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He came out of Krakow, a city where he studied philosophy at Jagiellonian University and art at the local Academy of Fine Arts under Jozef Mehoffer and Jan Stanislawski. In 1908 Makowski embarked on an artistic voyage throughout Europe. He finally landed in Paris, where he decided to settle permanently. Makowski developed relationships with the artists surrounding Henri Le Fauconnier. It was at this time that he met, among others, Leger, Picasso, Mondrian, Archipenko, Apollinaire and Gromaire. He was a close friend of Wladyslaw Slewinski, an artist of the Pont-Aven school. In 1911 he became a member of the Society of Polish Artists in Paris. He participated in the Parisian salons of the Independents, the Tuileries, De L'Oeuvre Unique, and presented his work at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Polish Artistic Club in Warsaw. He also took part in exhibitions of Polish art in Barcelona, Paris, Vienna and Budapest.
Tadeusz Makowski's style was initially influenced by the modernist landscapes of Jan Stanislawski and reflected certain traits characteristic of the Young Poland movement. In Paris he assumed a more compressed manner of structuring his canvasses and inherited, from Le Fauconnier and the Cubists, a tendency to render forms geometrical. While he drew from Cubism, Makowski remained a lyrical and poetic artist in terms of subject matter and stayed away from the formal experimentation of the Cubists. During this period he painted still lifes distinguishable for their dark color scheme. It was around this time that the artist, in his "PAMIETNIK" / "JOURNAL," noted: "In Cubism there are values that each painter who has a feeling for form must achieve." Around 1915 he abandoned his cubistic formulas and began painting illuminated landscapes that clearly drew on Impressionism. While visiting Wladyslaw Slewinski in Brittany, influenced by that artist, Makowski began creating landscapes and scenes from the daily life of local peasants maintained in warm tones of yellow and red. At the same time, his canvasses acquired a course texture. Towards the beginning of the 1920s his paintings began to include the motif that would become crucial in his work from this moment on - the figure of the child. He began to focus on painting lyrical visions of children - geometric in their form, their figures are as if carved from wood and adorned with conical caps. He depicted them in scenes from their lives - in landscapes, walking along roads, in his studio, with musical instruments, in the company of pets and birds. The world of children was magnetic to the artist through its detachment, innocence, through the fantasy he perceived in children's imaginations and the realism with which it combined. He depicted this world through a variety of iconographic and formal themes. Makowski's individual style crystallized around 1927: he granted his symbolically rendered forms geometrical outlines, surrounding them with clear contour lines, simultaneously thickening the layers of paint he used. He began to depict mannequin-like figures, ribald old men. These are highly distinguishable for the expression in their gazes, their movements, gestures, and their seemingly rich inner life. Makowski's little men, constructed of spheres, pyramids, cones and cubes are enchanting for their grace and poetic charm. In 1930 he produced a series of paintings depicting representatives of various professions, including cobblers, fishermen, hunters and bakers. Makowski also dabbled in the graphic arts. In this realm he is best known for his illustrations to the Tytus Czyzewski's PASTORALKI / PASTORALS.