Young Poland. Glorious Era


Young Poland. Glorious Era

While reflecting on Young Poland, we immediately think of such remarkable names as Wyspiański, Malczewski, Stanisławski, or Fałat. The art of this period is really abounding in great artists. This is also an extremely ambivalent period. On the one hand, it is saturated with joy, and on the other, it is full of dramatic tensions. Our online auction titled “Młoda Polska. Malarstwo, Rysunek, Grafika" ("Young Poland. Painting, Drawing, Graphic Art") presents you with a selection of the most outstanding artists and the greatest works of art from that time. 


Young Art covers the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries, it's a period of scandals, creative ferment, and artistic innovations. Three Polish major cities, Krakow, Warsaw, and Lviv, were the most significant cultural centers of that time. In those days, Poland wasn't an independent country, and one could nor find it on the maps. However, Polish artists repeatedly reminded the former glory of their native land. That is why their works were suspended between Polish national motifs and universal symbols, derived from the achievements of the Western culture. All modernist currents thus intertwined in their works – symbolism, impressionism, Art Nouveau, and early expressionism. The lives of painters, writers, and actors were full of dynamic transformations and constructive discussions that took place in their favorite cafés. The influence of Young Poland lasted for a relatively long time. We can notice its echoes even during the interwar period.

Our auction encompasses the works of all the most important Young Poland artists. The offer includes a portrait of Franciszka Stempska, painted by Jacek Malczewski with remarkable sensitivity. We also present you with a unique and rare work made in the technique of fluorine etching. It features a girl with braids and was painted by Stanisław Wyspiański, a master of children's portraits. We should also remember such great names as Józef Mehoffer, Teodor Axentowicz, and Julian Fałat. 


In addition, this period was marked by the development of landscape painting. Jan Stanisławski was undoubtedly a leading figure in this field. He created numerous landscapes in which he perfectly conveyed the atmosphere of his inner world, creating in the spirit of psychological landscape. A group of outstanding students centered around him and followed in his footsteps, e.g. Stefan Filipkiewicz, as well as three Stanisławs – Kamocki, Czajkowski, and Podgórski. Our Young Poland auction presents you with works by all of the above-mentioned artists.

The so-called "peasant-mania" was also an interesting phenomenon of that time. Artists became fascinated with the countryside, the life of the simple people, their colorful costumes, and folklore. These creators started to be referred to as "peasant maniacs" The group of the so- called "Five Peasant Maniacs" was active in Krakow. These artists often settled in the countryside in order to observe its life more closely. They often married peasant women, which is perfectly set out in Wyspiański's book "Wedding" about the wedding of Lucjan Rydel. Wincenty Wodzinowski was an informal member of the group. His work displaying harvesters' rest, available at our auction, is very typical of his style. Aleksander Mroczkowski was also keen on displaying the life of Krakow countryside, with Axentowicz and Kazimierz Sichulski drawing inspiration from the Hutsuls.


Artistic life flourished during the period of Young Poland. At that time, Polish modernism reached its peak. We may say that it was the greatest time in the history of Polish art. Creative ferment spread across all areas of art. It was visible in the artistic craftsmanship, applied graphic art, and sculpture. Art started to penetrate into everyday life and merge with it, which is testified by the special, refined graphic design of numerous contemporary magazines. Our offer includes an exceptional item that may catch the interest of bibliophiles, that is one of the Warsaw Chimera annuals. This magazine, right beside the Krakow "Życie" magazine, boldly drew inspiration from the Western world, for instance from the Vienna "Ver Sacrum" periodical.