Joseph Czapski
  • Józef Czapski (1896–1993), a painter and writer, and an eyewitness to the turbulent history of the twentieth century, was born into an aristocratic family in Prague and grew up in Poland under czarist domination. After receiving his baccalaureate in Saint Petersburg, he went on to study law at Imperial University. Briefly a cavalry officer in WW1, decorated for bravery in the Polish-Soviet War, Czapski went on to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and then moved to Paris to paint. He spent 7 years in Paris, moving in social circles that included friends of Proust and Bonnard, and it was only in 1931 that he returned to Warsaw, and began exhibiting his work and writing art criticism. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Czapski sought active duty as a reserve officer. Captured by the Germans, he was handed over to the Soviets as a prisoner of war, though for reasons that remain mysterious he was not among the 22 thousand Polish officers who were summarily executed by the Soviet secret police. Unwilling to live in postwar communist Poland, Czapski set up a studio outside of Paris. He died, nearly blind, at 96.

Joseph Czapski
Backlist of the author
  • Proust contre la déchéance -
    Available eBook version
  • Souvenirs de Starobielsk -