Genius of the Baroque. Szymon Czechowicz (1689-1775)
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Art of Szymon Czechowicz — a Pole whose talent matches that of the best Italian masters of his era — has never been presented in a special, monograph exhibition. A large display of his oeuvre — more than 200 paintings and drawings — makes a unique opportunity to meet grand art of late Baroque.
Rome was the cradle of the Baroque. Artists from all over Europe flocked there to develop their talents at the famous Academy of St. Luke. Czechowicz was one of the few who came from Poland. He began his Roman studies around 1710. At the time, Baroque painting in Rome was distinctive for its classicized forms and monumentalism. Proficiency in drawing, refined colours, impressional style, and skill in creating intricated, glamorous scenes, where the mundane entwins with the heavenly, crowded with angels, featured the art of the Eternal City. Czechowicz remained there for about 20 years, and when he returned to the homeland around 1730, he was already a mature painter who for the rest of his long and fruitful life remained faithful to the ideas of Roman Late Baroque. Very soon he became extraordinarely renowned, since there was no other painter here who could compete with him. Magnates, bishops and religious orders comissioned numerous paintings to decorate churches all throughout the vast territiories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Many of the paintings perished but many still exist and pay tribute to the outstanding talent of their creator. The exhibition in the National Museum in Krakow is the first ever attempt at reveiling Czechowicz’s artisanship to the wide public. We can see here the oeuvre of the master represented by almost 200 artworks, collected from numerous museums and churches from Poland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Ukraine and the United States. Only a few of them have been hosted so far in the museum's exhibition rooms, and to date many have been quite unknown.
Exhibition curator: Dr. Tomasz Zaucha Design: Luiza Berdak Project coordinator: Katarzyna Pawłowska