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The work is attributed to Włodzimierz Tetmajer or Henryk Uziembło. Both were fascinated by folk themes, which at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries were a fashionable source of inspiration.

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The painting depicts a room in a rural cottage typical of the area around Kraków. In 1924, Seweryn Udziela described this type of interior as follows: “In the room, the most striking feature is a series of pictures with saints above the windows, along the entire wall under the ceiling; a table, bench, chest, stools and beds, everything painted in flowery patterns; beds cushioned high with pillows and quilts, with everyday clothing hanging above them. On the wall, to the side, stands a cradle, also painted”.
The work is attributed to Włodzimierz Tetmajer or Henryk Uziembło. Both were fascinated by folk themes, which at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries were a fashionable source of inspiration. This direction of artistic interest was the consequence of the 19th-century idea of national solidarity – the brotherhood of the intelligentsia and the peasants, as well as faith in the vitality of the latter. In the fabulously colourful Polish village, its rituals and residents, one could observe the fidelity to the basic values and native traditions preserved for centuries, which were so important to the intelligentsia in a country torn apart by three invaders. The folklore of Tatra highlanders, peasants from Bronowice near Kraków, and the lively, colourful and exotic Hutsul region became themes for paintings.
Henryk Uziembło designed and drew interiors. However, he is unlikely to have been the author of this picture, because he made drawings mainly of rooms of his own design, and the presented work seems to document the interior of an existing Bronowice hut. It is more probable that Włodzimierz Tetmajer, who lived and worked in Bronowice in 1890, is the author of Krakovian cottage. Amongst his artistic achievements, one can also find references to local architecture: in 1901, together with Antoni Procajłowicz, he made a miniature project of a cottage for Błażej Czepiec of Bronowice, which then served a carpenter from Bronowice as a model for building a house. The originator of this model, Jerzy Warchałowski, presented it at the First Exhibition of the Polish Applied Arts Society in Kraków. Today, this model can be found in the collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. At the same exhibition, Tetmajer also presented his Idea for a bedroom interior appointed in Krakovian style made in collaboration with Procajłowicz.

See also: Kraków’s bed

Elaborated by Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha (National Museum in Kraków),

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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What does a Cracovian hut hide?

What rooms were there in a Cracovian hut? What furnishings and fittings did it contain? The colourful descriptions by Seweryn Udziela provide the best guide on the imaginative wanderings of the inhabitants of villages in the vicinity of Kraków.
With regard to the inhabitants themselves, he wrote as follows:
„A Cracovian is a man of medium height, broad-shouldered, muscular, stocky, with a beautiful, shapely head, an oval face with beautiful, gentle features, his eyes are blue and his nose prominent. The hair, which is always bright among children, becomes dimmer later on, hence, people here are mostly dark-haired (...). Their facial features are handsome; sometimes men are prettier than women”...

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What rooms were there in a Cracovian hut? What furnishings and fittings did it contain? The colourful descriptions by Seweryn Udziela provide the best guide on the imaginative wanderings of the inhabitants of villages in the vicinity of Kraków.
With regard to the inhabitants themselves, he wrote as follows:
„A Cracovian is a man of medium height, broad-shouldered, muscular, stocky, with a beautiful, shapely head, an oval face with beautiful, gentle features, his eyes are blue and his nose prominent. The hair, which is always bright among children, becomes dimmer later on, hence, people here are mostly dark-haired (...). Their facial features are handsome; sometimes men are prettier than women”[1].
By following Udziela’s description, we may also visit a Cracovian hut:
Kraków Bronowice cottage (...) is usually arranged as follows: looking at it from the front, we see a room inside, which has two identical windows, six panes in each of them; one enters the room through the hallway, which is located to the right of it and runs through the entire hut. Opposite the hallway, there is a wardrobe. On the left side of the room, separated from it only by a wall, there is a stable with an entrance from the front of the hut. Sometimes, behind the stable under the same thatched roof, there is also a chamber where cereals are threshed, and the sheaves are stored in the attic, «upstairs», as they say here”[2].

And to stop in the room for a few moments:
„What is striking in the room is, above all, a series of holy images placed above the windows along the entire wall under the ceiling, a table, bench, chest, stools, a cupboard for the dishes and beds, all painted in floral motives; the beds are made with thick pillows and quilts, over them, on the wall, there hangs everyday clothing, next to it, there is a cradle, also painted”[3].

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

[1] S. Udziela, Krakowiacy, Krakow 1924, p. 9.
[2] Ibidem, p. 13.
[3] Ibidem, p. 19.

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“Interior of Cracovian or Bronowice cottage”

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