Jan Matuszyński

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Miniature portrait of Jan Matuszyński, ca. 1840

Jan Edward Aleksander Matuszyński (14 December 1808 – 20 April 1842) was a Polish physician and friend, in Warsaw and Paris, of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.


Matuszyński's father, Jan Fryderyk Matuszyński (1768–1831), was a physician and surgeon and head of the Lutheran Hospital in Warsaw.[1]

Jan Matuszyński, who was born in Warsaw, became a friend of Chopin whilst attending the Warsaw Lyceum, where he was taught by Chopin's father, Nicolas Chopin. Matuszyński came from a musical family; he himself played the flute, and his brother Leopold (1820–93) became an operatic tenor and director.[1]

Jan studied medicine at the University of Warsaw from 1827. He worked as a medic for the Polish forces during the November Uprising of 1830–31, serving with the 5th Mounted Rifles, and was awarded the order of Virtuti Militari.[1]

Leaving for exile in Germany following the suppression of the uprising, he eventually graduated in medicine at the University of Tübingen.[1]

Emigrating to Paris in 1834, he for a time shared Chopin's apartment in the Chaussée d'Antin and gave him medical advice.[1]

He took a further medical degree in Paris, specializing in physiology, and married a Frenchwoman, Caroline Boquet.[1]

In 1837 he published a treatise, "De l'influence du nerf sympathique sur les fonctions des sens (On the Influence of the Sympathetic Nervous System on the Functions of the Senses)."[2]

He died of tuberculosis. in his last days, Chopin and George Sand had him cared for at the rooms they shared in the Rue Pigalle. Sand wrote that he "died in our arms after a slow and cruel agony, which caused Chopin as much suffering as if it had been his own. He [Chopin] was strong, courageous and devoted... but when it was over he was shattered."[2]

Matuszyński was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sikorski (n.d.)
  2. ^ a b Atwood (1999), p. 333.


  • Attwood, William G. (1999), The Parisian Worlds of Frédéric Chopin, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, ISBN 0300077734.
  • Sikorski, Andrzej (n.d.), Jan Matuszyński (in Polish), website of Fryderyk Chopin Institute, accessed 14 February 2014.