Paintings by Jacek Malczewski are the gallery’s hallmark. In the early 20th c., Edward A. Count Raczyński’s great collection of Polish and European art in Rogalin near Poznań comprised over forty Malczewski’s paintings. Included into the collections of the Museum after WWII (since 1993 as the property of the Raczyński Family Foundation active at the National Museum in Poznań), they make up the biggest and the most valuable set of Malczewski’s paintings in Poland. The majority of this set of works, a unique in Polish museums monograph show of selected paintings, is displayed on the top floor of the Gallery of Painting and Sculpture.
Malczewski, a Symbolist painter, belongs to the group of artists who countered the Impressionist view of the world with visionary images. Originating in imagination, they re-create a reality that transcends the visible one. Inspirations by major texts of culture coexist with an account of the most intimate and personal emotions. The artist and art remain invariably the focus of this world, as can be seen in "Melancholy" and "The Vicious Circle", Malczewski’s masterpieces and the most significant paintings of Polish Symbolism.
The Gallery’s collection of Polish art after the Second World War has its roots in the post-Impressionist tradition, yet it was fast extended by modern works. The most interesting of them are Tadeusz Kantor’s and Jerzy Nowosielski’s canvases, Alina Szapocznikow’s sculptures, and works by representatives of neo-avant-garde and pop-art. The last two decades of the 20th c. are represented by works of none other than Izabella Gustowska, Grzegorz Kowalski, and Zofia Kulik; the objects, made in both pure and mixed techniques, range from paintings through installations and sculptures to photography.
The holdings of the Gallery of Painting and Sculpture include also objects of earlier centuries. Of special significance among exhibits of Polish art of the 17th and 18th c. there is a set of coffin portraits, unknown outside the circle of influence of Sarmatian culture.
One should start familiarising oneself with foreign art displayed at 9 Aleje Marcinkowskiego from the sculpture "Christ on a Donkey", made in the late 15th c. in Ulm in Michel and Gregor Erhart’s workshop, a leading sculpture studio of the Gothic era.
The most intriguing part of the Gallery devoted to European painting is composed of works of Italian Renaissance, with Sofonisba Anguissola’s eye-catching "Game of Chess" and the most extensive and precious Polish collection of Spanish 17th-century painting, with the exquisite "Madonna of the Rosary" by Francisco de Zurbarán. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to a unique in Poland group of German paintings from the 19th c., from Romanticism to Impressionism and Symbolism.
The Gallery’s education programme, targeted at children, young people and adults, facilitates a closer contact with the works on display.
Gallery of Painting and Sculpture
The Gallery of Painting and Sculpture is located in two integral buildings; the old one from 1904 by project Carl Hinckeldeyn and new wing, opened for visitors in 2001.
The new wing was designed in the late 1960s and the early 1970s by the architect Marian Trzaska from Warsaw and adapted in the 1990s by the interior architect Witold Guyrkovich.
12 / 8 PLN / Free admission on Saturdays
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