Temporary exhibitions


17th of November 2023 – 17th of March 2024




The Arcadian myth, rooted, among others, in Virgil’s Bucolics (Eclogues), envisions an ideal world governed by unchanging order, filled with serenity, happiness, eternal youth, freedom and uninhibited eroticism. The exhibition brings together various interpretations of the theme, which has left a lasting mark on European culture. From the modern era onward, artists have revisited Arcadian motifs, depicting the charming realm of shepherds, shepherdesses, nymphs and satyrs. They have also metaphorically related to these themes, communicating, in various ways, the human longing for happiness. The Arcadian topos found expression in images of courtly gardens, rural noble estates, exotic lands and picturesque regions, where one could feel a harmonious bond with nature.

The exhibition showcases a diverse set of artworks, ranging from the early Renaissance to the present day: paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and exquisite examples of decorative arts (tapestries, ceramics, costumes). Most objects on display are from the NMW collection, alongside paintings from other Polish collections (the Royal Łazienki Museum, the Royal Castle at Wawel, and the National Museums in Kraków and Poznań) and foreign museums (Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien). Visitors will have the opportunity to admire works by prominent European painters: Claude Lorrain, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Pater, Camille Corot, Henryk Siemiradzki, Zofia Stryjeńska, Arnold Böcklin, Pierre Bonnard, Józef Mehoffer, and Jacek Malczewski. Contemporary artists will be featured too, Mirosław Bałka, Jarosław Kozakiewicz, Diana Lelonek, Cecylia Malik, Agnieszka Piksa, Karol Radziszewski and Anna Siekierska. The exhibition will conclude with works by the youngest generation of artists and collectives active at the intersection of arts and social issues. Through their practice, they breathe new life into the classical Arcadian myth, reflecting on the state of the earth and technology’s devastating impact on the natural world.


Exhibition curators: Dr hab. Agnieszka Rosales Rodríguez (National Museum in Warsaw) and Prof. Antoni Ziemba (University of Warsaw)


This exhibition contains materials that may not be appropriate for children and teenagers.





Patronage of Étienne de Poncins, the French Ambassador to Poland

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage


Museum Patrons:
PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna


Museum Strategic Partner:


Museum Partners:
Totalizator Sportowy
PKP Intercity




Media Patrons:

Chilli Zet

Contemporary Lynx


TVP Kultura




Visual identity: Full Metal Jacket

Exhibition curators: Dr hab. Agnieszka Rosales Rodríguez (National Museum in Warsaw) and Prof. Antoni Ziemba (University of Warsaw)

François Boucher,...
Franz von Stuck,...
Hipolytte Flandrin,...
Dancing Satyr,...