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- Author Józef Mehoffer (1869–1946)
- Date of production 1904
- Place of creation Zakopane, Poland
- Dimensions height: 150 cm, width: 80.5 cm
- Author's designation Józef Mehoffer. | 1904
- ID no. MNK-II-b-896
- Branch The Mehoffer House
- Acquired date donated by Feliks Jasieński in 1920
- Object copyright The National Museum in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation The National Museum in Kraków
This painting, characteristically shaped as a vertically extended rectangle, is a portrait of the artist's wife against a background of the interior of a summer apartment. This piece was created in 1904 in Zakopane, where the Mehoffers rented a newly completed wooden highland house for a few months.more
This painting, characteristically shaped as a vertically extended rectangle, is a portrait of the artist's wife against a background of the interior of a summer apartment. This piece was created in 1904 in Zakopane, where the Mehoffers rented a newly completed wooden highland house for a few months.
The heroine of the painting is centrally situated in the foreground. She is represented in a full figure, standing with her body turned to the right. It is with utmost grace that she is wearing her fashionable dress: a white skirt, an ornamental orange blouse and a striking white hat made up of ostrich feathers. In her hand, she is holding a pine twig and seems to have just returned from a walk. A carpet adorned with a floral pattern stretches from under her feet. The background is the interior of a room with clearly highlighted decorative elements. On the right-hand side, there is a harmonium with opened notes on it, bouquets of flowers in folk vases rest beside it. On the floor, there is a painting propped up against the instrument; on the left, a deckchair and scattered children’s toys; a little bit further, under a decorative green lampshade, a table is set for a meal with the artist's four-year old son, who is seated at it. The painter complemented the figure of his wife, depicted as an attractive and fashionably clad young woman, with a background context pointing to her style and living standard, artistic interests, the role of a housewife and mother as well as the beauty of the moment.
The Swiss art critic, William Ritter, a friend of Mehoffer, wrote with reference to the painting being shown in 1905 in Munich Glaspalast, that the painting is a “symphony of love, where all tones of light wood are singing in an elegant cottage. This interior interacts with the strong tones of orange and white of the woman's tasteful gown. […] Everything seems to smell of resin: walls and fir furniture under light varnish.“ The canvas is dominated by a warm tone, and such is its emotional tone.
Jadwiga née Janakowska Mehofferowa (1871–1956), the artist's wife and muse, was a person with a strong personality; she was sharp-witted, well-educated, possessing artistic, musical and literary talents (she studied painting, among others, in Paris and Munich). She stood out with her chic looks and sociability. She always stayed in the centre of her husband's attention. At the end of her life, she wrote an extensive manuscript on his life and artistic work.
Elaborated by Anna Zeńczak (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved