… A to Polska właśnie…”

Friburg windows, Józef Mehoffer

Leon, I have something for you. Do you remember Mehoffer? And these things?

Well, now compare to this

Turns out that these artists just make the drawing sketches, and then a glass expert produces it. You know, chain production. And I found the original sketches alongside plenty of other stuff you - English plural you - have to see. And no, I was not at Włocławek – for those of you who don’t know about Włocławek, well, that was a noclegi that deserves the anecdote* –, but I just also discovered that Mehoffer designed the stain-glass windows at Włocławek's Cathedral. Seriously, this guy and his super colleague Wyśpiański are the world master of stain-glass windows. I always neglected such windows until I saw Mehoffer's at Friburg, and so far I keep looking for more of their jobs, looking for someone else's windows as well, and no way, nobody like these two guys.

This year somewhat resembles my last year in Madrid, in the sense of self-determination to do too many things at the same time, at to what this post concerns, further discovering Kraków. Where in Madrid I used to remember the year and architect of virtually every minimally relevant building within the city centre, now I’m going for that degree of knowledge about Krakow. I started, this time, with museums. Call it Leon pushing me to every second one during our trips. And just that, that one chance when we stumbled upon those stain-glass windows at Friburg’s cathedral. That single moment when that coincidence made me utterly interested in Mehoffer, and thus, to the topics surrounding him.

So why not starting with Matejko historicism? We all know we love history. And where Matejko’s colour managing is quite interesting, most of all his paintings are an encyclopaedia of arts. Perfect starting point, history was always my thing. That quickly escalated.

Back in the centuries, around Revolution times, Paris pushed around Europe a classicism which values historical depictions over every-day life scenery, to which Napoleon was paragon – those David's encyclopaedias... –. On the meanwhile, a non-existent Poland slightly pushed by Poniatowski's attempts to update a backward school of arts, valued those historical depictions for the special reason of a reminiscence of Poland's former greatness. There is one painting that wonderfully explains everything.

prussian-homage-1024x498 „... A to Polska właśnie...”
Jan Matejko [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
And this painter and his generation were the golden age, the update and revival, of Polish Arts. Boosted by a previous blow in Literature – Mickiewicz, Słowacki, Krasiński – they developed the visual aspect, gathered in the Kraków School of Fine Arts, where Matejko was a teacher, and Mehoffer or Wyśpiański were students. Among other awesome teachers and students I just discovered and I'd love to show you.

But more explanations to come, I'm rushing now to take a train to visit some of my favourite people on earth, but I'll also take the opportunity to finish some research on that School at my friends' city.


Yeah, I know the world is getting a bit messed up. But hey, if there is one outcome of Trumplandia I'm kind of pleased with, is the amount of interesting stuff that is being written about that disaster, and all the others – don't let one story make you forget the rest. I have nothing to add on that topic, just refer yourself to the wisest articles you find around the net.

2 Replies to “… A to Polska właśnie…””

  1. […] Nelson, I have some­thing for you! […]

  2. Correction: I’m not push­ing you into every second museum, I’m just sug­gest­ing there is one and then you pull me along 😛
    But no, dif­fer­ent thing: I’m look­ing at glass win­dows, too, nowadays. Turns out the most prom­in­ent ones of Münster are t e r r i b l e. The entire cathed­ral: This dark, grey-and-brown-and-black post-1945 stuff that just totally neg­lects the rais­on d’être of church win­dows (some­thing to illu­min­ate the interi­or? To make it bright­er than as if there was just a wall?).
    St. Lamberti has a Sainte-Chapelle-like apsis, though (not with pic­tures like that, but with a sim­il­ar col­our impression).

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