The influence of Jan Mateyko in Kraków; (June 24 1838 – November 1, 1893)

An influence upon Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869-1907) whose self portraits and  literary works were produced in Kraków, Jan Mateyko focused  on major themes in Polish history. As Wikipedia says,”Stanisław was adopted by his aunt Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband Kazimierz. The Stankiewicz family belonged to a bourgeois and intellectual class. In their house Wyspiański became acquainted with painter Jan Matejko, who was a frequent visitor. Matejko soon recognized that the boy had artistic talent and gave him the first artistic guidance.”…….It continues,” As far as literature was concerned, Wyspiański created a dramatic interpretation of Matejko’s painting Stefan Batory pod Pskowem (Bathory at Pskov).”

Stefan Batory pod Pskowem 1872 (Matteyko)

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Again Wikipedia comments,”During the Livonian War (1578-1582), between Ivan the Terrible of Russia and Stefan Batory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city was besieged by Polish forces. Poland failed to capture the city, but forced Russia to return other territories and gained Livonia. The siege was the setting of this painting. The siege of Pskovfrom the Polish perspective: Batory at Pskov, 1579. Painting by Jan Matejko in 1872. Matejko’s allegoric painting illustrates the concept of romantic nationalism: the Muscovites are represented doing homage to the Polish king, which appear victorious, although in reality Pskov never fell to the Poles, as the conflict ended with negotiationsbefore the siege was concluded.”

An impression of Wyspianski’s work may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc_jSeibnUE and with the accompaniment of Chopin at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQQC-H7lXFc&list=FLoIY4Tgwcvs1qr51MdHS5Zg&index=3&feature=plpp_video. Enjoy!

Two other influences on Wyspianski in France were Gaugin and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

Copernicus, in Conversation with God, (1872) by Jan Mateyko
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