Nicolas Chopin. Photo of lost painting by Ambroży Mieroszewski, 1829
|Born||15 April 1771|
Marainville-sur-Madon, Vosges, France
|Died||3 May 1844 73) (aged|
|Cause of death||Tuberculosis|
|Children|| Ludwika Chopin Jędrzejewicz |
Izabella Chopin Barcińska
Nicolas Chopin (in Polish : Mikołaj Chopin; 15 April 1771 –3 May 1844) was a teacher of French language in Prussian- and Russian-ruled Poland, and father of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.
Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.
The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place toward the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland and Lithuania for 123 years. The partitions were conducted by Habsburg Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Russian Empire, which divided up the Commonwealth lands among themselves progressively in the process of territorial seizures and annexations.
Nicolas Chopin was born in the village of Marainville-sur-Madon (Vosges department), in the province of Lorraine, France. He was the son of François Chopin (9 November 1738, Ambacourt – 31 January 1814, Marainville), a wheelwright and village administrator for Marainville, and Marguerite, née Deflin (1 February 1736, Diarville – 21 August 1794, Marainville), an educator respected by her colleagues and students. François and Marguerite were married on 17 January 1769.
Marainville-sur-Madon is a commune in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France.
The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. Together with the Palatine Forest to the north on the German side of the border, they form a single geomorphological unit and low mountain range of around 8,000 km2 (3,100 sq mi) in area. It runs in a north-northeast direction from the Burgundian Gate to the Börrstadt Basin, and forms the western boundary of the Upper Rhine Plain.
Ambacourt is a commune in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France.
Nicolas had four sisters, only two of whom survived to adulthood: Anne (b. 23 November 1769, Marainville), who married Joseph Thomas on 13 February 1798, and Marguerite (5 August 1775, Marainville – 10 March 1845), who married Nicolas Bastien on 2 December 1798. Nicolas' godmother was his aunt Thérèse Lhumbert née Chopin, the half-sister of his father François.
Nicolas graduated from the gymnasium at Tantimont, a nearby advanced secondary school dedicated to training youth for the teaching profession and the priesthood. As village administrator, François Chopin was acquainted with Adam Jan Weydlich,the Polish-born estate administrator for Count Michał Jan Pac. Weydlich took an interest in the education of young Nicolas, teaching him the rudiments of the Polish language, while Weydlich's wife—a Parisian, Françoise-Nicole née Schelling—taught him French and German literature, music, etiquette, calligraphy, and accounting.
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.
Michał Jan Pac (1730–1787) was a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman, Lithuanian Marshal of the Bar Confederation from 1769 until 1772, Chamberlain of King Augustus.
In late 1787, after the death of Count Pac, Weydlich returned to Poland with his family, and he offered sixteen-year-old Nicolas the chance to come with him. Weydlich became the supervisor of a tobacco company (Manufaktura Tytoniowa w Warszawie) founded in 1777 by Jan Dekert, Piotr Blank (pl), and Andrzej Rafałowicz (pl). Nicolas worked at the factory, 1787–89, probably as an accounting clerk. Nicolas and the Weydlich family lived with Adam's brother, Franciszek Weydlich, in tenements of the Holy Cross Church on Krakowskie Przedmieście.
Jan Dekert or Jan Dekiert was a Polish merchant of German descent and political activist. Starting in the 1760s, he rose to become one of the most prominent merchants in the Polish capital of Warsaw. He was an activist arguing for more rights for the burghers in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth while opposing Jewish merchants. As the representative of Warsaw, he was elected a deputy to the Sejms of 1784 and 1786, as well as to the Great Sejm (1788–1792). He was the mayor of Warsaw (1789–1790), during which period he organized the Black Procession on 2 December 1789. This was a major step towards the passing of the Free Royal Cities Act enfranchising burghers, as one of the reforms of the Great Sejm and part of the Constitution of the 3rd May, 1791.
The Church of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic house of worship in Warsaw, Poland. Located on Krakowskie Przedmieście opposite the main Warsaw University campus, it is one of the most notable Baroque churches in Poland's capital.
Krakowskie Przedmieście is one of the best known and most prestigious streets of Poland's capital Warsaw, surrounded by historic palaces, churches and manor-houses. Krakowskie Przedmieście Royal Avenue constitutes the northernmost part of Warsaw's Royal Route, and links the Old Town and Royal Castle with some of the most notable institutions in Warsaw, including – proceeding southward – the Presidential Palace, Warsaw University, and the Polish Academy of Sciences headquartered in the Staszic Palace. The immediate southward extension of Krakowskie Przedmieście along the Royal Route is ulica Nowy Świat.
Nicolas stayed there until 1792, working as Adam's personal assistant and possibly tutoring his children: Henryka (b. 1777) and Mikołaj (b. 1783). His friends from this period included Jakub Benik (24 July 1772 Dobre Miasto, Warmia – 20 January 1827 Warsaw) and Jan Austen (early 1774 Wilkie, Warmia – 6 May 1828 Warsaw), a professor at the Elementary School of Artillery and Engineering (Szkoła Elementarna Artylerii i Inżynierów) for the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw.There is one extant letter written by Nicolas to his parents during this time; in the letter, he explains that he does not want to return to France due to the French Revolution and the likelihood that he would be conscripted into the army.
Army of the Duchy of Warsaw refers to the military forces of the Duchy of Warsaw. The Army was significantly based on the Polish Legions; it numbered about 30,000 and was expanded during wartime to almost 100,000. It was composed of infantry with a strong cavalry force supported by artillery. The Napoleonic customs and traditions resulted in some social tensions, but are generally credited with helpful modernization and useful reforms.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
The year 1792 saw the Second Partition of Poland, and the tobacco factory was closed down. From 1792-1794, he resided in Szafarnia (Dobrzyń county) with Jan Dziewanowski as tutor and teacher to his son Jan Nepomucen Dziewanowski,, who later became the godfather to Nicolas' daughter, Ludwika . During the 1794 outbreak of the Kościuszko Uprising, Nicolas joined the Warsaw municipal militia, rising to the rank of lieutenant. After a year he was wounded, just as the uprising was collapsing.
Finding himself again unemployed, he was soon engaged at Czerniewo, in Mazowsze Province, as tutor to the Łączyński family (one of whose daughters, Maria, after later marrying Anastazy Walewski, would gain fame as mistress to Napoleon Bonaparte). Nicolas spent some six years with them. Central and Eastern Europe was then flooded with refugees from areas affected by revolution, and many of them found the same kind of employment as Nicolas. On Polish lands it became fashionable for even modestly well-to-do nobility to have a French aristocrat in their homes. Nicolas was not "well-born," so his position bespoke the substantial education and social graces that he had acquired during his previous seven years among his adoptive Polish compatriots.
Nicolas spent the next several years at Żelazowa Wola with Countess Ludwika Skarbek and her family (relatives of the Łączyńskis), tutoring the four children. On 2 June 1806,he married a poor relative of the Skarbeks who lived with them and ran the household, Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska (daughter of Jakub Krzyżanowski and Antonina, née' Kołomińska, of Długie in Włocławek County). Justyna's brother would be the father of Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski, later a Union general in the American Civil War.
A year later their first daughter was born, Ludwika (Louise), and they moved to a larger house on the estate.
In 1810 their only son Fryderyk was born. His godfather was Fryderyk Skarbek, who had been tutored by Nicolas Chopin.
Count Skarbek had fallen into debt and fled the Duchy of Warsaw, leaving his wife and four children. At their age they no longer required a tutor, so it was clear the Countess would no longer be able to employ the Chopins. Probably Nicolas had been thinking of moving to Warsaw even before the birth of his son Fryderyk.
In July that year, Nicolas and Justyna and their children moved to Warsaw, to the Saxon Palace, which housed the Warsaw Lyceum where he would teach French language. In October 1810, Nicolas was appointed "collaborator" (kollaborant) and, in June 1814, regular professor of French language at the Lyceum. He held this post until the lyceum's closure in 1833.
Apart from these positions, in 1812 he was appointed professor of French language at an Elementary Artillery and Engineers School (Szkoła Elementarna Artylerii i Inżynierów), and in 1820 at a Military Training School (Szkoła Aplikacyjna Wojskowa), where he was active until the school was closed down in 1831.
In 1833, with the reorganization of the educational system following the November 1830 Uprising, Chopin was to have received a position at a planned Pedagogical Institute. While awaiting the new appointment, he received half-wages and evaluated French-teacher candidates and French works proposed for use in public schools. In 1837, when the Institute failed to materialize, Chopin retired. Nevertheless, he continued on the Examining Committee till 1841. In addition, for a brief period in 1837, he was lecturer in French language at the Roman Catholic Clerical Academy (Akademia Duchowna) in Warsaw.
Nicolas Chopin died of tuberculosis in Warsaw on 3 May 1844, aged seventy-three.He is interred with his wife at Powązki Cemetery.
On 2 June 1806, Chopin married Justyna née Krzyżanowska. The couple had four children: Ludwika, born 1807, who married Józef Jędrzejewicz; their only son, Fryderyk Franciszek, born 1810, a pianist and composer best known as Frédéric Chopin; Izabela, born 9 July 1811, who married Antoni Barciński; and Emilia, born in 1812, who died of tuberculosis in 1827, aged fourteen.
In 1829 Ambroży Mieroszewski painted oil portraits of Mikołaj (Nicolas) Chopin and Justyna Chopin (died October 1861, aged 81) and their surviving children: Fryderyk (the earliest known portrait of him, and one of the most convincing); Fryderyk's older sister Ludwika; and his younger sister Izabela. (That same year, Mieroszewski also painted Fryderyk's first professional piano teacher, Wojciech Żywny.
Fryderyk's first cousin Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski (1824–87) — the son of Fryderyk's mother's brother — became a Union Army brigadier general in the American Civil War.
Nicolas Chopin was, according to Wincenty Łopaciński, a man of great intelligence and culture, universally esteemed, a model teacher, and solicitous of his brilliant son Frédéric. Though he had come from a foreign country, with time he became completely Polonized and "undoubtedly considered himself a Pole."This was borne out by his willingness to fight for Poland's independence in the Kościuszko Uprising, after he had earlier refused to return to revolutionary France for fear of being conscripted into the French army.
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation."
Powązki Cemetery, also known as the Stare Powązki is a historic cemetery located in the Wola district, western part of Warsaw, Poland. It is the most famous cemetery in the city, and one of the oldest, having been established in 1790. The necropolis features graves of many illustrious individuals from Polish history, including those interred along the "Avenue of Notables" created in 1925. It is estimated that over 1 million people have been buried at Powązki.
Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, OBE, GM, Croix de guerre, also known as Christine Granville, was a Polish agent of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. She became celebrated especially for her daring exploits in intelligence and irregular-warfare missions in Nazi-occupied Poland and France.
The International Chopin Piano Competition, often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a piano competition held in Warsaw, Poland. It was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of the few competitions devoted entirely to the works of a single composer, in this case, Frédéric Chopin.
Julian Fontana was a Polish pianist, composer, lawyer, author, translator, and entrepreneur, best remembered as a close friend and musical executor of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.
Chopin: Desire for Love is a film created by the director Jerzy Antczak based on the life story of the Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin.
The National Defence University of Warsaw was the civil-military highest defence academic institution in Poland, located in Warszawa-Rembertów. In 2016 it was succeeded by the War Studies University.
Ostrogski Palace, or Ostrogski Castle, is a mansion in the city center of Warsaw, on ulica Tamka.
Jozéf Turczyński was a Polish pianist, pedagogue and musicologist who exercised a powerful influence over the development of piano teaching and performance, especially in the works of Frédéric Chopin, during the first half of the 20th century. He was in a large part responsible for a performing edition of the Complete Pianoforte Works of Chopin which is still considered definitive.
Ambroży Mieroszewski (1802–1884) was a Polish painter who was Frédéric Chopin's first known portraitist.
The Fryderyk Chopin Museum is a museum in Warsaw, Poland, established in 1954 and dedicated to Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.
The Birthplace of Frédéric Chopin is a "dworek" surrounded by a large natural park at the banks of Utrata River in Żelazowa Wola near Sochaczew in Poland – presently museum of the composer, department of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
Jean ("Jane") Wilhelmina Stirling was a Scottish amateur pianist who is best known as a student and later friend of Frédéric Chopin whose two nocturnes are dedicated to her. She took him on a tour of England and Scotland in 1848, and took charge of the disposal of his effects and manuscripts after his death in 1849. While there is no evidence they were lovers, she was often referred to, after Chopin's death, as "Chopin's widow".
Ludwika Jędrzejewicz was the elder sister of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Ludwika was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1807, the daughter of Nicolas Chopin and his wife Justyna.
Fryderyk Florian Skarbek, a member of the Polish nobility, was an economist, novelist, historian, social activist, administrator, politician, and penologist who designed the Pawiak Prison of World War II ill fame.
The Chopin Family Parlor was a branch of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum. It was located in the south annex of the Czapski Palace at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw, Poland. It was the largest room of the former Chopin family apartment where Frédéric Chopin lived with his parents and sisters until he left Poland in 1830.
The following is a compilation of memorials to the composer Frédéric Chopin in the form of physical monuments and institutions and other entities named after him.
Dominik Dziewanowski was a Polish military officer, a general in the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw.