Wyspianski, Stanislaw (1869-1907) - 1894 Planty at Dawn (National Museum, Krakow, Poland)
Oil on canvas; 101 x 201.5 cm.
Stanisław Wyspiański was a Polish playwright, painter and poet, as well as interior and furniture designer. A patriotic writer, he created a series of symbolic, national dramas within the artistic philosophy of the Young Poland Movement. Wyspiański was one of the most outstanding and multifaceted artists of his time in Europe. He successfully joined the trends of modernism with themes of the Polish folk tradition and Romantic history. Unofficially, he came to be known as the Fourth Polish Bard (in addition to the earlier Three Bards: Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, and Zygmunt Krasiński).
Wyspiański’s artistic output is very eclectic. Among dramas and poetry, one can find there views of Cracow (drawings, sketch-books, oil-paintings, pastel drawings), portraits and self-portraits, designs of stained glass windows and paintings, illustrations, graphic art, plans of furniture and interiors, development of Wawel. Drawings, such as 1890 self-portrait and drafts from his journeys across Europe and Poland, are among Wyspiański’s well-known works. He later created a herbarium by drawing plants. He was, however, most frequently using the technique of pastel; his first pastel drawings were produced between 1890 and 1894. They mainly present the artist’s family, friends and other artists. Wyspiański eagerly drew his children in everyday situations such as sleeping or feeding.
In 1906 Wyspiański became professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, he was also a member of the City Council. In his last years Wyspianski’s health condition deteriorated, as a result, he underwent medical treatments in Rymanów and Bad Hall. Then he settled in his small cottage in a village of Węgrzce. He died of then incurable syphilis. His funeral took place in Kraków and became a national manifestation. Wyspiański was buried in the Crypt of the Distinguished in the Skałka Church.