Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901)
Fountain – study for the painting In a Bower, 1876–1880
Gift of Eustachy Jaxa-Chronowski, 1916

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 29,5 × 49,5 cm

description: The composition entitled The Bower was the result of Gierymski’s interest in the painting form and his experience of working in the open air. The painting depicted a group of people in Rococo clothes taking a rest in a sunlit garden. Gierymski began to work on The Bower in 1875 and continued painting during his five years in Rome. The artist probably destroyed the work after arriving in Warsaw in 1880, but in 1882, he completed the second, smaller version of the painting. Aiming to create the most objective picture of reality, the painter tried to study from nature even the smallest detail, explore the relations between forms in space, analyse the effect of the interpenetration of colours and reflection of light, achieving the results reminiscent of Impressionist painting. The artist’s struggle to paint The Bower enabled him to break with the principles of the academic art convention. The Bower was preceded by numerous oil studies and plein-air sketches, for example, Fountain. This small-size study delights with the freshness of impression. Sunlight penetrates every particle of the air, shining in the drops of water gushing above the surface of a mossy, coarse stone. The work on The Bower revealed the artist’s tendency to analyze technical means in detail, manifesting itself in the endless repetition of the same motif as well as a long and extremely laborious process of creation. 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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