Polish painter and water-colorist Rafał Malczewski lived in Canada from 1942. He was a landscape painter, and representative of the movement of over-stylized “naive” realism. Malczewski studied philosophy, architecture, and agronomy in Wien (Vienna). His father Jacek, a professor at Kraków's Academy of Fine Arts, introduced him to painting. Rafał was also an avid skier and life saving swimmer. In 1917 he suffered a severe blow when he slipped while climbing in the High Tatra, and spent the whole night hanging on a hook. His companion died.
In 1930 Malczewski traveled to France, where he would return following the outbreak of World War II, traveling through Slovakia, Hungary, and Italy to get there. In 1940 he left France and traveled through Spain and Portugal to Brazil, where he spent almost two years creating watercolor views of Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, and produced landscape paintings of Parana. Malczewski then moved to the United States, where he lived primarily in New York. Finally, in 1942, he settled in Montreal, traveling extensively in Canada and the United States in search of subjects to paint.