The motif depicted in the painting was one of the favourite themes of that Polish artist. The work is signed. The artist’s full signature appears in the bottom right corner, along with the date: “1873, Munich”.


  • Title: Four-horse carriage
  • Creator: Józef Chełmoński (1849-1914)
  • Date Created: 1873
  • Physical Dimensions: 90 x 124 cm
  • Provenance: In the collection of the Polish Museum in Rapperswil since 1973 (a gift from Julian Godlewski from Lugano).
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • About the author: Józef Chełmoński, (1849 Boczki near Łowicz – 1914 Kuklówka), Polish painter and illustrator active in Munich, Paris and Warsaw, the leading representative of Realism. His artwork developed under the influence of the 19th century academic art of Wojciech Gerson’s Drawing School in Warsaw and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the experience of native Realism and Romanticism, known mainly through the works of Józef Brandt and Maksymilian Gierymski, a contact with French art, and finally under the influence of the Young Poland Symbolism, of which the artist is one of the representatives, though he acted on the fringe of it. His work defies any unequivocal classifications as he had a great, original and inborn talent, based on imagination, intuition and painting instinct. The background which shaped this outstanding personality was, on the one hand, Łowicz – his home land with its plain Mazovian landscape and the colourful folklore and Kresy – the Eastern Borderlands’ nature, which he got familiar with during numerous journeys to Podolia, Volhynia and Polesia. Chełmoński’s paintings – romantic landscapes and colourful genre scenes, presenting life of the Polish countryside – much in demand when the artist was still alive, also in Lodz, where in 1897 they were exhibited at the Artistic Salon of Zygmunt Bartkiewicz.

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