Bicentennial of Piotr Micha這wski’s Birth
– monographic exhibition
National Museum, Main Building,
al. 3, Maja 1, phone: +48 (12) 634 3377
The artistic awareness of Piotr Micha這wski (1800-1855) was influenced by French art of his time and the works by Old Masters (V幨asquez, Dutch painters of the 17th century) exhibited in the prime galleries of Europe. His works carried the expression of Romanticism not only through their themes and content but also through the form. Fascinated with the Napoleonic myth, Micha這wski frequently presented the person of the emperor: the hero of the time, and a great hope of Poles. For long years the painter was obsessed by the vision of the daring charge in the Samosierra Gorge. His other favourite themes included historical scenes from the November Rising, exalted presentations of bygone Polish military commanders, knights, and light cavalry. He was keen on painting contemporary troops as well: soldiers in colourful uniforms of various ulan formations, cuirassiers, hussars, and others. His numerous travels, mostly to France, found their way into his works as yet another theme populating his paintings with carriages, postillions, horses drawn carts loaded with hay, and scenes in road-side forges. These scenes let Micha這wski paint his favourite subjects: the various breeds of horses. The painter was also a master portraitist; his portraits of family and friends, as well as of simple folk: almsmen of the street, retired servicemen, peasants, farmhands, old women, village girls and boys, and Jews draw exceptional attention and move the soul with the depth of their psychological analysis.
The Krakow exhibition is the first monographic public showing of Piotr Micha這wski’s works to be so complete. It comprises the works of the artist loaned from private and state collections from Poland and abroad (Paris, London, and the USA.) It brings together nearly five hundred objects: oils, water-colours: these include both carefully finished works and watercolour sketches, drawings, and even documents related to the artist. A notable complementation of the exhibition are the X-ray images and infrared photographs of the selected works; these prove that the artist would often impatiently placed a few consecutive compositions on a single canvas. The most unexpected part of the exhibition, devoted to Micha這wski the painter, will be two sculptures made by the artist which will be loaned especially for the event. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book comprising the scientific discussion of the painter’s work, complete catalogue of Micha這wski’s works, and the unabridged bibliography and history of the works presented.
Supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage