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Jacek Malczewski is one of the most outstanding individuals of Polish art, one who occupies a special place in the creative output of the Young Poland period.
He was a painter whose huge body of work touched upon a wide variety of issues such as the homeland, life, and death, but which also involved Romantic visions and metaphysics. He was inspired by the art of Antiquity, Polish Romanticism, and made use of the symbolism of the Young Poland period. He was “a poet of painting and a painter of poetry” who found in poetry, especially that of the Romantic period, an unending source of inspiration. His creativity was multifaceted, a testament to his fantastic imagination and to the sensitivity of a Neoromantic and sophisticated humanist, a painter who was immersed through and through in Polishness.
The year 2022 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of “Ballads and Romances” by Adam Mickiewicz, considered to be the manifesto of Polish Romanticism. And 2022 has been declared the Year of Polish Romanticism.
On this occasion, the National Museum in Krakow will be hosting an exceptional exhibition dedicated to Romanticism in the works of Jacek Malczewski. The exhibition will focus on three themes originating in Romantic traditions. The first of these is Messianism as inspired by Julisz Słowacki (including the Siberian cycle of paintings, providing a unique opportunity to admire several versions of the painting The Death of Ellenai); the second of them is the fascination with folklore and folk legends, ancient tales of water sprites and chimeras, fauns and angels; the third theme is Malczewski’s reflections on art itself, on inspiration, on the responsibility and special nature of the artist.
The exhibition will present more than 150 works by Malczewski from museum and private collections.
The exhibition will be enhanced with archival photos of Malczewski and literary texts corresponding to the works of the artist.
Curator: Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha Co-author of the script: prof. Bartosz Korzeniewski Coordinator: Olga Pawlak Arrangement designer: Magdalena Bujak