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A headdress piece stiffened with wires, made of strips forming a diagonal chequered pattern. It is embroidered with imitation pearls and laced with metal threads, forming a convex plant ornament. The crown is placed at the back. The whole piece was covered with fabric, and straps were sewn into it at the head for fastening. The object was used as a prop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

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A headdress piece stiffened with wires, made of strips forming a diagonal chequered pattern. It is embroidered with imitation pearls and laced with metal threads, forming a convex plant ornament. The crown is placed at the back. The whole piece was covered with fabric, and straps were sewn into it at the head for fastening. The object was used as a prop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
It is known that in 1876, Marian Gorzkowski donated a ring and a headdress piece to Jan Matejko’s collection of historical costumes and accessories. Perhaps the Russian headdress kept in the collection of the Museum of the Academy is identical to the object given to the painter by Gorzkowski. This seems likely, because Gorzkowski with his Russian origins was interested in the history of his native lands and collected documents and books about their history.
The displayed female headwear is a form of kokoshnik [iconic headdress piece of Russian women] and is called various names, among others: borushka, morkhatka, morshen’, sbornik, samshura. This kind of cap was worn in Russia by married women. They were sewn from pasamon and brocade, or another silk fabric, embroidered with silver or gold thread. The outer fabric was stitched or glued to cardboard, starched percale, or other canvas. The cap adhered to the head and covered the hair plaited into two braids and wrapped at the back of the head in a wreath.

Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

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Marian Gorzkowski, a friend of Jan Matejko

Marian Gorzkowski was born in Biała Cerkiew [Ukr. Bila Tserkva] in 1830 in Ukraine. He studied at the University of Kiev. He travelled to Greece and Italy. He came from Russia and was strongly attached to his homeland region; he collected documents and books dealing with the history of Russia. In 1870 he came to Kraków for the first time, and two years later he settled there permanently. He was a journalist by trade; he belonged to the editorial staff of “Czas” [“Time”] magazine. He also worked part-time for the Czartoryski Museum. Together with Matejko, he shared a passion for history of the old Polish Commonwealth and love for collecting, which resulted in their friendship.

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Marian Gorzkowski was born in Biała Cerkiew [Ukr. Bila Tserkva] in 1830 in Ukraine. He studied at the University of Kiev. He travelled to Greece and Italy. He came from Russia and was strongly attached to his homeland region; he collected documents and books dealing with the history of Russia. In 1870 he came to Kraków for the first time, and two years later he settled there permanently. He was a journalist by trade; he belonged to the editorial staff of “Czas” [“Time”] magazine. He also worked part-time for the Czartoryski Museum. Together with Matejko, he shared a passion for history of the old Polish Commonwealth and love for collecting, which resulted in their friendship. The friendship with the painter became even closer when Gorzkowski came to hold the post of the secretary of the School of Fine Arts, which Matejko had managed since 1873. Soon Gorzkowski also took care of Matejko’s household and estate matters and gave his son French lessons. The artist decided to show gratitude by placing the figure of Gorzkowski in several of his paintings such as: Wernyhora, Battle of Grunwald or Prussian homage. After Matejko’s death in 1893, Gorzkowski retired.

Marian Gorzkowski gathered a large collection of his superior and friend’s works, numbering nearly 243 drawings, watercolours and oil paintings. He also left behind texts in which he commented on Matejko’s painting. These included three books, several brochures, two volumes of memories and a volume of letters to his wife. The greatest controversy was stirred by the book entitled Jan Matejko. Epoka lat dalszych, do końca życia artysty [Jan Matejko. The Epoch of Later Years, Until the Artist’s Death], published in Kraków in 1898. Its circulation was destroyed by order of Stanisław Tarnowski, who was afraid that it would compromise the artist in the eyes of the readers. Later researchers of Matejko’s work questioned the value of some of the information provided in Marian Gorzkowski’s studies.

Elaborated by Agnieszka Jankowska-Marzec (PhD), (Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

Bibliography

  1. E. Łepkowski, Marian Gorzkowski,[in:] Polski Słownik Biograficzny, Vol. VIII, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1959-1960, p.335-336.
  2. J. Krawczyk, Matejko i historia, Warszawa 1990.
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Russian headdress piece – a prop from the School of Fine Arts

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