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- Author Leon Chwistek (1884–1944)
- Date of production ca. 1919
- Dimensions height: 70 cm, width: 100 cm
- Author's designation Leon Chwistek
- ID no. MNK-II-b-950
- Branch Main Building
- Gallery 20th-Century Polish Art
- Acquired date purchased from Olga Chwistkowa in 1948
- Object copyright The National Museum in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation NMK, iMNK project
Along with Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and Zbigniew Pronaszko, Leon Chwistek is the main theoretician of the group of Formists who comprehensively analysed the theoretical fundamentals of art and tried to implement the theories he elaborated. Cubism and Italian Futurism were of significant importance in his paintings.more
Along with Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and Zbigniew Pronaszko, Leon Chwistek is the main theoretician of the group of Formists who comprehensively analysed the theoretical fundamentals of art and tried to implement the theories he elaborated. Cubism and Italian Futurism were of significant importance in his paintings. Similar to other Formists, from Cubism he derived rhythmisation, geometrisation of forms as well as uniform colours and the conviction that a work of art must be independent from nature. Nonetheless, his paintings are far more remote from the postulates of Cubism than works by other Formists. In his art, he employed the achievements of Futurism, including an interest in the modern city, imaginary architecture, and dynamics and movement on a far larger scale than the remaining members of the group.
Due to its dynamics and the possibility of analysing individual stages of movement, the theme of fencing became one of his favourite motifs, frequently repeated in watercolours and oil paintings.
In Szermierka [Fencing], movement is precisely measured and the gestures and the arrangement of the figures reveal a thorough knowledge of fencing arrangements. The range of colours, composed of violets and yellows, underline the flashes of light of the weapon.
There were more than purely artistic reasons behind Chwistek taking on this subject. In his youth the artist practiced fencing and could boast of numerous achievements in this area. What was loudly echoed in the Parisian press in 1914 was his victorious sword duel with Wacław Dunin-Wąsowicz, fought in defence of his fiancée’s honour.
Elaborated by Światosław Lenartowicz (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved