Dziewanna1896 by Stanisław Wyspiański

Herbaris of Wyspiański

Anyone who has once been inside the Franciscan church in Krakow and had a chance to look at Wyspiański's polychromes will have no doubt that the pictures of flowers had a special meaning for the artist.

However, before the magnificent polychromes were created in the church in Kraków, Wyspiański studied field and garden flowers for a long time. Native flora and fauna found their place in his works not only in polychromes, but also in numerous paintings, where they appear as a background for the characters, or in separate studies (such as the "Butterflies" displayed at the exhibition - a sketch for a stained glass project).

According to the curator of Anna Król's exhibition: - The world of plants seems to be the fundamental structure of the artist's composition and there is no analogy in the art of the world. A fascination with plants - not only blooming, but also dying, falling apart, occupies an important place in the artist's work. However, before these later works could be created, stylized in the artist's characteristic manner, Wyspiański studied nature for months.

At the exhibition in Mandze you can see some of the most important and most interesting plant ideas of the artist - loaned specifically for the occasion from the National Museum in Warsaw "Zielnik", created as part of preparations for work on the polychrome at the Franciscans. The sketchbook, containing 47 pencil drawings, sometimes only slightly colored, depicts flowers and plants from around Krakow. Drawings made during expeditions to Bielany, Salwator, Panieńskie Skały or to the Twardowski Cave were also described in detail. All plants were sketched in just two seasons - from April to August in 1896 and 1897.

Observation of ferns and dandelions, currants and strawberries, chamomile and jaskierków gives viewers insight into the imagery Wyspiański.

Carefully and with tenderness sketched flowers, described not by Latin names, but the usual names, show the artist's immersion in Polish folk culture and tradition. The sketchbook, full of carefully traced outlines of leaves and protruding poles, also shows the unique ease of the artist's line. No wonder that its flowers are still amazing today .
Martyna Nowicka | 14-10-2016
[Google translation of text at,13,20837478,0,Zielnik-Wyspianskiego.html]
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Media: drawing