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To Decorate a Village Church 22.10.2015-24.01.2016 To Decorate a Village Church

In 1942, Józef Mehoffer created wall paintings in the parish church erected to Stefan Szyller's design in the years 1930-1932 in Lubień – a small village called near Piotrków Trybunalski. This last mural decoration by Mehoffer, painted in extraordinary wartime circumstances, is not very famous; in fact, it is known only locally. An exhibition of photographs in the Józef Mehoffer House will soon bring it to light.

In comparison with the artist's monumental art, the decoration of the church in Lubień stands out with its distinct, original expression. In this work, Mehoffer addresses the themes and threads from his previous murals and stained-glass compositions, transforming them and endowing them with a new form. The main idea behind the work is the glorification of the Mother of God, in reference to the fact that the church bears the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Poland. By applying early iconographic designs, the artist created a very interesting, personal painting interpretation of the calls from the Litany of Loreto. The Christmas motifs presented in the decoration are also of great importance with reference to its content.

While creating the Lubień murals, Mehoffer drew inspiration from various sources, such as late-medieval illumination and the Polish Baroque religious paintings. At the same time, he endowed the murals with a trait of deliberate naivety, creating a graceful whole, which corresponds with the nature and function of a small rural church. He turned to folk sensibility, evoking the atmosphere of Christmas rituals, remembered from childhood.

"I feel delighted that once again in my life I was able decorate a village church" – wrote the artist in the Lubień Parish Book in November 1942, while completing works on his wall paintings.

Autor: Beata Studziżba-Kubalska

The Józef Mehoffer House

ul. Krupnicza 26, 31-123 Kraków
  • Monday: closed
  • tues-fri: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m
  • Sat: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
The church of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland in Lubień near Piotrków Trybunalski.
View of the interior featuring Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings. / photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
View of the western and northern wall of the nave
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
View of the southern part of the nave and the chancel
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
View of the eastern and northern wall of the nave
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
Fragment of the composition titled The Tower of David in the church chancel
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
The Tower of David
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
Wall paintings on the vault of the chancel
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
Fragment of the wall painting on the vault of the chancel
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
A motif from the composition titled The Ivory Tower in the church chancel
/ photo by Jacek Świderski - Photography Studio, NMK
Józef Mehoffer's wall paintings
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