The future artist was born in 1777 in a family of a rather noble nobleman, from early childhood he showed undoubted artistic talent. The boy was very lucky when Princess Chartoryskaya accidentally saw his drawings on the walls of the building. She noted the artistic gift of Orlovsky, and sent him to study with the Warsaw painter Norblen. He studied with him and subsequently worked in the studio.
At the age of 17, a romantic and patriotic young man joined the army and even took part in the Kosciuszko uprising. It was a time when the Commonwealth was divided between several states and lost its independent statehood.
After being wounded, the artist returned to Warsaw, and for a long time he was looking for himself. And in the future, the glory of an extravagant, unbridled, even strange man was entrenched to him. Norblen took part in the fate of the young man and again took him to his art workshop. But soon the artist got bored and went to Lithuania. There he painted and cartoons for the local aristocracy, became close to Prince Ponyatovsky and received a certain dose of fame.
Soon, the humiliating work at the gentry parties bothered the impudent and impatient artist, and he decided to leave the country. Having moved to St. Petersburg, the master made an exceptionally good choice. At that moment, the northern capital was literally seething with new ideas and was the center of artistic life.
Orlovsky was lucky to become the favorite of Grand Duke Konstantin, which allowed him to gain a position in society and receive orders for his work. During this period, he actively traveled throughout the empire, studying the life of the inhabitants, imbued with the Russian spirit. In addition to Russia, he visited Germany, France and Italy.
In 1809, Orlovsky received the title of academician, and 10 years later he became an artist of the General Staff, developing a military uniform for the army. Orlovsky was well known in the society of that time; he was even mentioned by Pushkin in Ruslan and Lyudmila.
For all the time of his work, the artist created a large number of oil paintings and watercolors, graphic works. But an even greater number of works remained in the albums of aristocrats, where Orlovsky drew sketches in pencil, pen or watercolor.
During his travels around the country and the world, the master developed his own style and characteristic patterns for the image. Mostly these are horsemen, warriors of different nations, most often these are Cossacks, Bashkirs, Kirghiz and many others. Images are bright, picturesque, expressive. He used both static and dynamic images, with active movements, with many horses, which the master was able to draw best. From many of his works, Orlovsky even independently made lithographs.
There are some errors in the master’s drawings, but all the images are lively, natural and relaxed, and this is the best praise of the artist’s skill.