"Poland in landscapes" is another presentation of Polish art in the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, prepared for the third time by the National Museum in Krakow. During such an important year of the 100th anniversary of Polish Independence, in such a significant place as the seat of the President of the Republic of Poland, in representative rooms, where the most important national events take place, the gallery of the most beautiful landscapes in Polish art is presented.
It consists of the works from national and private collections, which are not only effective decoration of rooms, but mainly a painting parable about the beauty of the lost Homeland, created by the most beautiful and most known Polish landscapes of the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, painted by the most important Polish painters, not only landscapists: Józef Chełmoński, Leon Chwistek, Stanisław Czajkowski, Stefan Filipkiewicz, Karol Hiller, Stanisław Kamocki, Jacek and Rafał Malczewski, Józef Rapacki, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Władysław Strzemiński, Leon Wyczółkowski, Wojciech Weiss, Henryk Weyssenhoff.
The idea was to show the exhibition as an album of Polish views, presenting the landscapes of important regions: Lesser Poland, Podhale or Mazovia; apart from traditionally understood landscapes, there are also industrial and urban landscapes, so important in the Interwar Period, related to Łódź, Silesia, or Central Industrial District.
ANTECHAMBER is opened with the work of the greatest Polish painter – symbolist, who, however, painted also landscapes – Jacek Malczewski, showing "Tobias with Angels" portrayed against the background of landscape near Zwierzyniec close to Krakow, and is decorated with the paintings of the masters of Krakow landscape class conducted at the Academy of Fine Arts by Jan Stanisławski. Stanisław Kamocki, Stefan Filipkiewicz, and Stanisław Czajkowski were united both by the figure of the teacher – Stanisławski, as well as the passion for painting "light and air", supported with the words of their Master: "Gentlemen, paint the Polish countryside, as it may disappear in a couple of years".
An important accent of this space is "Winter Tale" by Ferdynand Ruszczyc – artist related to Vilnius artistic environment, who took over the department of landscape painting at the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) in Krakow following the death of Jan Stanisławski.
Ferdynand Ruszczyc is one of the most serious admirers of the Polish landscape. He saw in it dramatic character and vehemence, combined with modernist symbolism. His contemporary critics emphasized that for him "there is no trivial motif in nature, and watching his paintings, you feel as if you were listening to a colorful, absorbing story without faltering, with verve and full freedom of gesture, about winter landscapes, clouds, or a wooden church".
In the COLUMN HALL, central places are given to the paintings of Józef Chełmoński and Leon Wyczółkowski, showing the beauty of different regions of Poland, but mainly addressing the lost and dormant independence in a symbolic way.
They are accompanied by the landscapes of Henryk Weyssenhoff, who brings together characteristic elements of the native landscape in a traditional way, as well as one of the most effective, symbolic compositions of Wojciech Weiss. The presented "Heat" is, on the one hand, a study of suburban landscape, train station, the railroad with a train on the way, and on the other hand, it is one of the first attempts to show speed and movement in Polish art.
BANQUETTING ROOM shows compositions from the Interwar Period, modern both in relation to their form and content. Apart from traditionally understood landscape, the artists saw new themes in the industrialization of new Poland; themes related to industry, "black Silesia", industrial Łódź, urbanism and city.
The central figure of this part of the exhibition is Rafał Malczewski, who had once been a great admirer of the Tatra Mountains, and with time got to be amazed with Black Silesia, Central Industrial District, and undertook a difficult subject of industrial landscape, creating almost futuristic, surreal industrial landscapes with mines, high-voltage towers and foundries.
Next, to Malczewski's paintings, there is a work by Leon Chwistek, fascinated by the dynamics of the modern metropolis and its modern, sometimes visionary architecture. Władysław Strzemiński's works are, on the other hand, expressions of the artist's interest in visual perception and problems of the physiology of vision, whereas Karol Hiller's chamber landscape shows his fascination with "the beauty of old Łódź contrasts".
Exhibition in the SMALL HALL is dominated by works of the representatives of Warsaw environment and students of Wojciech Gerson's drawing class – Józef Rapacki and Stefan Popowski, who praised "the humble beauty of the Mazovian landscape in hundreds of oil and watercolor paintings".
Krakow environment is here represented by an early work of Wojciech Weiss, different from the pessimism characteristic of the late 19th century and is a specific "poem about nature", its colors, light harmonizing with calm works of Rapacki in terms of mood.
Presentation of painting works is complemented by the exhibition prepared in the Round Table Hall by Krakow Museum of Photography. Enlargements of six autochromes by Tadeusz Rzący show landscapes of the author's home region: typical Polish views characterized by their picturesqueness and beauty, but mainly with calmness and fairy-tale like character.
Rzący's autochromes are one of the first color photographs made in the area of today's Poland before World War I.
Touring the exhibition "Poland in landscapes" is done as part of the general touring of the Presidential Palace, which is possible for organized groups from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm after arranging a date in advance. Groups shall send a completed application to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax 22 695 11 09 (application can be downloaded from http://www.prezydent.pl/kancelaria/rezydencje-kprp/palac-prezydencki/).
What is more, an occasion to see the aforementioned exhibitions is the open days organized from time to time at the Presidential Palace, that we inform about in advance on the Website www.prezydent.pl. During this time, everyone can enter the Palace and visit representative rooms with a guide, and see the exhibitions at the same time.
Due to the specific character of the Presidential Palace, there is no possibility to see the exhibitions by individual guests.