Study of horse heads

Piotr Michałowski1 poł. XIX w.

The Polish Museum in Rapperswil

The Polish Museum in Rapperswil

Obraz przedstawia głowy dwóch koni. Jedna z nich zwrócona jest w stronę lewej krawędzi obrazu, druga w prawo. Wypełniają one cały kadr szkicu. Rysunek końskich głów wykonany został za pomocą tuszu, a następnie opracowany przy pomocy szarej, błękitnej i ciemnobrązowej akwareli. Szkic jest ekspresyjny, a jednocześnie doskonale oddaje charakter zwierząt.

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  • Title: Study of horse heads
  • Creator: Piotr Michałowski (1800-1855)
  • Date created: 1 poł. XIX w.
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 x 24 cm
  • Provenance: In the collection of the Polish Museum in Rapperswil since 2001 (a gift from Halina Hermida-Krzyżewska from Figino-Cemesio).
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Ink, watercolor on paper
  • About the author: Piotr Michałowski, (1800 Cracow – 1855 Krzysztoporzyce near Cracow), A pioneer of Polish modern painting, a leading representative of the native variety of Romanticism. He obtained a comprehensive education in science, natural sciences, mathematics, classical and Oriental philology at the Jagiellonian University. As a 13-year-old he began his artistic education – at the beginning Michał Stachowicz gave him drawing lessons, then Józef Brodowski and Franciszek Lampi. He was a self-taught genius, being ahead of his time; as a painter and draughtsman he was mainly formed by the Baroque art and French Romanticism, which he got to know during his journey to Paris and Vienna. On the basis of realistic colour craftsmanship and experiments he developed his own style, foreshadowing Impressionism and Synthetism. A prominent portrait painter, immortalising rural types, which initiated the interest in folklore in Polish art; he was a battle scenes painter fascinated by the Napoleonic Epic; an animalist understanding the nature of animals, especially his favourite horses, which he retained in numerous sketches, masterly capturing their build and dynamics of their movement. Michałowski’s excellent craftsmanship of paintings and drawings appeals to universal, human themes, while stressing the native individuality of the artist, which introduces him into the elite of the most prominent representatives of European art of the 19th century.