Antoni Madeyski
A Sleeping Dog, 1901
Permanent loan

material: bronze

dimensions: 20 × 57 × 32 cm

description: The sculpture of a sleeping dog is a study for the marble sarcophagus of Queen Jadwiga in the Wawel cathedral. The artist represented the dog – a symbol of loyalty – at the feet of the deceased queen, drawing on the tradition of early tombstone sculpture. He was directly inspired by the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto (1406) by Jacopo della Quercia in the Lucca cathedral. Due to its high artistic quality, Madeyski’s sculpture is, however, an independent work of art, existing beyond the context of the Wawel tomb. The dog has been portrayed in a realistic way: its squinted eyes signifying a light sleep, attention to detail (tendons, laws, the shape of ears) and an extremely natural position of the body are an evidence of the close observation of animal anatomy. Antoni Madeyski spent most of his creative life in Italy, where he studied the sculpture of past epochs. To his inspiration by antiquity and Renaissance, he added elements of naturalism, which resulted in his reserved perfectionism. Nonetheless, by portraying the sleeping dog with great tenderness, the artist seems to be overcoming his characteristic academic coolness and reserve. Agata Małodobry

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: