Władysław Oleszczyński
Portrait of Adam Mickiewicz, 1856
Gift of Władysław Mickiewicz, 1886

material: bronze

dimensions: 75 x 45 x 32 cm

description: The bust of Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), a leading Romantic poet and playwright, one of the most outstanding writers in the history of Polish literature, as well as the political and charismatic leader of the Great Emigration, was carved shortly after his death. The sculptor modelled this portrait on a daguerreotype from 1842 showing Mickiewicz in bust-length, with upswept, slightly tousled hair and a chin curtain. It is modelled smoothly, there are no details or clothes. The sculpture is relieved only by a slight tilt of the head to the right. This way of depicting the sitter, in accordance with classical standards, contrary to the usual way of portraying a Romantic poet emphasizing rapture and spirituality, has a specific sense here. Mickiewicz by Oleszczyński is not a rebellious Romantic, but a mystic and prophet, a man who has experienced a revelation about the future of the world and the messianic mission of the Polish nation. Wacława Milewska

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
design & concept: creator.pl