The sculpture ranks as one of the most significant examples of this type. It depicts the standing Virgin tenderly holding the infant Christ. The feminine beauty of Mary is allusion to her spiritual beauty, while the apple given to the Child is allusion to Mary as incarnation of the new Eve and Christ's sacrifice. With humble consent to the Incarnation she has redeem disobedience of Eve and Original Sin. Stylistic nature indicate Prague during the reign of King Wenceslas IV (1378-1419) as the most probale place of origin.
polychromy on gaize, c. 1390, 113 × 47.5 × 32 cm (44.5 × 18.7 × 12.6 in), inventory number Śr.8, on permanent display in the Gallery of Medieval Art, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie (MNW)
The painting reflects the impressions from a journey to Italy and to North Africa which took place in the 1930s. The Meeting is the result of Cybis's enchantment of indigenous people of Africa. Glistening of their smooth skin is contrasted with rough walls of homes resulting in certain realism. Cybis sympathetically details the lines of their faces and marks the scars of the girl's face.
The whole scene is possibly an allusion to the story of the Meeting at the Golden Gate, a depiction of the parents of the Virgin Mary, Joachim and Anne rejoicing after a long period of separation. Following this interpretation we can find a reference to one of the most famous illustrations of the scene by Giotto di Bondone (created between 1304 and 1306), strikingly similar in color palette and technique of portraying three dimensional world.
The scene is clearly divided into woman's and man's sphere emphasized by selected colors. The woman with typical feminine features of a Fulani woman is dressed in pink, while a man in a conical herdsman hat is less visible on the left and taken from the profile.
Apart from obvious inspiration by medieval Italian fresco painting, we can find some reference to the traditional African art. The men’s hat in the form of the "Mount of the world", one of the main features of the painting, was additionally emphasized in bas relief. A red handprint to the left, just as Prehistoric red ochre hand tagging, is a preliterate symbol of human presence and territory marking. Red, a primal color of emotion and attraction, symbolizes the rites of passage such as puberty or marriage. The woman have prominent facial scarification in form of scars on her nose, cheeks and forehead. Mud houses and an archway in the background are typical for North – Western Africa.
The artist, whose work was largely influenced by the art of the German New Objectivity, introduced in this composition textural effects imitating the quality of depicted material like gilding and polished surface of the sky at sunset, another reference to the Gothic painting, relief elements, glued fabric scraps and mixture of sand and plaster as a window frame.
collage on plywood, 1931, 58.5 × 73.2 cm (23 × 28.8 in), inventory number MPW 1389, on permanent display in the Gallery of 20th century art, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie (MNW)
On the occasion of 150th anniversary of Olga Boznańska's birth on 15 April 2015, the National Museum in Krakow and the National Museum in Warsaw organized and exhibition devoted to her work and life.
Olga Boznańska is considered as one of the most distinguished painters of the Young Poland movement, active in Munich and Paris. She was born in 1865 in Kraków and died in 1940 in Paris. Her artistic formation was influenced by sophisticated art of James McNeill Whistler, and artists placed on the border between realism and impressionism, Edouard Manet and Wilhelm Leibl. During the Munich period she created large, full-length portraits inspired by Velázquez.
The subject-based arrangement of the exhibition include portraiture, images of children, motherhood, urban landscapes, atelier interiors and still-life. It was supplemented with works by artist who influenced and inspired her.
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), Girl Lost in Thought, 1889, private collection
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), Portrait of a Young Woman with a Red Parasol, 1888, private collection
Marie Bracquemond (1840-1916), Three Ladies with Parasol, c. 1880, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), View from the Kraków Studio, c. 1914, National Museum in Warsaw
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), The Cathedral in Pisa, c. 1905, National Museum in Warsaw
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), Self-portrait, 1893, National Museum in Warsaw
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), Portrait of a Young Woman, 1890s, private collection
Eugeniusz Zak (1884-1926), Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1905, private collection deposited to National Museum in Kraków
Olga Boznańska (1865-1940), Nasturtiums (Composition with Nasturtiums), c. 1906, National Museum in Krakow
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), Roses in a Flat vase, 1882, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Józef Czajkowski (1872-1947), Flowers in a Vase, c. 1900, National Museum in Warsaw
Palette of Olga Boznańska, National Museum in Kraków
During the renovation in the second half of the 17th century the palace was adorned in late baroque style. With a certain level of probability the frescoes can be attributed to Tylman Gamerski or his circle, due to similarity to some other works. Although predominantly known as an architect, Gamerski was also a good painter, educated in his native Low Countries and in Venice. Approximately 30% of original decoration was restored after the war.
Initially the room served as a bedchamber for master of the house. The walls were covered with frescoes depicting ancient ruins (colonnades, fountains, gates, arcades, vases) and a wooden panneling to the one sixth of its hight, which was replaced with copies of Dutch tiles after the war.
The style of decoration referring to the work of Claude Lorrain was completed with floral and mythological stuccoes in overdoor and above fireplace.
The room was originally an antechamber of Kazimierz Ludwik Bieliński. The preserved frescoes were created during second reconstruction of the palace in the second half of the 17th and are attributed to Tylman Gamerski. Approximately 75% of the original decoration preserved.
Among elements depicted are two and three masthead boats moored in the port or entering the port, small boats filled with people, lighthouses and the rocky coast. The lower parts of the walls were covered with Dutch tiles.
As in the other rooms the decoration included rich stuccos in the form of oval cartouches in overdoor, adorned with shells, acanthus twigs and grass blades. The cartouches were filled with images in sepia (only one of them preserved).
The chimney with phoenix born from ashes, that once adorned the rooms of Ludwika Maria Bielińska, was moved to the staircase. The original decoration of wife's rooms did not preserved.
The Ballroom with a balcony raise at the height of the two stories. The original baroque furnishings and decoration not preserved to our days. The room was adorned after the war with neoclassical stuccos and furnished with 19th century furniture including a pair of Russian candlesticks. External arcade terrases connect the room with husband's and wife's part of the palace.
One of the most renowned of the palace's inhabitants was Marianna Bielińska (c. 1685-1730) - mistress of King Augustus II of Poland. Marianna was a daughter of Grand Marshal of the Crown Kazimierz Ludwik Bieliński, a leader of French party in Poland. His lavish estate in Otwock Wielki was frequented by many state figures including the King himself, who become a lover of his daughter. Soon afterwards Bieliński married his daughter to Bogusław Ernest Denhoff. Despite that Marianna remained King's mistress and eventually divorced Denhoff with Pope's approval. She had a large influence on the King and persuaded him to enter into an alliance with France in 1714. When the new alliance become less beneficial then expected she was dismissed by the King.
Her portrait painted by Ádám Mányoki, along with some other portraits of Royal Mistresses preserved in the Palace on the Water in Warsaw. The Hungarian painter educated in Germany developed his own style and largely influenced the portraiture in Poland.
The vestibule of the Otwock Wielki Palace was initially a representative hall into which the double external staircase led directly from the courtyard. It is one of the 4 rooms of the palace with original decoration.
The semi circular niches supported by richly decorated corbels are the main features. The original Baroque sculptures that filled the niches were destroyed between 1809 and 1828. Present statues depicting mythological deities were executed in 1975 by Stanisław Kulon.
The decoration of the vestibule was to resemble an antique grotto and a Palladian Corinthian hall. The walls were covered with a mixture of sand, lime, green glass and granite. The southern wall is filled with a wide semi circular entry into the ballroom framed with stucco decoration in the form a fabric supported by 4 putti and two herms in the form of a semi nude female and male. The herms indicated the initial division of the palace's structure into the wife and husband's space and bears strong resemblance to the current owners Ludwika Maria Bielińska and her husband Kazimierz Ludwik.
Between 1787 and 1790, Franciszek Bieliński, the palace's owner, has visited Italy several times. During his sojourn in Naples he acquired a collection of 85 teraccotta busts and copies of antique sculptures from the collection of la Maison Farnese and originating from the Pompei and Herculanum excavations. As the collection was intended to be housed in Otwock Wielki, the palace underwent some structural changes inside.
The Palace in Otwock Wielki was constructed as a summer residence for Bieliński family. The construction started after 1682 at the initiative of Kazimierz Ludwik Bieliński and it was accomplished in about 1689, possibly under supervision of Tylman Gamerski, Carlo Ceroni or Józef Fontana. The main tympanum was adorned with a scene of bacchanal with nymphs, satyrs and God Pan in the center.
The subsequent owner, Franciszek Bieliński, Grand Marshal of the Crown renovated the palace in 1757. The modernization in Rococo style was conducted by Jakub Fontana. At that time the interior was remodelled and adjusted for the purpose of a yearlong living - tile stoves were installed instead of fireplaces in some rooms, the outdoor staircase was demolished and a new one was constructed inside. Also new outbuildings were constructed to house guest rooms, kitchens and rooms for servants.
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