Secret of an old attic

The casual find reminded the forgotten history

Roman Iosifovich Ostrometsky was tidied up on an attic of the house down the street Red Army in Kobrin. In the twilight could not consider that for a stone came to hand. When took out on light, did not believe the eyes... that sculpture — the red sad boy. Years fifty as it is not necessary on an old bedside table. So unexpectedly Balbina reminded of herself and as if again returned to the city.

– In the 1905th it was brought to Stanislava Vitkovskaya, the teacher who lived in the neighbourhood with my parents — Ostrometsky says.

The deserted three-year-old daughter of distant relatives replaced to the lonely teacher a family. Stanislava the first noticed with what passion the girl all day long molds from clay, and not the elementary figures, and even people. Having graduated from local school, she went to study in a gymnasium to Brest. Once having returned for vacation, saw all the works accurately placed in the most spacious room. In this gallery with love arranged with Stanislava, the audience came before the war.

... The big house with an old sun blind remained still. After war in it made a communal flat, having lodged six families of military at once. All these people were visitors, they almost knew nothing about former owners, but some more years and on an attic found pieces of the broken figures in the cellar.

After Balbin's gymnasium graduated from the Krakow art academy and returned to Kobrin. First of all it adapted a small bath in an extension for a workshop where vanished for days on end. And today on the thrown old cemetery of the city find figures of the grieving angels and young girls. Old residents claim that they were done by Balbina.

         Balbina Svitich-Vidatskaya

In 1932 it modeled Tadeush Kosciusko's bust. This its most known sculpture was fated to do a long way through burden of glory and oblivion. At first it was set up on a high granite pedestal in the city. On what in 1912 in memory of the 100 anniversary of a victory over Napoleon the two-headed bronze eagle towered. It is more than 10 years, including all Great Patriotic War, the rebellious revolutionary on this pedestal staid, and after the Victory he was moved away in a utility room of the local museum, having set up on a pedestal of other eagle, single-headed this time. From Kobrin funds the bust of the insurgent was sent to the Brest regional museum. And only in 1988 it found the final resting place in an entail property of Kosciusko, the village Sekhnovichi of Zhabinkovsky district where costs on a pedestal at an entrance to local school to this day. Curiously, at the beginning of a year on the eve of birthday of Tadeush Kosciusko the former ambassador of the USA in Belarus George Krall bragged to journalists that in embassy in 2005 the monument to the legendary liberator — the first in the territory of Belarus appeared. After all not the first.

The local landowner of Yvonne Vidatsqui whose family was the best-known in the city became her husband. At this time to Balbina many orders from the nearby museums for portraits of composers, writers, historical figures arrived. It is unknown who exactly took out works as Svitich-Vidatska to Italy having, only, estimated them, to the master even appointed a grant. In 1941 its composition "Poleshuchka with the child" was presented at an exhibition in Moscow. Now this sculpture is in the museum of Józef Pilsudsky in Poland. Speak, Svitich-Vidatskaya's portraits not just differed in surprising similarity to characters, but also transferred their inner world.

— My father helped to load on the car to "Poleshuchk with the child" when work was taken away on an exhibition to Moscow — Roman Iosifovich remembers.

— In 1940 the lady Balya taught drawing in our gymnasium, but all concerned her not simply as to the teacher, and, paying tribute to her talent, even called "the lady professor" — tells Pavel Dmitriyevich Gilevich. — All of us were at its exhibitions. Often saw Balbina with Ivon and the daughters walking together. Lvita and Karina then were absolutely small — years 4 — 5.

In 1944 ran over Vidatskiye to Poland. At parting Balbina gave to neighbors the works as if wanted to leave a part of in this city.

— Gave a bust of the boy Balbin to my sister Galya — Ostrometsky remembers.

Speak, called him Stefan Yasinsky. He lived in this house since the beginning of the 1930th before war. On one of versions, it was the illegitimate son of the servant Stanislava Vitkovskaya, on another — the same distant relative, as well as Balbina. More inhabitants of Krasnoarmeyskaya Street knew nothing about the boy whose sad eyes forced them to remember events of almost seventy-year prescription. Little Stefan's bust was transferred to the regional museum.

... Having entered into Alliance of the Polish sculptors, Balbina Svitich-Vidatskaya was taken by creativity up to the last days. She modeled series of folklore heroes and unforgettable images of poleshuk — everything that was lovely to heart. In 1972 the sculptor died. Today at Olshtynsky university the memorial board which was designed by the artist doctor Lvita Vidatskaya is opened for Balbina Svitich-Vidatskaya.

Tamara ZENINA, "SB".
Nina MARChUK, local historian.

Soviet Belarus newspaper, 2006


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