Piotr Michałowski (1800–1855)
Encounter of Cuirassiers, 1840–1855 (?)
Purchased in 1884

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 29,5 x 40 cm

description: Cuirassiers were mounted heavy cavalry soldiers, whose value as a heavy striking force ensured the continued use of this 17th-century formation in European armies still in Michałowski’s time. They looked picturesque in colourful attire, shining breastplates called cuirasses and helmets decorated with plumes of feathers. This was probably the reason why Michałowski devoted so many pictures to them, making up the so-called Cuirassier series. Encounter of Cuirassiers, probably from the 1840s, though it is very difficult to give a more exact date, was probably inspired by the famous charge of Mozhaisk, yet it does not equal Michałowski’s well-known work illustrating this episode. The stiff figure of the black horse in the foreground on the right reveals what kind of painting difficulties this exceptionally talented painter, yet without academic education guaranteeing proficiency in the “painting craft,” had to deal with. Anna Zeńczak

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

key: Romanticism. Towards national art >>>

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