Alfred Izydor Römer

Alfred Izydor Römer (1832-1897) – painter, sculptor. Son of Edvardas Jonas Romeris (Edward Jan Römer) and Ona Bialozaraitė, the elder brother of Edvardas Matas Romeris (Edward Mateusz Römer) and Bronislovas Romeris (Bronisław Römer). After his mother died (1834) and his father was exiled (1839), he was raised by grandparents Mykolas Juozapas Romeris and Rachelė de Raës. He studied drawing by taking private lessons from the painters Vincentas Dmachauskas (Wincenty Dmochowski) and Kozakevičius (Kozakiewicz), during 1845-1850 – at the Vilnius Institute of Gentry, where Kanutas Ruseckas (Kanuty Rusiecki) worked as an art teacher. In the summer of 1850, he went to Vologda, where his father taught him to draw. In 1852, he together with the family returned to Lithuania. In Vilnius, he continued his art studies under the direction of the artist Jonas Zenkevičius (Jan Zienkiewicz) at the so-called Römer Academy, which was located at the house of Römeriai at Bokšto Street. In 1857, he together with Zenkevičius went on a two-year trip to European art centres. In 1859, after returning to Lithuania, he stayed in the manor of Kriaunai near Rokiškis, which had been left to him by his father, and engaged in farming and creative work. For participation in the preparation of the 1863 rebellion, he was arrested and held for two years in the fortress of Dinaburg (currently Daugavpils). After the government authorities sequestered the manor in 1869, he left abroad. In Paris, he studied painting with Leon Bonná and graphics – with Antoni Oleszczyński. Since 1871, he studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts: during 1871-1872, he attended lectures of Alexander von Wagner, during 1873-1874 – lectures of Arthur von Ramberg and majored in portraiture. In 1874, he married Vanda Sulistrovskytė and settled in the manor of Karolinavo, which had been inherited by her.

During 1884-1894, he lived with his family in Krakow and used to return to Lithuania in the summer. In Krakow, he actively participated in public life. Since 1888, he was a member of the Art History Commission of the Polish Academy of Sciences and a member of the Krakow Painters and Sculptors Club, during 1890-1891 – a member of the Krakow branch of the Society of Amateur Artists. He worked in the field of painting, graphic art and sculpture. The artist’s creative work is characterised by a distinctive realistic design, plastically moulded forms, subtle play of light and shadow. Sometimes it reveals lyrical mood and romantic reminiscences. The artist liked the portrait genre the most. He painted portraits of relatives and famous people and folk types in oil, pastel, and watercolour. He also painted landscapes, paintings of religious content and created medallions and cartoons. He was interested in the history and ethnography of Lithuania, collected folk art exhibits, drew and painted them. He also wrote articles about art.

Reference: Artists of the Römer family. Lithuanian Art Museum. Radvilas (Radziwiłł) Palace Museum.