Piotr Michałowski

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Piotr Michałowski
Michalowski Self-portrait.jpg
Self-portrait, Piotr Michałowski, 1850
BornJuly 2, 1800
DiedJune 9, 1855
Krzysztoforzyce, Kraków
Spouse(s)Julia Olimpia Michałowska

Piotr Michałowski (July 2, 1800 June 9, 1855) was a Polish painter of the Romantic period, especially known for his many portraits, and oil studies of horses. Broadly educated, he was also a social activist, legal advocate, city administrator and President of the Kraków Agricultural Society (since 1853). [1] The Sukiennice Museum, a division of the National Museum in Kraków, contains a room that is named after him and devoted to Michałowski's work.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of nearly 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Romanticism in Poland

Romanticism in Poland, a literary, artistic and intellectual period in the evolution of Polish culture, began around 1820, coinciding with the publication of Adam Mickiewicz's first poems in 1822. It ended with the suppression of the Polish-Lithuanian January 1863 Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1864. The latter event ushered in a new era in Polish culture known as Positivism.

Sukiennice Museum National museum in Kraków, Poland

The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art at Sukiennice, is a division of the National Museum, Kraków, Poland. The Gallery is housed on the upper floor of the Renaissance Sukiennice Cloth Hall in the center of the Main Market Square in Old Town Kraków.


Glowa Konia, study of horse's head, Piotr Michalowski, 1846 Michalowski Glowa konia.jpg
Glowa Konia, study of horse's head, Piotr Michałowski, 1846


Michałowski was born at an estate in Krzysztoforzyce outside Kraków, the son of landowner Józef Michałowski, senator in the Free City of Kraków. His artistic talent developed at an early age of 13 under the watchful eye of several artists including Michał Stachowicz, Józef Brodowski (1817) and Franciszek Lampi. He formally studied a broad range of subjects at the Jagiellonian University including classical philosophy, agriculture and mathematics. [1]

Krzysztoforzyce Village in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland

Krzysztoforzyce is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kocmyrzów-Luborzyca, within Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 15 km (9 mi) north-east of the regional capital Kraków.

Kraków City in Lesser Poland, Poland

Kraków, also spelled Krakow in English, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Franciszek Ksawery Lampi Austrian artist

Franciszek Ksawery Lampi, also known as Franz Xaver Lampi, was a Polish Romantic painter born in Austria of ethnic Italian background. He was associated with the aristocratic circle of the late Stanisław II Augustus, the last Polish king before the foreign partitions of Poland. Lampi settled in Warsaw around 1815 at the age of 33, and established himself as the leading landscape and portrait artist in Congress Poland soon after Napoleon's defeat in Russia.

During the November Uprising against the Russian rulership, Michałowski helped run a Polish munition factory. To avoid capture, he escaped to Paris, France with his new wife Julia Ostrowska and her father. While in Paris, he continued his studies of painting and anatomy with Nicolas Toussaint Charlet (18321835), greatly influenced by the art of Théodore Géricault, Rembrandt and Velázquez. His watercolour studies of horses became very popular in France, sold by local art dealers since 1833 to English, German and American collectors. [1]

November Uprising Polish uprising against occupying Russian Empire in 1830-1831

The November Uprising (1830–31), also known as the Polish–Russian War 1830–31 or the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress Poland's military academy revolted, led by lieutenant Piotr Wysocki. Large segments of the peoples of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Right-bank Ukraine soon joined the uprising. Although the insurgents achieved local successes, a numerically superior Imperial Russian Army under Ivan Paskevich eventually crushed the uprising. The Russian Emperor Nicholas I decreed that henceforth Poland would become an integral part of Russia. With Warsaw little more than a military garrison, its university closed.

Nicolas Toussaint Charlet French painter

Nicolas Toussaint Charlet was a French painter and printmaker, more especially of military subjects.

Théodore Géricault 19th-century French painter

Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was an influential French painter and lithographer, whose best-known painting is The Raft of the Medusa. Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement.

Michałowski returned to Kraków in 1835 and in 1837 settled into his family estate in Krzysztoforzyce. In the 1840s and 1850s he produced numerous equestrian paintings and dramatic landscapes including his famous Romantic "Battle of Somosierra" (18441855, several versions), "Parade before Napoleon" and other battle sites. [1] When Pablo Picasso visited Poland in 1948, he saw Michałowski's work at the Warsaw National Museum and shouted, "Here, painter!"

Battle of Somosierra battle

The Battle of Somosierra took place on November 30, 1808, during the Peninsular War, when a French army under Napoleon I forced a passage through the Sierra de Guadarrama shielding Madrid.

Napoleon Emperor of the French

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Pablo Picasso 20th-century Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces during the Spanish Civil War.

See also

Jan Nepomucen Głowacki Polish painter

Jan Nepomucen Głowacki was a Polish realist painter of the Romantic era, regarded as the most outstanding landscape painter of the early 19th century in Poland under the foreign partitions. Głowacki studied painting at the Kraków School of Fine Arts and later at the academies of Prague and Vienna, as well as Rome and Munich. He returned to Kraków in 1828, and became a teacher of painting and drawing. From 1842 he served as a professor in the Faculty of Landscape Painting at the School of Fine Arts. His work can be found at the National Museum of Poland and its branches. Some of his work was looted by Nazi Germany in World War II and has never been recovered.

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 Irena Kossowska (April 2004). "Piotr Michałowski". Culture.pl. Retrieved October 15, 2012.

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