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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.

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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

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Fotografia Wyspiańskiego i Mehoffera

W zbiorach Muzeum Ziemi Bieckiej znajduje się unikalne zdjęcie z 1889 roku, przedstawiające studentów drugiego roku ówczesnej Szkoły Sztuk Pięknych (dzisiejszej Akademii Sztuk Pięknych) w Krakowie podczas wyprawy naukowej po ziemi sądeckiej i bieckiej pod kierownictwem prof. Władysława Łuszczkiewicza. 

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St. Wyspiański, J. Mehoffer, Maszkowski
i Cinciel w kościele w Libuszy, 1889.
Ze zbiorów Muzeum Ziemi Bieckiej.

W zbiorach Muzeum Ziemi Bieckiej znajduje się unikalne zdjęcie z 1889 roku, przedstawiające studentów drugiego roku ówczesnej Szkoły Sztuk Pięknych (dzisiejszej Akademii Sztuk Pięknych) w Krakowie podczas wyprawy naukowej po ziemi sądeckiej i bieckiej pod kierownictwem prof. Władysława Łuszczkiewicza.Fotografię wykonano we wnętrzu kościoła w oddalonej od Biecza siedem kilometrów Libuszy. Wpatrująca się w nas postać, widoczna jako pierwsza z lewej, to Stanisław Wyspiański. Obok niego stoi, szkicujący jakiś element wyposażenia kościoła, Józef Mehoffer.
Uczestnicy wycieczki przybyli do Biecza 2 sierpnia 1889 roku. Zamieszkali w klasztorze oo. Reformatów. Stąd wyruszali do pobliskich miejscowości, poszukując tematów do szkiców. Sam Biecz zafascynował Wyspiańskiego na tyle, że sześć lat później zaangażował się w prace renowacyjne w tutejszej farze.

Więcej na temat związków Stanisława Wyspiańskiego z Bieczem tutaj.

 

Opracowanie: Kinga Kołodziejska (Redakcja WMM),
Licencja Creative Commons

 Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa 3.0 Polska.

 

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Folk trace on Mehoffer’s painting

Could the toy that is seen in the background on the portrait of Józef Mehoffer's wife have been manufactured in one of the Myślenice workshops?
The picture was painted in 1904. It reflects the scene from...

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Could the toy that is seen in the background on the portrait of Józef Mehoffer's wife have been manufactured in one of the Myślenice workshops?
The picture was painted in 1904. It reflects the scene from the artist's summer apartment in Zakopane. We can see the painter's wife posing in the forefront, the elegant interior of one of the rooms in the background and the artist's four-year-old son sitting at the table. Summoned to have a meal at the table, he had to leave his toys. Among them we can see one which is very similar to the cart pulled by horses presented in our portal. The motif of horses pulling a cart or a sleigh, as in the case of the toy painted by Mehoffer, was very common in folk toy manufacturing. It is still possible to see a child patiently pulling its first vehicle with a string fastened to the horse's head. These toys for little children, subsequently replaced by mechanical vehicles and omnipotent superheroes, are identical to the one in Mehoffer's painting from 1904 and to the toy from the museum in Myślenice, manufactured in the 1960s. They can even be found now, as they once again have become fashionable in their ecological design, however, much more expensive than traditional folk toys.  
The horses pulling a sleigh in Mehoffer's painting was probably purchased at one of the street markets held in Kraków or Zakopane and, apart from the wooden house interior design, they are the second element proving the fascination with folk culture by Polish modernists of the Young Poland movement. They do not come from the Myślenice region as it became popular more than a dozen years later, after World War I. But do they significantly differ from the toys presented by us and carved by Antoni Burkat in Osieczany in the 1960s?

Elaborated by the editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

See:
Painting “Portrait of the Artist's Wife: In the Summer Apartment” by Józef Mehoffer
Wooden toy — a cart pulled by horses

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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 Cracow....

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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 Cracow.

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 Malopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

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Painting “Portrait of the Artist's Wife: In the Summer Apartment” by Józef Mehoffer

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