Władysław Podkowiński was born on 4 February 1866, in Warsaw. He was 'a painter torn with cordial suffering, scorned by the critics, derided by the 'honorable' audience; an artist who walked quickly towards the eternal darkness, who shouted to the world, who wanted to capture light in his works. Outstanding talent, noble character.'
Władysław Podkowiński and Józef Pankiewicz are the precursors of Polish painting which drew from the principles of French Impressionism. In 1889, the two artists visited Paris, where they both admired the exhibition of Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne. Upon their return to Warsaw, they both performed impressionistic experiments in their painting.
Impressionistic paintings by Władysław Podkowiński, presented to the Warsaw public in the autumn of 1890, did not receive favorable reviews from his contemporary critics, and the artist – additionally involved in a hopeless love affair – radically transformed his art. He turned towards Symbolism to create expressive, dark, mysterious compositions in dark shades of colour.