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‘ The National Museum in Kraków has gathered the largest and most valuable collection of works by Stanisław Wyspiański (1869-1907) — one of the most important, original and appreciated artist from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, who belongs among such artists as Klimt, Mucha and Gaudi; the exhibition comprises of about 900 works. Around 500 pieces from the collection will be displayed as part of the largest exhibition of the artist’s works in Poland for 50 years (the last large display of his works from the Kraków collection was held at the Main Building of the National Museum in Kraków in 2000). The 110th anniversary of Stanisław Wyspiański’s death, which occured in 2017, is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves about the creative output of this great poet and painter, playwright, designer, drawer, theatre reformist, graphic designer and scenographer. Just how Gustav Klimt’s life was linked to Vienna, Stanisław Wyspiański’s whole life was linked to Kraków — its churches and public utility buildings, for which he designed innovative, monumental pieces. The exhibition is also an introduction to a future permanent exhibition of his works in the renovated Main Building of the National Museum in Kraków. While still […]

The painting was purchased ca. 1800 in Italy, by Adam Jerzy, the son of Princess Izabela Czartoryska, and donated to the Museum in Puławy where it was exhibited in the ‘Gothic House’ from 1809–1830. In Puławy, it was erroneously considered to be a portrait alluding to the beloved mistress of King Francis I of France, referred to as the ‘Belle Ferronière’. We now know that the subject of the portrait is Cecilia Gallerani (ca. 1473-1536), a reputed mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, also known as ‘il Moro’ (the Moor). The ermine in the portrait commissioned by him is an allusion to Duke Sforza himself, who was also referred to as the White Ermine (Ermellino Bianco). The portrait embodies the Renaissance idea of an image as an illusion of natural vitality. The artist managed to achieve this thanks to his knowledge of anatomy and his lighting skills, which enabled him to create a three-dimensional human figure on the image plane. The original background, which was overpainted with black in the 19th century, was also modelled with light just like the figure, which must have given the impression of the model emerging from the shadows. The portrait became the property […]

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