Kazimir Malevich was born near Kyiv in the Kyiv Governorate of the Russian Empire. His parents, Seweryn and Ludwika Malewicz, were ethnic Poles, and he was baptised in the Roman Catholic Church. His father was the manager of a sugar factory. Kazimir was the first of fourteen children, although only nine of the children survived into adulthood. His family moved often and he spent most childhood in the villages of Ukraine amidst sugar-beet plantations, far from centers of culture. Until age 12 he knew nothing of professional artists, though art had surrounded him in childhood. He delighted in peasant embroidery, and in decorated walls and stoves. He himself was able to paint in the peasant style. He studied drawing in Kyiv from 1895 to 1896.