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A drawing depicting two Jewish merchants selling wine to a National Guard soldier.

Jean-Pierre Norblin de La Gourdaineca. 1800

The Polish Museum in Rapperswil

The Polish Museum in Rapperswil

The drawing is sketched in black watercolours. It shows a group of three figures.

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  • Title: A drawing depicting two Jewish merchants selling wine to a National Guard soldier.
  • Creator: Jan Piotr Norblin (1745-1830)
  • Date created: ca. 1800
  • Physical Dimensions: 21 x 17.1 cm
  • Provenance: In the collection of the Polish Museum in Rapperswil since 1978 (a gift from Erna Woźniak-Weber from Basel).
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Ink on paper
  • About the author: Jan Piotr Norblin de la Gourdaine, (1745 Misy-sur-Yonne / France – 1830 Paris), A French painter, draughtsman and graphic artist, one of the most important painters of King Stanisław August Poniatowski’s period, considered the father of Polish genre painting. He studied at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris under guidance of Francesco Casanova. During his journey to London, he met his future patron, Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski, with whom he arrived in Poland in 1774 to become a teacher of drawing to the prince’s children. He stayed in Poland until 1804, that was the time when his greatest works were created. He painted mainly portraits, historical and battle compositions, genre scenes depicting the life of Polish villages and towns of the late 18th century. He was an outstanding engraver – in his etchings we can see the influence of Rembrandt. He was also a decorator (frescos), an official illustrator of the Kościuszko Uprising. After returning to Paris, he still painted genre scene motifs based on sketches he had brought from Poland, drew genre scenes from the life of the French street and the Napoleonic wars. Norblin’s works are characterized by the balanced, realistic line and the ability of objective presentation, whereas the highest artistic value can be observed in his preliminary sketches. On the other hand, the subject matter of the works and the manner of featuring the surrounding reality make him an artist moralist and philosopher of democratic convictions. Norblin, appreciated by King Stanisław August Poniatowski, educated a group of students in Poland – outstanding authors of genre scenes, of whom the most important are: Aleksander Orłowski, Michał Płoński and Jan Rustem.

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