Artur Grottger (1837–1867)
The Year 1863. The Leave-Taking and The Welcome diptych, 1865-1866
Purchased in 1897

material: oil on board

dimensions: 52,7 x 41,3 cm

description: In his works dedicated to the tragedy of the January Uprising, Artur Grottger created a striking iconography of the insurgency, combining an academic form with romantic content, equally moving, clear and transparent for all social classes. The composition of the Welcome and Farewell diptych seems very intimate. In this work, the narrative nature of the piece, so typical of 19th century art, is combined with a subtle, poetic atmosphere. The diptych presents two turning points in the life of any insurgent and his family: the moment when they said goodbye to their loved ones before going into battle and the long-awaited return to their homes, marred by the bitterness of defeat. Grottger paints his characters as both typical and ideal - a bold unnamed insurgent of noble descent and a patriotic Polish woman, seeing her beloved one off as he ventures into battle for the freedom of their homeland, and faithfully waiting for his return. In this striking artistic symbol of national mourning, a key role is played by the landscape, which serves to convey the mood of the piece. The manor house which is clearly visible in both parts of the diptych represents the motif of a sacred, mythical safe heaven which at the time of national captivity, also became a much coveted “private homeland”.
Aleksandra Krypczyk

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

key: Romanticism. Towards national art >>>

© 2010 National Museum in Krakow
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