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Painting “Caricature of Jacek Malczewski” by Kazimierz Sichulski

Zakopane, located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, surrounded by a picturesque landscape, used to be a paradise for all kinds of artists. Besides inspirations they could come across at every turn, they could also experience true creative and intellectual freedom there.

“Fugu” — a drawing by Andrzej Wajda

The fish depicted in the drawing is fugu (Latin Takifugu rubripes — a pufferfish), famous for the poison which can be found in its entrails (in particular, in its liver and ovaries), and spawn. The poison is tetrodotoxin, whose toxicity is many times stronger than the toxicity of cyanide. Because of the risk one takes while eating dishes made of fugu, this fish has a crowd of enthusiasts — those who gladly order fugu dishes prepared by qualified chefs, and artists who think about this fish as a motif in films and literature, an instrument of crime or suicide...

“Niobe’s Head” by Samuel Hirszenberg

Samuel Hirszenberg studied at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts under Feliks Szynalewski, Izydor Jabłoński, and Władysław Łuszczkiewicz since 1881. In February 1882, in the second term of his studies, being an extremely talented student, he was moved up to the second year by the professors. At the same time, he proved his abilities...

“Anatomical study of muscles” by Ferdynand Olesiński

Ferdynand Olesiński, from a family of Wieliczka [the centre of salt mining] miners, was educated during the period 1871–1883 at the Kraków School of Fine Arts under the direction of Florian Cynk, Leopold Loeffler, Feliks Szynalewski, Henryk Grabowski, Izydor Jabłoński, and above all Jan Matejko and Władysław Łuszczkiewicz. He was a distinguished student who won praise and rewards.

Mock-up of decorations of act I of “Legenda II” (“Legend II”) by Stanisław Wyspiański

This mock-up is one of the most valuable objects in the collections of HMK, related to the scenographic activity of Stanisław Wyspiański. As an experienced theatre practitioner and stage director of his dramas, Wyspiański made scenography sketches, decorations, and costume designs, as well as mock-ups.

“Fish” — a drawing by Andrzej Wajda

In Japan, carps are a symbol identified with boys, who wish to become as strong and persistent as those fish. Each year, during Japanese Children's Day, which formerly was solely Boys' Day, parents hang kites on flagpoles located near their houses resembling wind socks that indicate the strength and direction of the wind. They are in the shape of carps, and the colour of each carp is related to the person it symbolises: the black carp is for the father, the red one — for mother, other colours are for children. According to old beliefs, flags are hung high in order to attract the attention of protective gods that are high in the sky.

Drawing for the performance “Wielopole, Wielopole” by Tadeusz Kantor

This invaluable drawing presents the scene: “Properly handling the invention of Mr. Daguerre: the military way” of the first act of the work, Wielopole, Wielopole, directed by Tadeusz Kantor. The drawing has watermarks. The composition was made with ink and pencil and placed in a black cardboard passe-partout. The outline of the female photographer is marked in black ink. The woman is absorbed in the action of photographing/shooting.

“Portrait study of a boy’s head” by Antoni Gierowski

Antoni Julian Gasper Gierowski was born on 4 July 1860 in Wielgomłyny in the Radomsko district. He was educated at the Kraków School of Fine Arts in 1878–1883 and later at the Munich Academy. The painter died prematurely in 1888...

“Study of a young boy’s bust” by Antoni Jezierski

Antoni Jezierski was born in 1859 in Ikhrovytsa in the former Tarnopol district (now Ukraine). After finishing lower secondary school in Lviv, in 1878–1882 he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. During the study at the School of Fine Arts, Jezierski’s works won 4 awards. The young painter also received a scholarship, thanks to which he was able to travel to Italy, where he visited Venice, Bologna, Florence and Rome. During his stay in Italy, Jezierski copied frescos and paintings. After returning to Kraków during the period 1884–1887, he continued his studies at the School of Fine Arts at the composition school of Jan Matejko. In 1890, thanks to another scholarship, he continued his education at the Munich academy. After returning to Poland, he created works in various cities in Russia. He died in 1939 in Lviv.

“Golden Pavillon in Kyoto” — a drawing by Andrzej Wajda

On 10 November 1987, Andrzej Wajda received the Kyoto Prize for his lifetime achievements in the field of the arts. During a few days spent in Kyoto, the former capital city of Japan, he sketched more than a dozen drawings depicting the places he had visited. They included two views of Kinkakuji (Jap. Golden Pavillon), one of the most exquisite places of the city. The name of the building is derived from the decoration of the walls which are covered with petals of gold.