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Władysław Podkowiński – the harbinger of Polish Modernism

  • Władysław Podkowiński was born 150 years ago, on 4 February 1866, in Warsaw. He was 'a painter torn with cordial suffering, scorned by the critics, derided by the 'honorable' audience; an artist who walked quickly towards the eternal darkness, who shouted to the world, who wanted to capture light in his works. Outstanding talent, noble character.' Władysław Podkowiński and Józef Pankiewicz are the precursors of Polish painting which drew from the principles of French Impressionism. In 1889, the two artists visited Paris, where they both admired the exhibition of Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. Upon their return to Warsaw, they both performed impressionistic experiments in their painting.

    Impressionistic paintings by Władysław Podkowiński, presented to the Warsaw public in the autumn of 1890, did not receive favorable reviews from his contemporary critics, and the artist – additionally involved in a hopeless love affair – radically transformed his art. He turned towards Symbolism to create expressive, dark, mysterious compositions in dark shades of colour.

    Text by: Urszula Kozakowska Zaucha – art historian, head of the Department of Modern Polish Painting and Sculpture at the NMK.

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Nowy Świat Street in Warsaw on a Winter Day, 1892

    Władysław Podkowiński, Nowy Świat Street in Warsaw on a Winter Day, 1892

  • Władysław Podkowiński, A Lupin Field, 1891

    Władysław Podkowiński, A Lupin Field, 1891

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Study of a Skeleton, 1892

    Władysław Podkowiński, Study of a Skeleton, 1892

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Lilly of the Valley, 1892

    Władysław Podkowiński, Lilly of the Valley, 1892

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Portrait of Teresa Jasieńska, née Łabędzka, 1893

    Władysław Podkowiński, Portrait of Teresa Jasieńska, née Łabędzka, 1893

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Wilczyce – a Clover Field, 1893

    Władysław Podkowiński, Wilczyce – a Clover Field, 1893

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Landscape with a Haystack, 1893

    Władysław Podkowiński, Landscape with a Haystack, 1893

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Dancer, 1894

    Władysław Podkowiński, Dancer, 1894

  • Władysław Podkowiński, Ecstasy, 1894

    Władysław Podkowiński, Ecstasy, 1894

  • Władysław Podkowiński, In the Garden, 1894

    Władysław Podkowiński, In the Garden, 1894

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