Szyndler, Pantaleon

Eva/Ewa, 1889. Oil on canvas, 211.5 x 118 cm, National Museum in Warsaw/Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Inv. No. MP 733 MNW
Eva/Ewa, 1889. Oil on canvas, 211.5 x 118 cm, National Museum in Warsaw/Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Inv. No. MP 733 MNW

Szyndler, Pantaleon, Polish painter, member of the "Munich School". From 1871-72, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. *26 July 1846 in Lipie near Wieluń, †31 January 1905 in Warsaw. He was initially assistant to a painter and decorator, and from 1866, he attended the Warsaw drawing class/Klasa Rysunkowa under the historical, icon and portrait painter Rafał Hadziewicz (1803-1883). In the years that followed, he showed landscapes ("From the area around Piotrków", 1867) and historical pictures ("Kochanowski after the death of Urszulka", 1871, acquisition) at the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts/Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych. In 1871, he went to Munich funded by a scholarship from the Society. On 12 May 1871, he started in the antiquity class given by Alexander Strähuber (1814-1882) at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and studied under the historical painter Hermann Anschütz (1802-1880) and the genre and landscape painter Otto Seitz (1846-1912). From 1872, he studied at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome under the church painter Francesco Coghetti (1801-1875), and from 1874, he studied at the École des Beaux-arts in Paris under Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889), a painter of religious, mythological and historical themes. From 1875, he was in London, The Hague, Amsterdam and Spain, and from 1882 in Nice, Florence, Venice, on Capri and in Egypt. In 1883/84, he settled in Warsaw. In 1885, he travelled to the Crimea and to Podolien. In 1895, he went to Częstochowa, where he opened a women’s school for religious painting. In 1900 after the death of his wife, he went to the Pauline monastery Jasna Góra, where he restored paintings and painted small religious pictures. From 1902, he settled in Warsaw again. In Paris in 1874/75, Szyndler copied old masters and painted prestigious portraits. His friendship with the Polish poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821-1883) resulted in the portrait in the National Museum, Warsaw/Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie which was created in 1882, shortly before Norwid’s death. He made copies in London in 1875 as well, but he also studied architecture in The Hague and Amsterdam as well as making copies of portraits and landscapes. At that time, the artist thought that he would open a gallery for copies in Warsaw sometime in the future. In Italy, he painted landscapes, church interiors and pictures depicting typical national characters. However, in the first half of the 1880s after returning to Poland, Szyndler became known for figure paintings embracing the realistic, sleek style of Orientalism and showing scantily clad women and female nudes in oriental indoor settings ("Girl in the bath/Dziewczyna w kąpieli", 1881/84, National Museum, Kraków/Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie; "Odaliske"), paintings which could also take on a religious character (see cover image). "Girl in the bath" was awarded second prize at an exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1899, and in 1889 "Eva/Ewa" received an honourable mention at the World Exhibition in Paris. However, this painting provoked controversy among the Polish critics since the seductive representation did not seem to sit well with the religious content. In contrast, he also created purely religious motifs ("The baptism of Christ", "Pieta") and scenes with historical, literary subjects, with some based on Shakespeare, and numerous portraits. Only around 40 paintings from the artist’s work have survived, 150 are believed to have disappeared. His works can be found in the National Museums of Warsaw and Kraków.

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  • Eva/Ewa, 1889

    Eva/Ewa, 1889. Oil on canvas, 211.5 x 118 cm