Temporary exhibitions

Józef Brandt 1841–1915

22 June – 30 September 2018


The monographic exhibition on Józef Brandt prepared by the National Museum in Warsaw is the first extensive presentation of the artist’s œuvre in the history of Polish museology. Encompassing around 300 works – oil paintings, watercolours and drawings representing subsequent periods of his artistic activity – it is enhanced by a reconstruction of Brandt’s extremely original ‘Eastern’ studio in Munich, where the artist amassed a collection of historic artefacts, including numerous pieces of militaria and oriental costumes.

In his works, Brandt recounts the history of Polish knights and the military victories of the country's greatest leaders, such as Chodkiewicz, Czarniecki or Sobieski, and gives a detailed portrait of Cossacks, Tatars, noblemen and knights. Already as a young man, fascinated with the history of 17th century Poland, the artist used to travel to the old eastern borderlands of Poland: Ukraine, Podolia and the Wild Fields of Zaporizhia. These trips had a profound impact on his painting. In his epic narrative of the history of these regions, he was able to create an evocative portrayal of the period, its spirit and landscape.
Apart from Brandt's most famous masterpieces, the exhibition also features works never before shown to the public. It follows the chronological order and the large-format paintings are displayed surrounded by preparatory works such as photographs, drawings and oil sketches. A multi-media presentation devoted to the artist's lost works complements the exposition.


The exhibition crowns a four-year-long study devoted to Brandt's work, which included detailed conservation research. The monumental, lavishly illustrated three-volume catalogue is a compendium of knowledge about the painter. The visitors are also able to attend various accompanying events, such as lectures on the connection of Brandt's work and literature, the significance of conservation works in the research into his œuvre and the artists who gathered in Brandt's atelier in Munich, where he was the unofficial leader of the Polish community. The youngest visitors are invited to participate in special classes such as In Józef Brandt's Atelier or Workshop for Cossacks. Visitors also have access to an audio guide and free educational pamphlets containing information and tasks enabling active participation in the exhibition.


Curators: Ewa Micke-Broniarek, Agnieszka Bagińska, Collection of Polish Art Pre-1914

In collaboration with: Krystyna Znojewska-Prokop, Collection of Polish Art Pre-1914, Anna Masłowska, Collection of Iconography and Photography; Anna Lewandowska, Atelier of Canvas Painting Conservation


Exhibition under the Honorary Patronage of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, prof. dr hab. Piotr Gliński


Exhibition organised by the National Museum in Warsaw in collaboration with the National Museum in Poznań.


Exhibition organised within the project “3 x Independent at the National Museum in Warsaw” under the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda in the Year of the Centenary of Regaining Independence 1918 – 2018.


The cycle “3 x Independent” realised within the Multi-annual Programme “Independent” 2017–2021