Kazimierz Pochwalski
Portrait of Aspazja von Goldschmidt, 1895
Gift of Victoria Boehm, 1963

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 120 × 80,5 cm


Despite the invention of photography in the second half of the 19th century, painted portraits retained their popularity. Painters were interested in this genre – not very highly valued in the academic hierarchy, but lucrative. Some of them, like Kazimierz Pochwalski, achieved mastery in this field. The artist began portrait studies in Munich, where he went soon after graduating from the School of Fine Arts in Krakow. It was there that his talent for portraying the sitter based on close observation emerged. The artist perfected his skills studying French portraits in Parisian museums and art galleries. His works received awards at exhibitions in Munich, Berlin and Paris. In 1891, after his great success in Vienna, Pochwalski was introduced to Emperor Franz Joseph, encouraged to settle in the capital and soon appointed professor of the Academy of Fine Arts there. The art of formal and at the same time realistic portrait with deep psychological expression based on centuries-old tradition, which he specialized in, won recognition from Vienna’s high society and the elites of the Habsburg monarchy. At that time, the artist painted a few hundred works, including the portrait of Aspazja von Goldschmidt (the wife of Hugon von Goldschmidt, a Viennese banker, a relative of the lady who donated the painting to the collection of the National Museum) and Stanisław Badeni, Marshal of the Galician Seym.


Barbara Ciciora

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

key: Around the academy >>>

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