Henryk Siemiradzki (1843–1902)
Study of a Tree, undated
Gift of Edward Kudrewicz, 1979

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 213 × 65 cm

description: What draws attention in the academic works of Henryk Siemiradzki depicting ancient and biblical themes are excellently rendered areas with landscapes. Painted based on plain-air studies, they usually show Italian motifs, impressing with the perfectly captured play of light and shade, a subtle technique and the purity of colours. As an adamant academic painter, Siemiradzki preceded each of his works with drawing and oil studies. The large-size oil Study of a Tree depicts a slender stone pine. The tree, painted in close-up, from a low viewpoint, is seen only fragmentarily – its dark-green crown is beyond the narrow frame of the painting. The artist focussed his attention on the bottom branches and the beige and grey knobby trunk. A similar approach to the motif of landscape, inspired probably by photography, is represented by his other works, e.g., Christ and Samaritan Woman, Idyll, Rest and Family Happiness. The foreground of Study of a Tree is in darkness, the landscape in the background is illuminated by patches of sunlight corresponding to the blue of the sky. The vertical character of the composition has been accentuated by a considerably elongated vertical format of the work. 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
design & concept: creator.pl