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  • Author Antoni Pleszowski (1859—1899)
  • Date of production 1887 (gypsum model), 1896 (cast)
  • Dimensions height: 125 cm, length: 84 cm, width: 87 cm
  • Author's designation inscription: C des Bronzes | Cire perdue BRUXELLES, sculpture unsigned
  • ID no. MNK-II-rz-246
  • Museum The National Museum in Kraków
  • Branch The Sukiennice
  • Availability The Chełmoński Room
  • Subjects sculpted, death
  • Technique casting, chiselling, polishing
  • Material bronze
  • Object copyright The National Museum in Kraków
  • Digital images copyright public domain
  • Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
  • Tags sculpture , death , 2D , classicism , public domain
Print description

This woman with a melancholic look on her face and her hair coveredh, gives the impression of being deeply immersed in her thoughts, which may reflect the passing and loss of a loved one. The manner of presenting the sitting, freely-posed figure derives from the works of Michelangelo, as well as later Roman sepulchral sculpture of the Baroque period, with which the author of the work — an artist educated in Kraków, Vienna and Rome — was very familiar.

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This woman with a melancholic look on her face and her hair coveredh, gives the impression of being deeply immersed in her thoughts, which may reflect the passing and loss of a loved one. The manner of presenting the sitting, freely-posed figure derives from the works of Michelangelo, as well as later Roman sepulchral sculpture of the Baroque period, with which the author of the work — an artist educated in Kraków, Vienna and Rome —w as very familiar. An uneasy arrangement of a heavy, exquisitely carved fabric breaks the static character of the composition. Henryk Struve, a philosopher and a leading representative of 19th-century Polish art criticism, noted that the statue ‘combines simplicity and naturalness with calmness and seriousness’. Marian Sokołowski emphasized its “truly monumental aura”.
The plaster version of the sculpture by Antoni Pleszowski was exhibited for the first time in 1887, at the First Great Exhibition of Polish Art in the Cloth Hall in Kraków. The unusual suggestiveness of the work has not escaped the attention of the critics, as evidenced in another passage from Henryk Struve's article: “Without the inscription, we can see that this figure sat in the graveyard in the immediate vicinity of death, and the sad reverberation permeates us and our souls”. The sculpture was also exhibited in 1896 in Brussels. The bronze cast of the sculpture presented here was created under the direction of Cyprian Godebski and at the expense of the National Museum in Kraków. This bronze cast belongs to the permanent exhibition of the museum to this day. A further cast functions as a grave sculpture in one of the Brussels cemeteries. At the Rakowicki Cemetery in Kraków, you can see numerous figures inspired by the work of Pleszowski.

Elaborated by Agata Małodobry (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Sculpture “Over a grave” by Antoni Pleszowski

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