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. Wyspiaeski 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. Stanisław Wyspiaeski was born to Franciszek Wyspiaeski and Maria Rogowska. His father, a sculptor, owned an atelier on Wawel Hill. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1876 when Stanisław was seven years old. Due to alcohol problem, Stanisław's father could not fulfil his parental responsibilities. Stanisław was adopted by his aunt Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband Kazimierz. The Stankiewicz family belonged to a bourgeois and intellectual class. In their house Wyspiaeski became acquainted with painter Jan Matejko, who was a frequent visitor. Matejko soon recognized that the boy had artistic talent and gave him the first artistic guidance. Wyspiaeski attended Saint Anne's Secondary. The school was unique for several reasons. Firstly, although Polish language was forbidden in educational institutions under foreign rule, the lectures in Saint Anne's Gymnasium were delivered in Polish. Secondly, the teacher's goal was to equip the students with a thorough knowledge of Polish history and literature. Thirdly, the school graduates, which included Lucjan Rydel, Stanisław Estreicher and Henryk Opieeski, were considered prominent figures in Krakew's cultural life. As a student Wyspiaeski did not display any specific talent, but took particular interest in art and literature. According to Joanna Stankiewiczowa, a young Stanisław portrayed small village cottages, animals, plants, armors and decorations. As far as literature was concerned, Wyspiaeski created a dramatic interpretation of Matejko's painting Stefan Batory pod Pskowem (Bathory at Pskov). In 1887 Wyspiaeski enrolled in the Philosophy Department at the Jagiellonian University and the School of Fine Arts in Krakew. While studying at the University, he attended lectures in art, history and literature. Jan Matejko, the dean of the School of Fine Arts soon recognized Wyspiaeski's talent and asked him to join in the creation of a polychrome inside the Mariacki Church. The years 1890-1895 were devoted to traveling. Wyspiaeski visited Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Prague and France. The stay in France was regarded to be the major point in his artistic life. He studied at the private atelier Academie Colarossi. Since the school fee was very high, Wyspiaeski applied for a grant. During the stay in France he got acquainted with Paul Gauguin. Together they visited art museums, where Wyspiaeski was bewitched by the beauty of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes's paintings. He also attended theatre performances based on Shakespeare's and antic plays. His future dramas: Daniel i Meleager (Daniel and Meleagra) and Powret Odysa (Return of Odysseus) were based on the antic tradition. Meanwhile, he worked on several dramas Krelowa Polskiej Korony (The Queen of Polish Crown), Warszawianka (Varsovian Anthem) and the first version of Legenda (Legend). The play Legenda (Legend) was based on the famous Polish legend about Wars and Sawa. In August 1894 he returned to Krakew, where he got involved in the modernist movement. It was then he designed and partially made a polychrome for the Franciscan Church that was composed of flowery, geometrical and heraldic motifs. Moreover, the prior of the church encouraged Wyspiaeski to design various stained glass windows such as Blessed Salomea, Saint Francis Stigmata and God the Father. It is worth mentioning that Wyspiaeski received an award of the Polish Academy of Learning for the landscape of the Kopiec Kościuszki (Kościuszko Mound).
ID: 27101 Self-Portrait mk52
Pastel on paper