were published as sets of coloured cards during the interwar period. He portrayed the square with the observatory tower, a typical view of the university, and conveyed cheerfully the tall buildings, with the setting sun lighting up the tops of the trees, and the balustrade of the observatory.