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Biographies Bochnia Painters 24.09.2008.

 

  


   

Stanisław Fischer (1879-1967)

 

Józef Mularczyk (ur. 1912)

 

Feliks Hanusz (1811-1876)

 

Ludwik Nemetz (1871-1962)

 

Walerian Kasprzyk (1912-1992)

 

Tadeusz Okoń (1872-1957)

 

Stanisław Klimowski (1892-1982)

 

Feliks Pilarz (1884-1975)

Tomasz Łosik (1848-1896)

 

Marcin Samlicki (1878-1945)

 

Klementyna Mien (1870-1954)

 

Bogusław Serwin (1882-1956)

 

Franciszek Mollo (1897-1967)

 

Mieczysław Serwin-Oracki (1912-1978)

 

Ludwik Stasiak (1858-1924)

 
 
 

 

 Feliks Hanusz

    Feliks Hanusz (1811-1876)
He was active in Bochnia for fourteen years and had an important influence on the local cultural environment. Bochnia was the last harbour in his travelling life. In 1842 the artist married the beautiful Julia Bendykiewicz, whose subtle portrait is exhibited  in the Portrait Room. In 1862 the painter, together with his family moved to Bochnia permanently. Hanusz’s creation, despite the fact that it cannot be classified into the leading achievements of the Polish painting of this period – exceeded those of local painters, painting usually poor quality pictures for local churches. Hanusz added solidity and method correctness to the tradition of painting – symbolically called Bochnia painting, especially in atmospheric, calm portraits and less known still lives, as he became very proficient at portrait art. The artist made proper academic pictures as well as good copies of great masters’ works (among others Guido Reni, Rembrandt). He did not cross prescribed copying from nature or academic rules of composition. He copied existing schemes of known religious pictures and mythological scenes. Hanusz tried to reflect the similarity of people being portrayed by him. He avoided additional accessories (an exception to this is the ‘Self-Portrait’ next to an easel with a palette and brushes in his hand).  He used smooth, dark backgrounds. Hanusz was a stable painter of the gentry and bourgeoisie province.

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    Tomasz Łosik (1848-1896)
The son of a miner from Bochnia – he was the first citizen of Bochnia to reach the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, famous then in Europe. He left for Munich as a grant holder of the National Faculty. He paved the way for Ludwik Stasiak aver a dozen years later. Originally he studied at the Cracow School of Fine Arts, where Łuszczkiewicz taught students to understand old art, often by organising sightseeing trips and open-air workshops in historic places. It was there that he learned the fundamental method of preparation. The Munich Academy, however, taught elegance and subtlety of brush touches, harmonious colour range, finishing details, obtaining perfectly smooth texture characteristic for the Munich painting of atmosphere, increased by dark, brown, olive and grey shades. In 1878 Łosik left Munich for Paris, where he stayed for nearly twelve years. It was then that he tried his hand at sculpting, mainly portraits. In 1887 he returned to Bochnia. From a once substantial painting, drawing and sculpting output of this artist relatively few works have been preserved until today, mainly in family collections in Bochnia and Cracow, those in the Bochnia Museum as well as in churches in Bochnia and Nowy Wiśnicz. He painted mainly genre and historic scenes, landscape compositions, such as the ‘Panorama of Nowy Wiśnicz’, which belongs to the scarce iconographic traditions of Wiśnicza from the beginning of the 1890s – a town predominated by the Castles of the Kmit and Lubomirski dynasties as well the church, the Carmelite Monastery and the town hall. The religious subject matter in his output is represented by the Assumpion Day-the main altar in Nowy Wiśnicz;, St. Aloo – altar of Mary Magdalene and God’s Mother – feretory in St Nicholas’ parish church in Bochnia. His painting is a combination of native motives with academic, realistic conventions of the Munich school. It is  characterised by his well-mastered art of drawing, ability to reflect object qualities faithfully – texture of fabrics, silk, satin, pearls – which is seen in the ‘Portrait of a Lady’ – and those of accessories in residential interiors. An excellent portrait of monk Józef Morgenstern is a picture of exceptional beauty and warmth, subtle presentation of physiognomy of an insurgent from 1831 who died in Bochnia in 1893. His painting belongs to the wide historical and genre current whose synonym was Matejko’s output. Such painting was intended to arouse the nation’s imagination at the time of bondage.  

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 Ludwik Stasiak

    Ludwik Stasiak (1858-1924)
A painter, graphic artist, illustrator, drama and novel writer, publicist, journalist, art historian and publisher. He studied painting in Jan Matejko’s studio, as well as in Vienna and Munich. He visited Venice and Nurnberg where he discovered Wit Stwosz’s works. Stasiak researched Wit Stwosz’s art and that of his contemporaries. Around 1895 he moved to Bochnia. In his Bochnia studio, furnished in the Munich style, he often received friends, Cracow artists (Wincenty Wodzinowski, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Kasper Żelechowski and others e.g. - Edmund Ciećkiewicz, Tadeusz Okoń, Władysław Skoczylas, Antoni Broszkiewicz, Antoni and Tadeusz Waśkowski). In 1898 he founded the Painting Publishing House of Religious Content in Bochnia, whose aim was to break away from the trade reproductions of foreign, in particular German and Austrian works and to replace them with reproductions of Polish works. In 1908 the Publishing House was transformed into the Publishing House of Art Works Stella. In 1901 Stasiak unexpectedly abandoned painting, first for journalism, later reviewing and art history; simultaneously he became a popular author of novels, short stories, humorous sketches and also a dramatist. When, at the beginning of 1904 discussion over the restaurant in the Wawel Castle began, in the magazine the Illustration of Poland he put forward a proposal remodel the antique structure of the Wawel castle. He was going to transform the seat of the Polish rulers into the national pantheon in the shape of the royal crown of Bolesław Chrobry. Stasiak became involved in a number of issues – he announced, for example, the urgent necessity to protect the pearls of the Polish landscape – old chapels, roadside figures and crosses, repeatedly removed and replaced, without reason,  with foreign trash. As an example for his contemporaries Stasiak set the epoch of the late Middle Ages – in his opinion the time of the biggest development of Polish culture, social harmony and transparent moral rules. A special place in his journalism was occupied by the history of medieval art in Poland – and above all the thesis that Wit Stwosz was Polish. Chilean and German art was shaped under the influence off this ingenious sculptor– as he was trying to prove – from Cracow. As early as during his studies in Cracow Ludwik Stasiak obtained prestigious distinctions in the Friends’ Society of Fine Arts. Further painting successes were owed to the patronage of count Ignacy Milewski – a prominent collector. Stasiak’s significant achievement was winning the first award for his painting Jasna Góra in 1895 in the competition ‘for pictures on native topics’. He created genre, historical, symbolic, allegorical, landscape, religious compositions and also portraits and self-portraits. He won renown owing to flowers which he painted in a whole series and  landscapes of the old part of Bochnia salt mine. Furthermore, Stasiak was the author of several dioramas popular in those times.  The initial stage of his output demonstrated serious dependence on Munich influences, the later one was connected with generally understood realism, also modernism and Art Nouveau stylisation. Paintings and sketches by Stasiak abound in wonderfully captured royal insignia, candlesticks, heraldic cartouches, liturgical vessels – which testifies to his drawing perfection, attachment to details and faithful reflection of external features of objects, architectural details, drapes, craft goods, all characteristic of Matejko’s school. In the situation when realist painting and that of historical subject matter, under the influence of Parisian novelties was being increasingly criticised, Stasiak – not being able to accept new art tendencies, remained the ‘echo’ of the declining epoch. Talented, unusually hard-working, persistent in struggling against adversities – live and created – insistently searching for his own artistic expression – in very  difficult times, in the transitional period between the painting of the realistic and historical current and the output of devotees of new directions.

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 Marcin Samlicki

     Marcin Samlicki (1878-1945)
Student of the  Cracow Academy of Fine Arts - in Jan Stanisławski’s course painted in open-air workshops.
While studying, he belonged to the artistic bohemia of Cracow whose meeting place was the cafe ‘Jama Michalika’ with the cabaret ‘Zielony Balonik’ (1905). He performed in the cabaret, singing to the accompaniment of Tadeusz Makowski’s guitar. He also visited Sauer’s café, sitting at the legendary Jeerers’ Table, a meeting place for, among others: Tadeusz Axentowicz, Edmund Bieder, Xsawery Dunikowski, Vlastimil Hoffman, Jacek Malczewski, Lucjan Rydel, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Wojciech Weiss, Kasper Żelechowski. It was here that Samlicki met poet and journalist Cezary Jellenta, who engaged him in the department of fine arts in ‘Rydwan’, a literary magazine published by himself. It was also here that he met for the first time Jacek Malczewski. With the process of time this acquaintance transformed into friendship of many years. From 1912 he studied at Academie de Grande la Chaumiere in Paris. Samlicki travelled and visited museums systematically, which can be confirmed by his collection of books, given to the Museum in Bochnia, containing numerous monographs, albums, guidebooks, catalogues of expositions. At that time Samlicki’s excellent knowledge of art and painters’ biographies started to crystallise. The attitude of Polish art to that of west Europe, both with regard to the present and past epochs was of special interest to him. He became acquainted with the artistic environment of the capital city of France. He also visited the Parisian artistic restaurant ‘Parnas’ and maintained relationships with the Polish colony and visited Władysław Mickiewicz’s house. Samlicki took pride in friendly relationships with Polish artists: Olga Boznańska, Tadeusz Makowski, Władysław Ślewiński, Vlastimil Hofman, Edward Wittig, Jan Rubczak. He was becoming engrossed in studying the art of past epochs, analysing simultaneously his own output and searching for new colour solutions. Samlicki also corresponded on the subject of artistic life of the capital city of France to a few domestic magazines. After the outbreak of the First Word War, as an Austrian citizen – despite explaining that He was Polish – he was interned (13th August 1914), transported to Le Vigan near Nimes and placed in a camp for interned Austrian citizens (Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Serbs). He was forced to stay in provincial Le Vigan for five years. The stay almost completely limited his contacts  with the Parisian environment. It was not until August 1919 that Samlicki was able, owing to Vlastimil Hofman’s help, to leave Le Vigan. It was then that he settled in Sevres. The artist was a guide to Polish artists coming to Paris (Bronisława Rychter-Janowska, Franciszek Mollo). From Sevres he had artistic journeys to France and Belgium. Between the years 1923 and 1925 he visited Le Vigan. In 1926 he painted profusely in Bochnia and its vicinity, as well as in Bydgoszcz and Jordanów. In 1928 Samlicki decided to return to Poland permanently. He moved to his native Bochnia. In the 1930s he discovered Lipnica Murowana, a picturesquel town, where he spent a substantial amount of time with a family of friendly Poles. It was here that he painted both landscapes and inhabitants. He also often painted – in the company of other Bochnia painters (S. Fischer, K. Gulik, M. Serwin-Oracki, W. Kasprzyk, J. Rojkowski, S. Broszkiewicz) – in Łapczyca, on the Raba bank, in Damienice, Kurów, Wiśnicz. His favourite motif was the 14th century’s Casimir chapel in Łapczyca and St Leonard’s small church in Lipnic Murowana. In Bochnia itself he was attracted to places less known, for example old cottages on the outskirts, city manor houses and chapels. Together with Bogusław Serwin and Ludwik Nemetz he organised common open-air workshops in Tyniec. Between the years 1937-1939 Samlicki painted substantially in Krzemieniec, being at that time an artistic colony. In May 1945 Samlicki participated in the ‘Exposition of Bochnia Graphic Artists’ (with Ł. Bildwin, F. Cieślik, S. Fischer, K. Gulik, W. Kasprzyk, J. Kluska, K. Mien, B. Serwin). He was a colourist sensitive to the beauty of the nature. When painting the artist continuously worried about a subtle range of colours in the picture. His landscapes abounded in sunshine and cheerful atmospheres. However, his portraits perfectly capture the personality of the presented figure. He also painted genre scenes and still life and marginally  - went in for graphics.

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 Klementyna Mien

    Klementyna Mien (1870-1954)
She lived in Cracow, where she was an active and widely-known portrait and flower painter for many years. Simultaneously she was running a photographer’s shop taken over from her father. In 1934 she visited Bochnia in connection with the coronation of the Picture of God’s Mother in the local parish church. Enchanted with the town she settled here and opened her own photographic studio. In August 1950 Mien left Bochnia for France where she decided to stay permanently. Mien was a valued portrait painter, the mistress small portraits. She was particularly inclined to paint pastel portraits of children, flowers and landscapes. She also embraced oriental topics, painting a portrait of a Japanese woman.

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 Bogusław Serwin

     Bogusław Serwin (1882-1956)
A painter, classical philologist, a man of letters and a teacher. After ending his studies at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, he improved his painting technique by independent work. From 1905 he worked in the Gymnasium in Bochnia. Serwin maintained bonds of warm friendship with the painters - M. Samlicki, T. Seweryn, T. Grott and others. In their circle he participated in open-air painting workshops . He opted for – almost exclusively – easel painting, leading, owing to his talent and hard work, to a serious growth in numbers. He was above all a landscape painter, he also painted portraits and still life. Serwin was of those painters who searched for New technical methods and means of artistic expression. His image was painted, modelled on old portraits, with the choice of dark colours. As regards style it is connected with a tiny portrait of Jerzy Zajączkowski from 1909.

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    Ludwik Nemetz (1871-1962)
A clerk of the City Savings Fund, a talented painter, and friend of acclaimed Bochnia artists – Samlicki, Serwin, Mollo. The creator of intimate landscapes, evocative portraits and documentarily treated architectural fragments. His works are characterized by exceptionally precise and simultaneously delicate drawing which reveals every detail. Drawing was his best way of expression and subtle watercolours.

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 Stanisław Fischer

   Stanisław Fischer (1879-1967)
He combined the collector’s passion with artistic activities, by producing over five hundred portraits in pencil, coal, sanguine and one hundred and fifty portraits in watercolours for his donors. Behind each of them there is a museum exhibit as they were equivalents for obtaining it. Portrait was the genre in which his painting talent demonstrated itself the earliest and the most distinctly. Warm friendships and common open-air workshops bind him to Bochnia painters, L. Stasiak and M. Samlicki. In Fischer’s painting output there are also landscapes, genre types, flowers and religious pictures. He enjoyed wandering with a case of paints and easel around the Bochnia countryside and painting beautiful landscapes as well as architectural monuments. His favourite painting topics included Wiśnicz with the Lubomirskis’ Castle. He was also inclined to paint the market square in Bochnia, St Nicholas’ church, the belfry, old streets, facilities of antique architecture plus wooden village churches. Fischer applied watercolours, coal, sanguine or oil paint. He was a realist of the old type who associated a detailed drawing and colour moderation with  a certain atmosphere of expression in his painting. He was a skilful user of both light and dark colour shades, whereas the composition is truly surprising.

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 Franciszek Mollo

    Franciszek Mollo (1897-1967)
In his favourite oil technique Mollo created portraits, still life and landscapes. Initially, under the influence of the 19th century’s painting, he painted pictures characterised by flawless technique, a dark range of colours and a smooth, shimmering, solidly varnished surface. With the years he enlightened the palette to finally use the whole range of light, joyful colours which reflect the warmth, atmosphere and certain idyllic character of his pictures.

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     Feliks Pilarz (1884-1975)
He painted watercolour landscapes and portraits which were strongly connected with the region. Unfortunately, there are but a few works preserved in the Museum’s collections which do not say much about his output.

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    Mieczysław Serwin-Oracki (1912-1978)
A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts, similarly to Bogusław Serwin he painted mainly portraits and landscapes of Bochnia and its surroundings. In his output one can notice characteristic features of post-impressionist plastic art., i.e. a variety of painting techniques, untypical nature of views and a remarkable range of colours.

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    Walerian Kasprzyk (1912-1992)
He co-founded what used to be a certain sensation – a living artistic environment in the Little Poland province. He was characterized by an uncommon painting talent. Kasprzyk was a devotee of old churches and orthodox churches and, to a certain extent, a documentalist of the beauty of these facilities, lost somewhere among green hills, deteriorating in the outskirts of human memory. He made hasty, but, as regards the technique, excellent watercolours. They abound in churches from the area of Little Poland, Silesia, the Podhale region, the Beskid and the Bieszczady Mountains plus antique churches in the vicinity of Bochnia (from Krzyżanowice, Brzeźnica, Łapczyca, Pogwizdów, Sobolów, Rajbrot, Królówka, Łapanów, Lipnica Murowana). A subject which he often portrayed was the Bochnia salt mine. These pictures of his combine realist topics with motives of legends, provided by old miners’ stories. One of his favourite motifs was the Blessed Kinga’ chapel, exit to Calvary, stairs Regis. He painted numerous oil pictures and watercolours. He also painted pictures in which he reconstructed the past of Bochnia and Wiśnicz. Mickiewicza Street, with a row of small shops and the so-called beggar’s house, where there is a library nowadays. The non-existent well “Regis”, market square, belfry next to St Nicholas’s church, Biała Street, Wiśnicz backstreets –most frequently under the influence of stories of old Bochnia citizens or Bochnia literature. Some of them recorded autopsy such as unusually evocative portraits of Bochnia or Wiśnicz Jews. Furthermore, glass served to present series of Wiśnicz legends a big number of which fund themselves in Bochnia library. He recorded the landscape of towns in the vicinity of Bochnia (Winter landscapes from Brzeź, landscapes of the Raba, panoramas from Uzbornia, Trinitatis, Krzęczków, Solna Góra). He was a good portrait painter. Kasprzyk dealt with polychromies in churches and preserved church monuments. His works express the artist’s romantic nature, finding inspiration for his work in native topics, expressed with good oil painting and incomparably more subtle techniques of watercolours which he mastered.

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    Józef Mularczyk (born 1912)
In 1974 settled in Bochnia. Each town with which he was connected - Tarnów, Lębork, Zakopane, Bochnia – became a close place, even familiar, inspiring him artistically. Here he took a special liking to Trinitatis, with its beautiful panorama of the Niepołomice Forest, the Vistula Valley and the Wieliczka and Bochnia foothills. It is reflected in his atmospheric landscapes, and with the sunset motif. He also paints the landscape of the vicinity of Bochnia, including picturesque Lipnica and the neighbourhood of Pierzchów. The artist comes back to the marine motives as well. He has written about his painting: ‘Subconsciously, intuitively I immortalised in my work the elements and atmosphere  of the landscape disappearing in front of our eyes. As it follows, living on the sea I painted disappearing types of fishing boats in atmospheric ports. In Great Poland and in the Kielce Region I portrayed disappearing  'Rogalin Oaks' and ill 'Bartek'. Living in Zakopane I created a series of dying shacks. In Bochnia I paint disappearing architecture and urban details. However, urban landscape appears relatively seldom in his works.

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    Tadeusz Okoń (1872-1957)
A student of Axentowic, a graduate of Munich and Paris – living in Bochnia, He maintained close relationships with local painters. He painted portraits, mainly those of women, enjoying substantial popularity. He also portrayed local dignitaries. Okoń made self-portraits, nudes, religious, genre compositions and landscapes. He applied the oil technique and watercolours, also drawing mainly in pencil and crayon. His artistic output remained under the strong influence of academicism, followed by modernism and post-impressionism.

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 Stanisław Klimowski

    Stanisław Klimowski (1892-1982)
He was a painter not connected with Bochnia, but with nearby Wiśnicz. A student of Axentowicz, Malczewski and Laszczka. In 1920 the artist moved with his wife from Cracow to Wiśnicza. Enchanted with the beauty of this town he immortalised it in a number of landscapes, views of the castle, town hall, the post-Carmelite complex with a beautiful church which does not exist today.. He improved his portrait technique, painting pictures of women and men as well as children, which were characterised by technical perfection and simultaneously – unusual psychological insight. His technical mastery, intimacy, warmth and lyricism, sensitivity, subtlety and charm made these pictures almost fairy-tale compositions. He also painted religious pictures. In 1961 he moved to Katowice. Collections, remaining after his death with the family, lay the grounds to establish the Stanisław Klimowski private Museum in Nowy Wiśnicz.

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