Witold Pruszkowski
Dawn, 1881
Gift of Eustachy Jaxa-Chronowski, 1916

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 155 × 63 cm


Regarded as a kind of diptych, the paintings Dusk and Dawn show the so-called “grey hour,” the moment when the day gives way to the darkness of the night and early morning, when the night turns into the brightness of the day. The choice of the moment when all elements of nature blend into a harmonious whole made it possible to trigger in the viewer the feeling of harmony with nature, the complete “melting” into it. Dawn depicts a pure landscape whereas Dusk features the figure of a woman, which was probably inspired by the painting Villa by the Sea by Arnold Böcklin. It introduces the atmosphere of mystery into the composition. Due to the enigmatic behaviour of the woman, this painting may be interpreted in a variety of ways. It is mainly the landscape that creates the mood in both works. The compositions are devoid of depth and different parts of the view merge with each other. It is the light which stresses the interpenetration of elements of nature. The elongated format of the canvases makes the viewer turn their eyes upwards. The subtle technique is accompanied by a limited palette. Subtle technical solutions applied in these works, distinctive of Munich “stimmung” landscape, remind also of Symbolism.

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 >>>

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