Jan Matejko

John Aloysius Matejko (b. June 24, 1838 in Krakow, d. November 1, 1893 in Kraków) – Polish painter, creator of images of historical and battle, historian.

In the years 1852-1858 he studied with Władysław Łuszczkiewicz and Wojciech Stattlera at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow, which later was the director (since 1873). His pupils included Maurice Gottlieb, Jacek Malczewski, Mehoffer and Stanislaw Wyspianski.

The father of the painter, Francis Xavier Matejko, responsible. Frantisek Xaver Matějka (Matieyka), was a Czech born in Roudnice near Hradec Králové, the son of a peasant. He arrived in Galicia as a tutor and teacher of music. Initially, he worked with a family in Koscielniki Wodzicki (now part of Nowa Huta), and then moved to Krakow, where he married Joanna Karolina Rossberg (1802-1845), derived from the Polish-German family of wealthy saddlers. Francis was a Catholic, Joanna – a Protestant. Matejkowie lived on the street St. Florian’s in Krakow.

John was the ninth child of eleven, they had Matejkowie state (among them were nine boys and two girls). When John was seven years old, his mother died; children took up her sister. Death of mother certainly had an impact on the personality of the future painter. His childhood was full of anxiety and distress, there is also blessed with a rather exaggerated care to (his broken nose did not pay any attention and healed crookedly). The father of the children did not show his feelings, he was harsh and devoid of artistic passion acceptance son. He attended the school of St. Barbara since 1847. Although from an early age cuckolded uncommon artistic skills, with the other areas dealt with great difficulty. Also colleagues were not for him, understanding and, as he wrote Marian Gorzkowski he experienced from his companions, some even abuse. Soon, he was transferred to St. Gymnasium. Anne (now I High School. Nowodworski in Cracow). Although Matejko and his siblings were in the middle of the origin of the Czech Republic, Polish patriots felt, as evidenced by the liberation front two older brothers John.

Lack of family warmth in part compensated Matejko Giebułtowskich friendship with the family. About Paulina Giebułtowskiej wrote later that he was to him like a second mother; was often at her daughter Joanna Serafinska in Wisnicz, and Stanislaw treated like an older brother.

At the age of thirteen, Jan Matejko was admitted to the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts Merry Street, which was then the director Wojciech Stattler. School showed great ambition and hard work, but also where his education was not going smoothly, which probably influenced by the person Stattlera, financial difficulties and a significant defect of vision. Influence on the young painter exerted while other teachers: Joseph Kremer and Wladyslaw Luszczkiewicz who inspired him to sketch Krakow’s historical sites, collecting materials, study details and images, creating the so-called. Jewel. In 1858 he received a scholarship to study in Munich. Here he came into contact with the works of outstanding painters of ancient and contemporary. He appreciated the works of Paul Delaroche and his student Carl von Piloty’ego0, creating historical works. Matejko convinced that it is this species wants to spend (in 1853 he painted his first painting historical, tsars Shuiskiis before Sigismund III). Delaroche diagram, based on selecting a dramatic moment in the history and presenting it in a theatrical and emotional, young Matejko applied in painted in Munich and Krakow poisoning Queen Bona (1859). Matejko In 1860 he went to Vienna, where it quickly returned. Here issued clothing in Poland – the publication containing the figures of characters in period costumes, the testimony of his historical interests, which will later be used repeatedly in his canvases. The bad financial situation has improved painter fee for clothing, sales and vouchers poisoning over the coffin Ursula Kochanowski. Despite these successes, Matejko was extremely depressed, what reason was the unrequited love of Theodora Giebułtowskiej.

In 1862 he painted one of his greatest paintings, Stańczyka He was only 24 years old.

January 22, 1863, his two brothers joined the January Uprising. John did not go because he could not use a weapon and badly seen. Drove while weapons and insurgents helped materially.

John was 26 years old when he was a huge success thanks to the Sermon complaints. Income from the entrance to the exhibition gave to orphans. In 1864. After the sale of the image could afford to marry Theodora Giebułtowską. They had five children: Tadeusz (1865-1911), Helena (1867-1932), Beata (1869-1926), George (1873-1927) and Regina (1878), who died as an infant. The wife was considered a person despotic, argumentative and selfish. By her husband called “Star”, “Mrs.”, “Empress”. When she thought that her position is threatened muse, urz terrible fights, pretended faints or ill. Her face has almost all the women in the paintings of Matejko. Was also painted Queen Bona Sforza as the Prussian Homage. Was closed in a psychiatric hospital. Children also confer him a lot of trouble.

Deepening financial problems over time Matejko wife were caused by the disease, as well as excessive stewardship own artistic achievements. Some of the big canvases gave the Polish Nation, the Pope gave Sobieski at Vienna, and France received from him Joan of Arc. Also bestow gifts upon images of their friends – people usually very rich. Nothing took a portrait of Count. Stanisław Tarnowski, donated the portrait of Fr. free. Marcelina Czartoryski. Also spared no donations to support the poor. Offered, among others, for the benefit of oil sketch Zygmunt August in the garden of Vilnius, which was then sold to Warsaw. Sometimes also sold their work for next to nothing. Eg. Hr. Maurice Potocki from Zator paid only 10 thousand. guilders. Complaints for the sermon.

The end of life enjoyed great fame, both in Poland and around the world, which contributed to numerous awards (including at exhibitions in Paris). He avoided public appearances that frightened him.

As part of the Salon got a Gold Medal in 1865, just as in the picture Rejtan. In 1870, after painting the Union of Lublin, was decorated with the Legion of Honor in Paris. In the end, he began to enrich themselves at his job and moved to the street Floriańska 41 (home of Jan Matejko in 1895 was converted into a museum of the painter). Soon, he was director of the School of Fine Arts in Krakow threatened closure, rejecting the takeover of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. Artist appreciated the international community, was made an honorary member of the Academy of Paris, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and the University of Urbino Rafaelowskiej. He also devoted time and School of Fine Arts in Krakow fought beautification and preservation of its monuments.

Jan Matejko in his youth survived the bombing of Krakow by the Austrians in 1848. And the January uprising. Under the influence of national disaster decided to abandon the religious paintings, which he considered to be his calling, and devoted himself almost exclusively to painting historical. The story itself was his obsession. He could not write about it or talk, so he painted it. He was accused of a relaxed attitude to history. Matejko himself treated as the voice of his paintings in a polemic on the past and future of the country, and not an expression of ideology. Matejko’s second passion was country. He was an ardent patriot. Dofinansowywał city, the poor and the culture of showing off your images for free or passing them to the state. His works have since been analyzed in the communication diagram.

Matejko often placed on their canvases person in the place where it was (eg. Kołłątaj and General. Wodzicki the painting The Battle of Racławice), because he did not mean to present a fact, but the dish historiosophical synthesis. Despite the criticism of historians, many historical events in the public consciousness functioning as presented them to his works painter.

The secret of the artist’s popularity is not only a work of craftsmanship, but most of all “filmowość” view of history. The images are cropped, stacked and filled with passion. Distinguished artist tendency to compose tłumnych multifaceted scenes, often developed panoramic, taking place in the depths of space devoid of foreground, and powerful range of expression (sometimes bordering on pathos), excellent dramaturgy, both in the arrangement of whole scenes, as well as putting the individual poses and gestures form, the dynamics of contour lines, showy, intense colors, often based on local color dissonances, and above all, the ability to create characters with extremely expressive, expressive physiognomy and psychological features. In this portrait does not idealize, is closer to a realistic approach.

Contour precision, detail and meticulous preparation carefully smoothed surface paint, achieved through the imposition economical paint. With the passage of time in the youth work of the artist appears as a desire for individualization and capture the diversity of psychological reactions to deepen presented scenes drama. This replaces a schematic earlier work. It is noteworthy that his passion for precision playback of old clothes, interior architectural elements, a variety of equipment and accessories.

Matejko’s individual style of painting revealed about the mid-sixties the nineteenth century. Its origins mostly stems from the fascination with Gothic sculpture by Veit Stoss (young John frequently studied the works of the master) and the Italian painter of the late Renaissance period (mainly works by Paolo Veronese and Titian).

Over the years, more and more attention is paid to proper and careful finish the work, to give them durability. Unlike youth paint is applied. Earlier sparingly in a thin layer. Now, roughly, is sparing no paint. The final stage is the glaze, applied to the still wet ink to bind both layers and not destroyed during maintenance.

Jan Matejko died after a burst ulcer November 1, 1893 at the age of 55 years. His last words were: “Let us pray for the fatherland! God blessed! “. At the time of his funeral Zygmunt bell rang, and last journey accompanied by thousands of Krakow. His body was buried in the family tomb at the main avenue Rakowice cemetery in Krakow.