Joseph Mahover described it as a “human phenomenon”. Wyspiaski painted, wrote plays, created sculptures, created designs, stained glass windows, and sometimes designed furniture.
Wyspiański may bring to mind the versatile humanist of the Renaissance. It’s hard to find an artist who shows so much talent. They seem very far from each other. There are a few notable painters who are also notable writers, and vice versa. And Wyspiański has been able to follow and excel in both areas. He also extended his hand to others. He needed words, pictures, and other art forms to express what was going on in his mind. It was aptly introduced by Tadeusz Boy-eleński, who wrote:
Among all Wyspiański’s formidable works The strangest phenomenon is certainly the same. It was itself an incomparably creative concept, thrown at the whim of nature (from where exactly from us?) supposed to show what a creature looks like from the range of other possibilities of existence; How, for example, would he look like a saint if he was at the same time an artist in every fiber of the soul and a very penetrating and sometimes very malicious man.
Stanisław Wyspiański was born on January 15, 1869 in Krakow. City appeared in his works as an element. Wyspiański’s parents were Franciszek Michał Wyspiański and Maria née Rogowska. Musically and poetically talented mother, She came from a family with national traditions, and her relatives took an active part in the liberation of Poland. My father studied at the Technical Institute of the School of Fine Arts in Krakow, was engaged in sculpture.
Francesc’s career seemed promising, but it did not fully develop due to the tragic events. in 1875 Only four-year-old Tadeus, the second son of the Wyspiański . family, died. A year later, Maria died and suffered from tuberculosis. Francesc had problems with alcohol before, but after the death of his wife, he became addictedthat did not allow him to take care of his son. Stanislaw was taken care of by his family. He developed the strongest relationship with his mother’s sister, Joanna Stankovic, who treated her husband to her nephew as if he were her own. Aunt was an unusual salad for Stanisław. During school discussions and disputes, he would often refer to her views, which earned him the nickname “Aunt”.
Read also: What did our ancestors do?
Master’s student Jan Matejko
Growing up, Stas was distinguished by sensitivity, he had a melancholy attitude. He painted so much, his father struck him with his love of art. There were many books in the Stankiewicz house, which helped awaken Stanislaw’s passion for reading. in spite of that At school he was a student – today we can say – of two. Certainly none of the teachers believed that in the future someone with such unremarkable academic results would create, among other things, a “wedding” drama considered a masterpiece.
The Stankiewiczs, with whom Stanisław grew up since the age of eleven, belonged to the educated class of the bourgeoisie. They were often visited by: painter Jan Matejko, historian Josef Sojski, prose writer and art historian Carol Estrecher. Seeing Stanislav’s potential, Mateko encouraged him to practice painting. In October 1887, Wyspiański, with his school friend Józef Mehoffer, began studying at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow. At that time Mateko, who apparently preferred Stanislav, was the rector of the university. This does not want to disappoint him. During his studies, he was one of the most diligent listeners. He also attended lectures on art history at the School of Philosophy and History at Jagiellonian University.
In 1889, while still a student, thanks to Mateko, he was able to collaborate with the teacher on the creation of a polychrome in St. Mary’s Church. A few months later, his scholarship allowed Wyspiański to embark on a European journey that was an important part of his art education.
Read also: Mateiko was a great painter. The life and work of the most famous Polish artists
The educational and artistic journey around Europe included Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Wyspiański studied medieval art in particular. Much attention was devoted to Gothic cathedrals. He was also fascinated by the theater more and more. In German cities, he often watched performances of Goethe and Shakespeare, and at the same time he did not avoid opera performances.
He spent most of the time, three years, in Paris. He was not accepted into the École des Beaux-Arts, so he began studying in one of the private studios – the Colarossi Academy. At that time, he faced various trends that influenced the formation of his artistic identity. He became acquainted with the art of the Impressionists and Symbolists, the pointillism of Georges Seurat, and the Post-Impressionism of Paul Gauguin. He was a critical observer and insight. In art, as much as it is original. In Paris, he not only painted a lot, but also wrote plays and operas for operas. He made his first attempts to write while studying in Krakow.
Due to the difficult financial situation, he decided to return to his hometown in 1894. The first months after his return were not easy, but he eventually managed to get a commission for a polychrome work for the Franciscan Church. In 1897, he created several stained-glass windows for the same temple, including the famous “God the Father – Be!”Where you can see the influences of modern art.
Wyspiański remained shortly thereafter One of the founders of the Polish Artists Association “Sztuka”. He created the graphic design for the magazine “Życie” and joined the Krakow Municipal Theater, thanks to which he was able to develop his dramas. He even designed collections and outfits for his pieces. He painted many portraits of intellectuals in Krakow.
Between art and disease
The news of the disease ruined the joy of success in the professional and technical field. Wyspiański discovered that he fell ill with syphilis, and then became incurable. It is not known when and where Wyspiański contracted syphilis. Some believe that it happened as a result of an affair with a girl from the printing house. Others claim that he was injured by Annach, Paul Gauguin’s model and lover, whom the French painter brought from Tahiti. The infection may have occurred in Paris around 1893.
Wyspiański’s disease was an open secret. Everyone knew it, but were ashamed to talk about it. For many years, this aspect of the artist’s biography was omitted, and yet it was not just a bout of illness. An incurable disease defines many of his actions. She was with him in the early years of his career, until the end of his life. It is also necessary to Because of the common knowledge about infection, he couldn’t count on marrying a young lady from a good family. His betrothal was rejected by Zofia’s parents Pietraszkiewiczówna, with whom Wyspiański was in love.
He did not marry until 1900 with Theodora Teofilla Petko of the village. Before the wedding, their two children were born: daughter Helinka and son Mitek. Theodora also had an illegitimate son, Theodore, who was adopted by Wyspiański. After the wedding, the couple had another son, Stai.
Read also: The Most Expensive Works of Art
Selfie of a lonely person
Family and friends did not seem very satisfied with Wyspiański’s mistreatment. It was said that the gap between Stanisław and Theodora was huge. He was a versatile artist, a cultured person and gained more and more recognition, she – a simple and illiterate peasant. However, they created a family together. The artist expected that his relatives would respect his wife. In “Portrait With His Wife” from 1904, he appears more fragile and vulnerable than Theodora. But by observing his attitude, we can get the impression that he wants to protect his wife from a cruel world.
Wyspiański was alone. He was not looking for friends, sponsors, recipients, or readers. Apparently, on the door of the apartment in the ul. Kroderska 79 in Krakow, where he lived with his family, hung a card with the following inscription: Stanislav Wispiansky lives here and asks not to visit him.. Painter Jan Skotnicki wrote of him: “It was not easy to get to know Wyspiański personally. He lived a solitary, semi-hermit life, amid want and suffering, in creative ecstasy. He turned away from speech, as it was difficult for him in the face of his sore throat.” However, he had great love for his wife and children, was loyal to them and stared at them, as evidenced by many paintings. He drew strength from his family life.
Severe setbacks often chained him and forced him to stay home for weeks. He felt the need to photograph his loved ones, and wanted to capture and preserve family moments. Mostly painted in pastelsBecause during his studies it was found that he is allergic to zinc white and cannot use oil paints. He is best known for his works depicting Helinka, Mytek and Stas in natural poses. Children seem to draw spontaneously, in unique everyday situations and at the same time, for example during sleep. In his work Wyspiański often used the theme of motherhood. The pastel “Motherhood” is full of tenderness, as the artist immortalized his wife, who was breastfeeding Stay. The home landscape takes on an almost sacred character.
Read also: Small bacteria and a big problem – five centuries with syphilis
Immortality through art
Wyspiański, learning of the disease, threw himself into work. Created to race with death. He was already sick as a child. He suffered from allergies, and syphilis affected him severely. At times, his weakness prevented him from holding onto writing and drawing tools. At the best of times he would draw and write a lot. In his many self-portraits, we can follow the progressive disease. In 1901 he published the drama “Wesele” which was well received. He reassured him with the title of “Fourth Polish Apostle”.. In his works he touched on patriotic themes, but also raised questions about the meaning of human life. He believed that he could gain immortality by making the most of all creative possibilities.
Wyspiański died on November 28, 1907. He was only thirty-eight years old. His death was met with social upheaval. The funeral was held on December 2. It is estimated that about 40,000 people participated in it. The farewell ceremony almost took the form of a national demonstration. The artist was buried in the Crypt of Merit in Sakaka. He wrote in his obituary:
The poet is a great and versatile artist, and he was one of the greatest tormented sons of the nation. He can love and suffer for millions, he can speak to the nation in the tone of Adam, Julius, and Zygmont.because he was from Wieszczów. […] Torn by the doubts of his age, he did not stop believing in the spiritual goal of life, in immortality, because in death he saw only the path to a new higher being, whom the nation wanted to lead.
- Jawi Ł. , Stanislav Wisbyansky. life and creationKrakow 2007.
- Jankowiak-Konik B., Drawing history. How do you read pictures?Poznan 2010.
- Rymaszewski B., Creator in the shackles of the past. Something about Stanisław WyspiańskiKrakow 1995.
- Śliwińska M., Wyspiański. As long as there is enough lifeWarsaw 2017.
- Tomczyk Marion M. WyspiańskiWarsaw 2009.