Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901)
Piazza delle Erbe in Verona, c. 1900
Gift of Jan Glatzel, 1951

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 17,7 × 27,3 cm

description: Aleksander Gierymski’s Italian landscapes include a small, light-filled view of Piazza delle Erbe in Verona. The title Square of Herbs was laid out in the place of the ancient Roman forum. The square is covered with white and pink marble slabs, founded by the members of the Della Scala family, who wanted to emphasize their glory. Aleksander Gierymski visited the city for the first time together with his brother Maksymilian in May 1871, and then in 1873. He spent more time in Verona on the way from Paris to Rome in autumn 1900. At that time, the artist painted a number of landscapes showing views of the city, for example, Piazza delle Erbe flooded with bright midday sunshine. The marble surface of the square is filled with stalls selling vegetables, fruit and herbs. Among them rises an openwork structure which once housed instruments used for the accurate marking of the measurements and weights. Farther in the background, there is a Baroque palace – Palazzo Maffei – and a column with St. Mark’s lion in front of it. The Gardello tower rises in the left corner. Tall houses close the square on both sides. Gierymski avoids the meticulous treatment of detail. The composition is dominated by lightly applied patches of colour and soft contour. The work, painted fluidly and sketchily, has a light tonality with dominant white, beige, yellow, blue and green. This work, serving as an example of the artist’s search for his own, personal means of artistic expression, is marked by modern, analytical treatment of landscape. Aleksandra Krypczyk

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

key: Realism, polish impressionism, beginnings of symbolism >>>

© 2010 National Museum in Krakow
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