This artistic, whole-body sculpture depicts a Roman gladiator with an upraised arm. A sign is inscribed on the pedestal: Ave Caesar! Morituri, salutant [Long live Caesar! Those who are going to die greet you]. The gladiator is — judging by his props — most likely a retiarius [net-fighter]. He fought with a trident or harpoon made of tuna bones, a dagger, and a net that he threw at his opponent's head. The Polish audience paid particular attention to the Slavic physiognomy of the warrior, seeing a hidden national message in the work of Welonski. Our national consciousness enabled us to see an allegory of the situation of Poles under partition in this classical, thoroughly academic, work. This allegory was found in the fate of a Roman gladiator, whose life depended on his owner.
Visualization of the Spiritual State. It is difficult to convey depression because of the lack of words, and the available expressions are banal to the point of ennui. A painting turns out to be a more capacious and sensitive medium than words or poetry. The “black secretion of the soul” is poured over a reclining figure.
It is believed that this church sculpture, probably dating from the seventeenth century, represents the saintly Ludowika from Kęty, who lived from 1563 to 1623. Ludowika was born into a family of poor townsmen, and she spent the first period of her life in Kęty. At the age of 30, she joined a group of pilgrims heading for Rome. She remained in the Eternal City, where she joined the community of the Third Order of St. Francis.
During the years 1900–1910 in Dębniki — at that time still located outside the administrative borders of Kraków — there was a faience factory operating as J. Niedźwiecki and S-ka. The relatively short-lived period of production of this small factory might be considered a phenomenon from an artistic point of view rather than from an industrial one. The uniform production was characterized primarily by inventiveness in the field of forms and decor and a high level of performance of these modern products, especially conspicuous in the background of the local production, but also compared to foreign manufacturers.
Why are there difficulties with dating Piotr Michałowski’s works? As a wealthy person, the artist did not put his works on sale. Consequently, he did not put signatures or dates on his works, making it difficult to ascertain the chronology of their production.
The exhibit comes from a castle in Biecz which was a castellan seat and has not survived. For residents and lovers of the history of Biecz, this exhibit is a romantic contribution to the history of the city and tells the story of its size and importance in the past.
Walery Gadomski studied at the School of Drawing and Painting under Wojciech Stattler (drawing and painting) and Henryk Kossowski (sculpture) in the period 1850–1858. He was simultaneously educated in Franz Bauer’s workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (1856–1858). He fought in the January Uprising. In the years 1876–1889, he taught sculpting at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. He became famous for his busts of contemporaries, for example, Jan Matejko or Józef Szujski, and historical figures (Veit Stoss, Jan Długosz).
The sculpture was purchased in Cairo from Albert Kohen by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The head of the figure represents a young woman in a thick wreath of flowers. She has a fine coiffure of regularly arranged curls over her forehead, as well as along her cheeks, at the back they are formed into balls resembling grapes.
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.
This is a ceramic work – a technique that is inseparable from Chinese culture. The porcelain objects were fired in Jingdezhen, a city famous for its ceramics. The six elements in the MOCAK Collection, which simulate crude oil stains, are part of a 25-part installation. The work is a commentary on contemporary economic conditioning. Oil – a resource that impacts on international politics – symbolically “stains“ the world.
The offered hand invites a handshake. However, its extension is a dirty flag with the inscription Rag. We must decide whether we shall respond in kind to the seemingly friendly gesture, or whether we shall openly reject it. The work is a commentary on the epoch of the People's Republic of Poland.
The sculpture 7+1 consists of salt cylinders sitting in concrete containers. The last of those turns independently. The cylinders were made of salt from the Kłodawa salt mine, noted for its brownish impurities, which give each cylinder its individual appearance.
The sculpture Man's Figure was made from wood, on which residually preserved polychrome is visible, was made about 1850 by Jan Wnęk (1828–1869) from Odporyszów. He was a carpenter, a self-taught sculptor and a genius designer (of a flying machine, among other things).
This woman with a melancholic look on her face and her hair coveredh, gives the impression of being deeply immersed in her thoughts, which may reflect the passing and loss of a loved one. The manner of presenting the sitting, freely-posed figure derives from the works of Michelangelo, as well as later Roman sepulchral sculpture of the Baroque period, with which the author of the work — an artist educated in Kraków, Vienna and Rome — was very familiar.
The present plaster cast of an antique statue is a copy of the original marble statue kept in the Louvre (Musée de Louvre, Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, Inventory No. MR 315 (Ma 1207). In the seventeenth century, the statue was placed in the gardens of Pope Sixtus V in Rome, and then in Villa Montalto-Negroni. The statue was then deemed to be a likeness of Germanicus (Gaius Claudius Drusus Caesar Germanicus, 15 BC–19 AD). In 1685, through the agency of the painter Nicolas Poussin in Rome, it was purchased by the king of France, Louis XIV. Then it was restored by François Girardon (1628–1715) and placed in the Palace of Versailles, in the Hall of Mirrors.
In the Louvre’s department of Oriental collections, there are more than twenty sculptures considered to be images of Gudea (in total, over thirty images of the ruler have been preserved). Some of the statues present the ruler in a sitting position, some in a standing position. The present plaster copy belongs to the second group. There are five such statues in the Louvre. They all come from Telo: an archaeological site situated at the location of the ancient city of Girsu in present-day Iraq. All five standing statues of Gudea are devoid of heads. The statues from Telo were found during excavations conducted by the French between 1877 and 1933. The cast in the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków was made in accordance with the so-called E Statue (reference number AO 6), which was discovered in 1881 by Ernest Choquin de Serzec, who led the excavations at Telo between 1877 and 1900.
The bronze bust portrait depicts Julian Fałat (1853–1929), the successor of Matejko in the post of director of the School of Fine Arts and the first rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Fałat, who was appointed to the post of director of School of Fine Arts in 1895, carried out the reform of the university. He closed Matejko’s studio of historical painting and brought to Kraków a large group of professors representing new trends in art...
This is a polychrome wooden sculpture depicting a kneeling angel with a candlestick in his left hand. The figure is dressed in a long dark green tunic and a brown coat. The sculpture was found in the destroyed chapel of St. Kunegunda on Boczaniec, on the 1st level of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Maria Sobańska (1887–1948) belonged to the noble, influential Skrzyński family, who, in the 19th century, became the owner of the nearby village of Zagórzany in Gorlice. She was the sister of Aleksander Józef Skrzyński, a diplomat and politician known before the war, the Prime Minister of the Second Polish Republic in 1925–1926 ...
Konstanty Laszczka (1865–1956) seems to have been less famous than his contemporary Young Poland artists, with many of whom he befriended and portrayed in his works. Was his style not original enough?