Swooning, exhausted by “the Improvisation”, the national poet is supported by two female figures. Mickiewicz's figure seems to emerge from an irregular mass, resembling a wave in the sea — a theme strongly favoured by Szymanowski. This somewhat theatrical manner of displaying the character of the poet is meant to emphasize the effort accompanying the creation of outstanding poetry. In Wacław Szymanowski’s interpretation, in tune with the romantic image of the poet, Mickiewicz has created poetry under the influence of the supernatural.
Although Kraków does not appear on the map of the cities where Adam Mickiewicz stayed, it is precisely here, at the most central point, that the poet’s monument was erected. Today, its presence seems obvious, but its creation was accompanied by heated discussions and disputes. The idea itself was born 14 years after the poet’s death...
Three inconspicuously-looking fragments of the bronze sculpture: the head of an old man and the fragment of a hand and an arm are the elements of one of the most important 19th century monuments in Kraków — the monument commemorating the national bard, Adam Mickiewicz. The monument, erected in 1898 by the sculptor Teodor Rygier, was demolished by the German occupant in 1940 as a symbol of Polish statehood.
Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), was the greatest poet of Polish Romanticism, a national poet, publicist, and political activist. David d'Angers, was a French sculptor, the author of monuments and tombstones, medallions, and portrait busts. In 1829, during his stay in Weimar — where he was working on the bust of Johann Wolfgang Goethe — he met Adam Mickiewicz, with whom he later became friends.
17 August 1940: “After Grunwald and Kościuszko, it was Mickiewicz’s turn. Vandals furiously attacked the monument of the bard standing in the Main Market Square. In broad daylight at noon tools and lifts were brought in and all the figures were thrown off the pedestal — as if with some hidden passion or provocation“.
The photograph presents an important historical moment in the history of the main market square in Kraków, because it probably shows the reinstallation of the statue of Adam Mickiewicz in the Main Square on 26 November 1955.
The monument to Mickiewicz which was unveiled in Kraków in 1889 was not the only honour given to the poet after his death. Over the 34 years that passed since the 26th of November 1855 (the date of his death), the poet’s body and his person, reproduced in depictions and photographs, was idealised. With time, it became less and less similar to the original. It entered the sphere of myth and interpretation.