Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jozef Marian Chelmonski

Indian Summer
oil on canvas
119.7 x 156.5 cm
National Museum, Warsaw, Poland

Jozef Marian Chelmonski (1849-1914) was a Polish painter and illustrator of the realist school with roots in the historical and social context of the late Romantic period in the partitioned Poland. He represented the trend in art called Polish Patriotic Painting.

He was born in the Boczki village near Lowicz in central Poland. His first teacher of drawing was his father, a small leaseholder and administrator of Boczki village. After finishing high school in warsaw, he studied in warsaw Drawing Class. From 1871 to 1874 he lived in Munich. In Munich, he produced his first successful mature works, remarkable for its strong sense of atmosphere. In 1872 and 1874 he visited partitioned Poland, Podolia and Ukraine. On returning to Warsaw in 1875 he found no recognition there. The idealized picture of peasant life in Indian Summer in 1875, shown at the Warsaw Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, was violently attacked by the conservative critics for being too realistic. Other paintings sent for exhibition were likewise severely criticized.

In 1875, he came to Paris, where he had many important exhibitions. Thanks to them, he gained publicity and became famous. From 1878 to 1887 he visited Poland, Vienna and Venice. In 1887 he returned to Poland and in 1889 settled in village Kuklowka near Minsk Mazowiecki. From that time are the most beautiful of his paintings. Contact with homeland and nature revealed quality of his artworks. He became a leading representative of realism.