Władysław Podkowiński
Lily of the Valley, 1892
Gift of Feliks Jasieński, 1920

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 141 × 90 cm

description: Between 1891 and 1893, besides landscape painting, Władysław Podkowiński became also interested in nude studies, among which stands out a representation of a young girl lifting lilies of the valley to her face. The pose of the sitter reminds of a traditional academic nude; however, formal solutions employed here are far from those advocated by academies. The artist modelled the woman’s body by means of chiaroscuro and colour. The tonality is based on complementary colours with a predominance of the shades of green, white tinged with blue, brown and yellow, in this way drawing on the Impressionistic experiences. Despite its novel form, Lily of the Valley won recognition from the art critics and public of the time, which may suggest that it was painted especially to appeal to the popular tastes. It can be evidenced by the traditional character, even banality of the view, as well as the sitter herself representing the ideal of beauty of the day. The literary and at the same time literal title of the composition diverts the viewers attention from the erotic character of the painting. As a result, this openly sensual nude was received much better than Ecstasy. Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha

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