Szlegel, Korneli (Szlegiel, Szlegl, Cornelius Schlegel), Polish painter, member of the "Munich School". In 1842/43, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under Wilhelm Kaulbach and the Nazarene Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. *29 March 1817 in Stanislau/Stanisławów (now Iwano-Frankivsk, Ukraine), †22 July 1870 in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine). Son of the garden designer, architect and (according to the Munich matriculation register) imperial-royal appeals secretary Ludwik (?) Szlegiel, believed to be the grandson of the garden designer and architect Leopold Szlegiel from a family with German origins. After completing grammar school in Lwów, he studied at the private atelier of the portrait artist Karl Gottlieb/Karol Schweikart (1772-1855) and then in Vienna from 1836. In 1839, he went to Prague, visited Bohemia, Saxony and Bavaria in 1840/41, and Rome, Dresden and Munich in 1841. On 5 January 1842, he began studying painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich at the same time as Józef Simmler (1823-1868, member of the "Munich School"). He studied under the historical painter Wilhelm Kaulbach (1805-1874) and the Nazarene Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872) until 1843. In 1843, he was in Lwów but left to go to Rome in 1844/45 where he and the Polish painters Leopold Nowotny (1818–1870) and Edward Brzozowski joined the religious painting group of the Nazarenes. In December 1846, he travelled to Paris, London and Copenhagen. In 1847 he finally settled in Lwów and married Antonina, née Gizowska (1828-1915). In 1850, he travelled to Moldavia and the Carpathians, and in 1851 to Constantinople/Istanbul and Smyrna/Izmir, to Corfu, Trieste and Vienna. He then returned to Lwów. In 1868, he cofounded the Society of the Friends of Fine Art/Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych in Lwów and was a board member. Szlegel painted religious motifs and scenes, bourgeois and peasant genre motifs (see cover image), historical pictures relating to Polish history and literature, and portraits in a late-romantic, sleek and colourful style grounded in the Nazarenes. He made his debut with religious motifs (Madonna with child) and scenes from the Polish legends (The Holy Kunigunde discovers the saltmines of Wieliczka) during his time in Munich from 1842-43. In 1844/45, he created portraits of the painters Nowotny and Roman Postempski (1808-1878) in Rome. In Lwów from 1847 onwards, he painted idealised portraits (Turkish woman, head of an ancient Roman), scenes from history and literature, and portraits (the painter Juliusz Kossak) and, in particular, personalities from Lwów (Onufry Krynicki, Dean of the University). In 1866, he exhibited a painting about the apotheosis of John III Sobieski at the liberation of Rome at the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts/Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych in Warsaw. His works can be found in the National Picture Gallery in Lviv (18 works) and in the National Museums in Kraków and Warsaw.
Group exhibitions: 1856 Lwów, Town Hall/ 1866 Warsaw, Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts/Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych
Literature: Dmitrij Szelest/Janusz Derwojed: Lwowska Galeria Obrazòw. Malarstwo polskie, Warsaw 1990; Halina Stępień/Maria Liczbińska: Artyści polscy w środowisku monachijskim w latach 1828-1914. Materiały źródłowe, Warsaw 1994, page 6, 63; Halina Blak et al: Polish Painting of the 19th Century (Modern Polish Painting, 1), National Museum, Kraków/Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, 2001; Polski Słownik Biograficzny, vol. 48, 2012/13, page 354
Online: Matriculation database, matriculation register 2, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, 00029 Cornelius Schlegel, https://matrikel.adbk.de/matrikel/mb_1841-1884/jahr_1842/matrikel-00029
Zofia Lewicka-Depta, on Internetowy polski słownik biograficzny (further literature there), https://www.ipsb.nina.gov.pl/a/biografia/korneli-szlegel
Four works in the National Museum, Kraków/Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, https://zbiory.mnk.pl/pl/wyniki-wyszukiwania?phrase=Szlegel,%2520Korneli
(All links last retrieved in October 2020)
Axel Feuß, October 2020