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Polish painting.....Jan Matejko's titled "Under Arrest"


gwrobel 9 | 17
16 Dec 2011 #1
I've heard that the subject painting is not allowed to be shown to the public. If that is true I have to wonder why that is the case.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
16 Dec 2011 #2
The painting in question is not titled "Under Arrest" but rather Hold Ruski. It depicts Tsar Vasili IV of Russia and his siblings kowtowing and surrendering the Russian crown to King Sigismund III of Poland on October 29th 1611, in the Royal Castle of Warsaw. During the decades of Soviet domination of Poland it was forbidden to be shown and this is understandable given the virulent Russian nationalism of the Soviet regime, but the following article claims this painting is still "under arrest": poloniacenter.com/cgi-bin/mdsb/mail.cgi/archive/PolishEventsDC/20111030184310

Is this really true?
boletus 30 | 1,366
16 Dec 2011 #3
Is this really true?

Apparently, there are two paintings by Jan Matejko, depicting this event.
According to this article in Rzepa, 29-10-2011:

The work "The Szujski Czars ushered by Żółkiewski to the Sejm in Warsaw before Zygmunt III in 1611" is displayed at the National Museum in Wroclaw. Until 1993 the painting was in storage. - We did not exhibit it, because it was not being preserved - explains Anna Kowalów, a spokesman for the museum.

The second painting "The Szujski Czars in the Warsaw's Sejm" can be viewed in the newly renovated "Matejko's House" in Kraków.

You can compare both paintings in Polish Wikipedia:
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carowie_Szujscy_przed_Zygmuntem_III_(obrazy_Jana_Matejki)

Obviously, the rightist media and blogs continue with the following nonsense:

The painting of Jan Matejko "Obeisance of Muscovites " continues to be jailed in "dungeons" of National Museum instead to find a worthy place in The Royal Castle in Warsaw, a silent witness to events dating back exactly 400 years.

Just google "Hołd Ruski".
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Dec 2011 #4
but the following article claims this painting is still "under arrest"

Des, one thing you need to bear in mind is that some elements of the American Polonia media (in fact, most of it) have their own agenda - which is usually the same agenda as PiS in Poland. Much of what's said here is regurgitated by the American Polonia media and repeated as "fact" - even though us living here know that it's utter rubbish. Of course, those living in America often have no choice but to rely on such trash for their news.

The same manipulations can be seen in Lithuania and Ukraine.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
17 Dec 2011 #5
but the following article claims this painting is still "under arrest":

No, it isn't. It is in the stacks at Muzeum Narodowy. If you so desperately want it to be hung on the wall, perhaps you'd like to enlighten us as to which painting should be removed to make way for it. I'm sure you're a frequent visitor to aleje J.
boletus 30 | 1,366
17 Dec 2011 #6
Just to confirm one half of my previous message (#3) I went to website of the Wrocław National Museum:

mnwr.art.pl/CMS/wystawy_stale/sztuka_polska_XVII-XIXw.html

At the bottom of the page is the Museum's guide, stored in 10 pdf files. Sala 6 (Hall 6) is the part of the guide that is of our concern here. Indeed you can see there one of the Matejko's paintings, with the following descriptions, which I translated into English.

Shuiskiis tsars ushered by Żółkiewski to Warsaw Sejm before Sigismund III in 1611,
1853 
Oil on canvas, 75.5 x 108;

signature on the back: I painted it in 1853 / JM 

Previously in Lwow National Gallery, inv. VIII-23

Two relatively small images [the other being "The Entrance of Henry Valois to Krakow"], clearly differing from the other ones by smooth idealizing style, were made by the fifteen years old, not quite fully developed, painter. The larger of the works, considered the first historical composition of the young artist, refers to the glorious victories of the Polish army in the seventeenth century.

On June 13, 1611, after a long siege, the Polish army under the command of Hetman Żółkiewski captured Smolensk and took into captivity Tsar Vasili IV Shuiski and his brothers. The military success opened the way to the Muscovite throne by Władyslaw - son of the Polish King Sigismund III Vasa.

The Matejko's picture shows the interior of the Senators Hall of the Warsaw Castle when - kneeling before the throne of King Sigismund III - Tsar Vasilii Shuiskii offers to Polish monarch the insignia of his power - the crown and the sceptre. The scene demonstrates the power of the old Republic and humiliation of its later conquerer - Russia. Among the people taking part in the solemn ceremony are: the young prince Władysław, followed by Marshall Marcin Wolski, Hetman Żółkiewski in the armour with the raised hand, Hetman Karol Chodkiewicz with the mace and the bishop of Kraków Marcin Szyszkowski.

An academic drawing style and simplified colors are the hallmarks of the work. The static composition is determined by the the crowded group, extracted by a strong beam of light from the dark room.


... and the confirmation of the second part of the message #3:

Go to the catalogue of Kraków Muzeum: atalog.muzeum.krakow.pl/pl/cat

Search: Matejko, Szujski

This brings the other Matejko's painting with the Szujskis theme: "Carowie Szujscy na Sejmie Warszawskim". Location: Jan Matejko House (Dom Jana Matejki).
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Dec 2011 #7
No, it isn't. It is in the stacks at Muzeum Narodowy. If you so desperately want it to be hung on the wall, perhaps you'd like to enlighten us as to which painting should be removed to make way for it. I'm sure you're a frequent visitor to aleje J.

Oh yes, such a person with such a vast knowledge of Poland should easily be able to tell us which paintings should make way for it.

It's a common myth among that peculiar Polish concept of far-right socialists.

Still, amazing what a one minute google search can produce. Speaking Polish is rather useful, I suppose.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
17 Dec 2011 #8
Still, amazing what a one minute google search can produce. Speaking Polish is rather useful, I suppose.

Exactly.

I've heard that the subject painting is not allowed to be shown to the public.

There are bloody great ten ton monuments around the place to the various victories over Russia, plus history books in every library. To suggest that a particular painting with less than mass appeal is somehow being censored is sadly delusional.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Dec 2011 #9
Not to mention much slagging off of Russia in the press, and general mockery by the people.
boletus 30 | 1,366
17 Dec 2011 #10
Still, amazing what a one minute google search can produce. Speaking Polish is rather useful, I suppose.

And what does it suppose to mean? You should be happy to see the solid proof that there is no conspiracy involved here. And this was more than one minute google search, for God's sake. But I am glad I did some investigation here, because I learned something interesting about Matejko: that there are two pictures treating the same subject and that the first picture (the one from Wrocław) was painted by just a 15 years old boy.

And yes, Polish can be useful. I received all my education in this language and I am not poorer by that, thank you very much.

By the way: Regardless of your fights with DE in other threads, you and JonnyM are treating him quite unfairly in this thread. He provided some explanation to OP, linked to some source (and there are dozens more of this sort, as you may know) and then asked a reasonable question: Is this really true? What's wrong with that?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,385
17 Dec 2011 #11
there is another small painting in wroclaw. only 140m long. the panorama. there are some russians in that picture too.

this picture was also hidden away for a while, for obvious reasons.

the Matejko could be on loan, waiting for restoration, waiting for a free space on the wall. or maybe they've just run out of nails to hang it on.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Dec 2011 #12
And what does it suppose to mean? You should be happy to see the solid proof that there is no conspiracy involved here. And this was more than one minute google search, for God's sake. But I am glad I did some investigation here, because I learned something interesting about Matejko: that there are two pictures treating the same subject and that the first picture (the one from Wrocław) was painted by just a 15 years old boy.

It means Des should learn Polish if he thinks that he's such an authority on Polish issues.

(and yes, it is interesting, thank you for the research!)

The comment about "one minute google search" was that it only takes a quick search to see that the usual suspects are spreading this story - and so - it has to be nonsense.

And yes, Polish can be useful. I received all my education in this language and I am not poorer by that, thank you very much.

No no no. You don't understand - it was a comment about how Des claims to be knowledgeable about all things Polish, yet can't speak the language. It's impossible to get any sense of this country without speaking some of the language, let alone relying on dubious Polonia news sources with their horrible bias.

It's no slight on Polish speakers or Polish people - just an observation that he talks constantly about such issues without being able to spot the agenda behind it.

By the way: Regardless of your fights with DE in other threads, you and JonnyM are treating him quite unfairly in this thread. He provided some explanation to OP, linked to some source (and there are dozens more of this sort, as you may know) and then asked a reasonable question: Is this really true? What's wrong with that?

I'd argue that most American Polonia sources tend to be utterly unreliable and rubbish - anything I read from them, I immediately cross-check with Polish sources because 90% of the time, it tends to be twisted rubbish that they report. The problem with them is that their readers tend to be easily manipulated- because they can't read Polish.

For instance, the website he linked to - linked to this page - wpolityce.pl . So - I go there, and I see a prominent link to "Smolensk". Anyone who actually lives here (or who knows anything about Poland) can spot the political stance straight away.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Dec 2011 #13
Des claims to be knowledgeable about all things Polish,

This is a lie. I have never claimed this.

he talks constantly about such issues without being able to spot the agenda behind it.

This is another lie. I did indeed suspect that the story of this painting's continued "arrest" was a falsehood put forward by rightwing Polonian media and thus I asked the members of this forum to investigate it and Boletus kindly obliged. Thank you Boletus. Delphiandomine you are a liar.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
18 Dec 2011 #14
rightwing Polonian media

Wrong. They're not right-wing, but rather fascist-socialist. A contradiction, yet very Polish.

Wrong. They're not right-wing, but rather fascist-socialist. A contradiction, yet very Polish.

Worth pointing out that the same media in Poland has been propagating the myth of this painting.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Dec 2011 #15
Worth pointing out that the same media in Poland has been propagating the myth of this painting.

In some sections of the media it's a permanent sezon ogórkowygetting the credulous all hot and bothered over nothing. And then it ends up on here.

I'd be interested how many of the people who've posted on here have actually seen the painting as well as being familiar enough with Matejko's oevre to compare it with anything.

Related: Panorama Racławicka -- what does it refer to?

Check this link: panoramaraclawicka.pl/pl/ciekawostki.html
boletus 30 | 1,366
18 Dec 2011 #16
'd argue that most American Polonia sources tend to be utterly unreliable and rubbish

I really cannot say much in general terms about media published and read by American Polonia, because I simply do not seek and do not read local papers in Polish. But I also do not read tabloids, such as "Toronto Sun". There is a bunch of free Polish dailies in Toronto and they are more or less the real estate advertising outlets with very little real content. Few others are either religion oriented - and they have all rights to be such, and there are also some very right-wing ones. The oldest daily, "Związkowiec", has some feeling of neutrality to it, and it seems to serve this part of the Polonia population that has trouble reading in English. Their articles follow more or less the world news plus Polish specific news and stories.

But let's not generalize...

There are several Polish institutions at American Universities and local cultural organizations, which provide access to various archives and produce newsletters, promoting high quality events. And I am not talking about "Pierogi events" or "Polka Festival" in Buffalo or Chicago. Here are just few samples:

indiana.edu/~polishst/ - Polish Studies Center at Indiana University
polishcsi.org - Polish Cultural Society of Indiana
ii.umich.edu/crees/aboutus/regionalprograms/polishstudies - University of Michigan Polish Studies
piasa.org - Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America
thekf.org - The Kościuszko Foundation
usc.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/ - Polish Music Journal, 1997-2003
edu/dept/polish_music/ - Polish Music Center (with Polish Music Newsletter)

So the cream of Polonia has access to quality publications in America. For example:

The Polish Music Center is the only non-governmental institution of its kind outside of Poland that does so much to preserve and promote Polish music locally and provide research assistance to scholars and performers worldwide.

Remember, this is California, with its strong ties to Paderewski.

Unfortunately some of the university based institutions are short lived due to lack of finances in support of professors and staff. For example, Brigham Young University, Utah has a Department of German Studies and Slavic Languages, but only the German and Russian Chairs remain; the chair of Polish studies is long gone. Yet, it was once a thriving centre, with Prof. Walter Whipple translating numerous Polish poems, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Whipple

A Cradle Wind
Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer

Toward my cradle flew a Tatra wind,
brushed by eagles' wings and mountain pines
which gape from craggs into the abyss --
it blew and roared above my cradle.

Into my heart poured a lasting fit
of longing for eagles' flight and the
pensiveness of pines swaying in the
mountain tops, engulfed in pure quiet.

-translated by Walter Whipple

And where you may find the best English translation of Tuwim's "Lokomotywa"? No, not in Poland but mission.net/poland/warsaw/literature/poems/locomoti.htm right here (in my humble opinion)

I'd be interested how many of the people who've posted on here have actually seen the painting as well as being familiar enough with Matejko's oevre to compare it with anything.

There were so far six posters here, and none was overly excited about the paintings under discussion. So your question here is quite irrelevant. But I'll take the bait.

1. I have seen neither "Carowie Szujscy wprowadzeni przez hetmana Stanisława Żółkiewskiego na sejm warszawski przed króla Zygmunta III" nor "Carowie Szujscy na Sejmie Warszawskim". But I have seen some other Matejko's paintings in original, and many more in reproductions and albums. It used to be a standard to visit musea on yearly school trips in Poland. Kraków was one of the choices.

2. Matejko was just a growing up phase for me. Then there were Kossaks, Brandt, Chełmonski, Gierymski, Orłowski, Michałowski, Suchodolski. With the same theme of the heroic old Poland. Or with the "Hussar/Uhlan/Chevau-léger and a girl" theme. Their role as historical painters was comparable to the Sienkiewicz's role of a historical novelist, "ku pokrzepieniu serc", to lift the hearts.

But I no longer read Sienkiewicz's novels, I graduated to something else. Impressionism is a form that still touches me, so I occasionally buy some such reproductions. "Rybacy brodzący" (Wading fishermen) by Leon Wyczółkowski, would be something that I would choose over "Carowie Szujscy" any time.

Rybacy brodzący, Wading fishermen


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