Mikhail Leschenko


Oginski lived a diverse life full of movements all over Europe and resettlements. Mikhail Leschenko has created a tour project by compiling pictures from his trips to places, where Oginski used to live and work.

As a young man, Michal Kleofas Oginski used to pay often visits to the residence of his uncle in Slonim. The uncle was a states man and a military figure, a great amateur of arts, the Great Lithuanian Hetman Michał Kazimierz Ogiński.

In 1793, Oginski took part in the Seym session (parliament meeting) in Grodno.

Military detachment of Oginski participated in the rebellion of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and it was defeated. Michal managed to escape and left for Austria, then he moved to Italy and settled in Venice. Venice is believed to be the place where Oginski composed his famous Polonaise “A Farewell to the Homeland”. Other sources say, that the Polonaise was written in Zalesie.

Michal Kleofas went into European hiding, from where he was carrying on his political activities. He was nearly arrested in Krakow.

In 1802, the Russian Emperor Alexander I granted amnesty to many accomplices in the rebellion of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Oginski was among them. The composer got back his real estate in Zalesie previously seized for his participation in the rebellion. Michal settled down there with his family, started building a new manor and laid a park. Zalesye is now in the territory of contemporary Belarus.

In 1823, Oginski got sick and that forced him to move to Italy. He stayed in Florence where he had been living the last 10 years of his life. He was buried in the Pantheon of the prominent people in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence.