Poland. The Power of Images
18 September – 20 December 2020
Exhibition of 19th-century Polish painting, presenting works by the greatest Polish artists: Stanisław Wyspiański, Aleksander and Maksymilian Gierymski, Jan Matejko, Leon Wyczółkowski, Józef Mehoffer, Olga Boznańska, Józef Brandt, Józef Chełmoński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Konrad Krzyżanowski, Jacek Malczewski, Wojciech Weiss, Jan Stanisławski, Juliusz and Wojciech Kossak, Witold Wojtkiewicz, Władysław Ślewiński, Artur Grottger, Józef Simmler, Julian Fałat, Zbigniew Pronaszko and other artists – more than 100 paintings from the National Museum in Warsaw and other national collections.
The exhibition is focused around 19th-century Polish painting’s power of creating national culture and mythology. Art from that period not only depicted, but also shaped imagery, mentality and emotionality of the Polish nation. The exhibition shows paintings reflecting on the glorious and tragic history of Poland; exploring the cultural richness inherited from the pre-partitions Commonwealth with its ethnical, social and religious diversity; works grown from the fascination with folklore; the iconography of the January Insurrection and deportations to Siberia; outstanding examples of the Polish school of landscape; finally – testimonies of the quest for modern means of expression at the beginning of the 20th century in the spirit of symbolism, Nabism, proto-expressionism, aestheticism and other artistic trends.
The exhibition Poland. The Power of Images is an adaptation of the display Pologne 1840–1918. Peindre l’âme d’une nation [Poland 1840–1918. Painting the Spirit of the Nation] organised in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and presented at the Musée du Louvre-Lens until January 2020. The exhibition’s success in France – wide interest of the public and extensive coverage in the media –encouraged the NMW to organise the Warsaw version. Apart from the National Museum in Warsaw, the following institutions have contributed to the exhibition: the National Museum in Krakow, the National Museum in Poznań, the District Museum in Toruń, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, the Raczyński Foundation at the National Museum in Poznań, as well as private collectors.
Curators: Iwona Danielewicz (MNW), Agnieszka Rosales Rodríguez (MNW), Marie Lavandier (Musée du Louvre-Lens), Luc Piralla-Heng Vong (Musée du Louvre-Lens)
Assistance: Wojciech Głowacki
Exhibition organised by the National Museum in Warsaw in collaboration with Musée du Louvre-Lens and National Museum in Poznan and Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Patronage of Frédéric Billet, French Ambassador to Poland
National Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda to mark the Centenary of Regaining Independence
Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the international cultural programme coordinated by Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022.
Media patronage: Rzeczpospolita
Jacek Malczewski, 1905, 1905–1906