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Stryjeńska, Zofia

Seasons: January-February (Procession II – with horses)/Pory roku. Styczeń-luty (Korowód II – z końmi), 1925. Tempera on canvas, 177 x 180 cm, National Museum, Warsaw/Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Inv. No. MPW 1216 MNW
Seasons: January-February (Procession II – with horses)/Pory roku. Styczeń-luty (Korowód II – z końmi), 1925. Tempera on canvas, 177 x 180 cm, National Museum, Warsaw/Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Inv. No. MPW 1216 MNW

Stryjeńska, Zofia (née Zofia Lubańska, "Tadeusz von Grzymala"), Polish painter, graphic artist, set designer and designer, member of the "Munich School". In 1911/12, she was at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and in the group surrounding Wassily Kandinsky. *13 May 1891 in Kraków, †28 February 1976 in Geneva. Daughter of the President of the Kraków Chamber of Commerce, Tadeusz Grzymała Lubański, and his wife Anna, née Skrzyńska, four siblings; wife of the architect Karol Stryjeński (1887-1932), three children. After briefly attending the Kraków trade school, the teacher training college and the private art school of the painter Leonard Stroynowski (1858-1935), from 1909 Zofia Lubańska attended Maria Niedzielska’s Art School for Women/Szkoła Sztuk Pięknych dla Kobiet Marii Niedzielskiej, which she completed with a silver medal for painting and applied art the year after she finished her travels to Vienna, Triest and Venice in 1910. On 28 October 1911, she wore men’s clothing and used her brother Tadeusz Grzymała’s passport in the name of "Tadeusz von Grzymala" to join the drawing class of Gabriel von Hackl (1843-1926) at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich because women were not allowed to study at the Munich Art Academy at that time. She moved in the circles surrounding Wassily Kandinsky and was interested in dance, ballet and the rhythm theories of the Swiss composer and music teacher Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950). In 1912, her charade as a man was exposed and she returned to Kraków, where she devoted herself to painting and literature. An exhibition of cartoons created whilst in Munich with decorative scenes from Polish folk tales at the Society of the Friends of Fine Art in Krakow/Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie made her very popular with the public and in the press reviews. She subsequently received her first commissions for murals. She established close relationships with the artist community of the Kraków Workshops/Stowarzyszenie Warsztaty Krakowskie, which were founded in 1913 and which campaigned for the restoration of craftsmanship and applied arts based on folk art. Finally, she also established links to literary and artistic circles, such as those surrounding the poet Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński (1874-1941) and the painter of battle scenes Wojciech Kossak (1857-1942, member of the "Munich School"). During the First World War, she continued to work on illustrations for fairytales and musical-literary genres, and designed costumes and sets for performances of fairytales in theatres. In November 1916, she married the architect Karol Stryjeński (divorced 1927). In 1918, she became a member of the Kraków Workshops, designed tapestries, theatre and ballet scenery and costumes, as well as toys and dolls in regional dress. In 1918, she established a close relationship with the Polish futurist from the Gałka Muszkatułowa group surrounding the painter and poet Tytus Czyżewski (1880-1945). In 1920/21, she exhibited her works at numerous exhibitions in Kraków, Venice and Paris. In 1922, she joined the Rytm Artists’ Association/Stowarzyszenie Artystów Polskich "Rytm" and, despite its members coming from various artistic traditions, they all acted together to propagandise for a restoration of the decorative arts based on folk art. Stryjeński exhibited with them until 1929. In 1923, she moved with her family to Zakopane, where she made friends with the author Stanisław Ignacy "Witkacy" Witkiewicz (1885-1939) and the painter Rafał Marceli Malczewski (1892-1965). In 1925, in the Polish pavilion that she had designed for the Exposition internationale des Arts Décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris, she showed six large-format paintings of rural life at the change of the seasons. Awarded the Grand Prix for painting, poster art, illustration and textile designs, an honorary degree in the field of toys and appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, she was subsequently awarded numerous state commissions in Poland for painting cycles, facade decorations on Warsaw town houses and the furnishing of salons on ocean-going liners.

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  • Seasons: January-February (Procession II – with horses)/Pory roku. Styczeń-luty (Korowód II – z końmi), 1925

    Seasons: January-February (Procession II – with horses)/Pory roku. Styczeń-luty (Korowód II – z końmi), 1925. Tempera on canvas, 177 x 180 cm