Oct. 7, 2021

SIEMIRADKI'S UNKNOWN WORK

The discovery of Henryk Siemiradzki's painting, "Cleopatra Sailing across the Cygnus River for Encounter with Marcus Antonius", is a significant event in the history of research on the artistic output of the European academism master. The painting, preserved for decades in a private collection in Poland, constitutes a relevant part of Siemiradzki's series of oriental compositions. This oil painting represents a daring notation of details, which are rigidly modeled on the historical account of Plutarch of Chaeronea, having an almost impressionistic rendition of light and color.

The first public display of the painting took place on September 22 this year at the Tyszkiewicz–Potocki Palace in Warsaw on the occasion of the "Corpora of Henryk Siemiradzki's Paintings Works" promotion. This work was published under the editorship of Prof. Jerzy Malinowski by the Polish Institute of World Art Studies with the participation of the National Museum in Warsaw and the National Museum in Krakow. It is one of the most relevant comprehensive studies on the output of the Polish artist from the second half of the 19th century. It presented Siemiradzki not only as an individual artist but also as a creator that existed in the context of the European art of that time. The publication of the "Corpora" was preceded by a research project that lasted for several years. The Polish Institute of World Art Studies, National Museums in Krakow and in Warsaw participated in the research, as well as museums from Russia, the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and the Pontifical Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies. During the promotion of the publication, the previously unknown work was presented by Paulina Adamczyk, a specialist from DESA Unicum and a monographer of Siemiradzki's drawings.

PHOTO: DESA UNICUM, MAREK KRZYŻANEK
PHOTO: DESA UNICUM, MAREK KRZYŻANEK