Pruszkowski lived his youth in Odessa, Ukraine and Kiev, Ukraine, then in Russian Empire. He later went to Paris where he served an apprenticeship under the renowned portrait painter Tadeusz Gorecki. He continued his studies in Munich and then Kraków under Jan Matejko. Pruszkowski started his career as a portrait painter but later moved to painting subject matter with legend, fable, of folk-tale themes. In 1882, Pruszkowski moved to an isolated village outside Kraków where he focused on his work. Here, through contact with the country people, he produced some of his peasant genre paintings.