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Along with Józef Pankiewicz, Władysław Podkowiński is considered to be the precursor of impressionism in Polish art painting. His works also gave rise to Symbolism and Expressionism trends in Polish Modernism.
About 1892 Podkowiński’s oeuvre began to feature visionary and phantasmagoric depictions of the issues of love, suffering and death inspired by his personal experiences, with references to achievements by Western European symbolists.

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Along with Józef Pankiewicz, Władysław Podkowiński is considered to be the precursor of impressionism in Polish art painting. His works also gave rise to Symbolism and Expressionism trends in Polish Modernism.
About 1892 Podkowiński’s oeuvre began to feature visionary and phantasmagoric depictions of the issues of love, suffering and death inspired by his personal experiences, with references to achievements by Western European symbolists. These works include Frenzy, on which the artist started to work in Paris as early as 1889. In the following years, various composition sketches of the work were created, and the final work was first exhibited in March 1894 at the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Warsaw. As Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer wrote, the painting “shattered all patterns” and gave rise to heated discussions in the press. The discussions referred to the artist’s right to express his feelings, draw upon “another world, a world of personal suffering and joy, passion or oblivion,” as well as the border of good taste, and the differences between art and pornography.
The artistic form of the work, with its Baroque dynamic composition based on diagonals, used a narrow colour scheme built on the contrast of achromatic hues of various degrees pulsating with warm reflexes and broken with passionate shades of orange and red accents; an impressive format of the painting was utterly subordinated to the expressed idea.
The turmoil around Frenzy was even more intensified when Podkowiński entered the Zachęta rooms and cut the painting with a knife without giving any reasons for his attack. The deepening signs of insanity which was supposedly caused by the unhappy and unrequited love for the wife of his friend, and the artist’s sudden death turned Frenzy into one of the most intriguing works of Polish modernism.

Elaborated by Wacława Milewska (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Feliks “Manggha” Jasieński. Creating a collection

Feliks Jasieński collected art for thirty years of his life. The collection numbered about 15,000 items and included paintings and graphics from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a set of Asian art objects, carpets, kilims, furniture and arts and crafts, as well as a library. The unique collection became a testimony to the time of its creator, who initially collected works in his apartment, and then, on 11 March 1920, donated them to the city of Kraków...

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Feliks Jasieński collected art for thirty years of his life. The collection numbered about 15,000 items and included paintings and graphics from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a set of Asian art objects, carpets, kilims, furniture and arts and crafts, as well as a library. The unique collection became a testimony to the time of its creator, who initially collected works in his apartment, and then, on 11 March 1920, donated them to the city of Kraków.

Photo National Digital Archives

Who was the man whose collection inspires so much admiration? An anthropologist, cultural scientist, he was also interested in art, various aspects of civilization. He came from a landowning family. He received a very thorough education: in Dorpat, Berlin and Paris. He pursued various fields of study: economics, philosophy, literature, art history and music. Above all, however, he was an enthusiast and collector who consistently gathered a coherent collection of works. His pseudonym Manggha came from the collection of woodcuts by a Japanese artist Katsushiki Hokusai.
Thanks to Jasieński’s involvement, he managed to save the painting Szał [Frenzy] by Podkowiński , which had been cut up by the author. Jasieński carefully restored the canvas and hung it on the wall of his apartment in Cracow, as the most valuable object in his collection. He started the collection with the works of his contemporaries. The most outstanding artists of his time made an attempt at portraying him: Boznańska, Wyczółkowski, Malczewski, and Laszczka. His private acquisitions transformed into a museum collection. Would anyone be willing to donate their private collection of contemporary art to a museum nowadays?

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

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

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Painting “Frenzy” by Władysław Podkowiński

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