Piotr Michałowski (1800–1855)
Dwernicki at the Head of the 2nd Uhlans Regiment, 1840–1850 (?)
Gift of Józefa Michałowska, 1902

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 74 x 117 cm

description: In 1829, Warsaw was visited by Tsar Nicholas I who arrived there to be crowned king of Poland, the monarch of the so-called Congress Poland. Piotr Michałowski was an eyewitness to these events. Many years later, he returned to them in his canvases. The painting shows a military parade of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Poland before the tsar (who can be seen on the left, sitting on a rearing white horse) and his companion Grand Duke Constantine, the commander in chief of the Polish army. However, the main figure in the picture is General Józef Dwernicki (1779–1857), a participant in the Napoleonic wars, who gained renown during the November Uprising. The artist painted him in the foreground, at the head of a regiment of Uhlans, galloping at full speed. Interestingly, while the tsar and his retinue seem to disappear in the darkness of the shadow, the tight, rushing forces of the Polish cavalry are shining with silver glitter. The viewer’s attention is attracted by the way of conveying the dynamics of the galloping horses, bursting into the foreground of the painting, as well as by the elaborate colour scheme of the work. Anna Zeńczak

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Romanticism. Towards national art >>>

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