The Tatra Mountain landscapes of Stanisław Witkiewicz and Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski from the collections of the National Museum in Krakow is an exhibition of landscapes created by the most significant 19th-century artists fascinated by the beauty of the mountains.
Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski (1841–1905) was a passionate enthusiast of the great outdoors and the bard of the beauty of the Tatras, which he began visiting regularly in 1861. In a series of canvases, he immortalised not only landscapes but also the images of the locals and the typical scenes of daily life which he encountered while exploring the mountains.
Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915) first came to Zakopane in 1886 and, like many others who were enchanted by the local atmosphere and beauty of the Tatra mountains, settled permanently in the area of Mt Giewont in 1890. This sojourn bore fruit in the form of the concept of a “national style” in arts and architecture inspired by the folk art of the Podhale highlanders and in line with the general European trend of searching for national styles. It was also in Zakopane where he painted Tatra landscapes at various times of the year and day in a realistic style which expressed well the majesty of the mountains and the ambience surrounding them.
Exhibition curator: Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha
* Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski, Ilustrowany przewodnik do Tatr, Pienin i Szczawnic [Illustrated Guide to the Tatras, Pieniny, and Szczawnica], Kraków 1896, p. 118.
Author: Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha