Kazimir Malevich was born on February 23, 1879 in Kyiv, Ukraine, to a Polish family. His parents were Ludwika and Seweryn Malewicz. They both were ethnic Poles and had fled from the former eastern territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (present-day Kopyl Region of Belarus) to Kyiv in the aftermath of the failed Polish January Uprising of 1863 against the tsarist army.
Kazimir Malevich's father managed a sugar factory. Kazimir was the first of fourteen children, only nine of whom survived into adulthood. His family moved often and he spent most of his childhood in the villages of Ukraine, amidst sugar-beet plantations, far from centers of culture.