Stanis?aw Mas?owski in 1925
3 December 1853|
|Died||31 May 1926
|Education||Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw|
Stanis?aw Mas?owski (1853-1926), born Stanislaw Stefan Zygmunt Ludgard Mas?owski (3 December 1853 in W?odawa, - 31 May 1926 in Warsaw) was a Polish painter of realistic style, the author of watercolor landscapes.
Mas?owski was born on 3 December 1853 in W?odawa on the Bug River (present day Poland), and there was christened 8 May 1854. His certificate of baptism is stored in the archives of the Parish of St.Louis of Pauline Fathers in W?odawa. He came from an impoverished noble family (Samson coat of arms), which originates from Wielu? (Poland) . "Mas?owski" family used the nickname "Watta of Ruda" (Polish: "z Rudy"). Zygmunt Gloger in his "Historic Geography of Ancient Polish Lands" (Polish: "Geografia historyczna ziem dawnej Polski") repeats after Jan D?ugosz, that the first capital of Wielu? County was Ruda before Wielu?, which was more conveniently located. Mas?owski was the son of Rajmund Mas?owski (1825-1897) and Waleria Józefa Katarzyna of Danilewicz (1827-1869). His brother was Boles?aw Mas?owski, chemist (1851-1928). Mas?owski's grandfather from his mother, Wincenty Danilewicz vel Danielewicz, (Ostoja coat of arms, born in 1787 in Mi?sk Lit. - former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth territory), was involved - as light-cavalryman - in the Napoleonic campaign, for which he was awarded the French Order of Legion of Honour. Mas?owski's father was a lawyer. He was promoted several times, changing with his family place of residence.
W?odawa, place of birth of the future artist - was one of many towns where his father was employed. Mas?owski family moved in 1856 from W?odawa to Garwolin, where Rajmund served as a courtroom writer. In 1858-1865 Maslowski lived in Ch?ciny. It is worth noting that Rajmund Mas?owski in January Uprising was the head of the Ch?ciny district. Therefore, in mid- 1864 he was arrested, and then about six months he spent in prison in Kielce
Since 1865 Mas?owski lived in Kalisz, where his first drawing teacher in the local high school, was painter Stanis?aw Barcikowski, a graduate of Warsaw School of Fine Arts. During this period, Mas?owski drew a lot from nature, including between 1865-1871 in Bronów near Podd?bice at a father's friends - Maria and Jaros?aw Konopnicki (see story by Konopnicka: "How do Children in Bronów with Rozalia Entertained", where one of these "children" was "Sta?" - the future artist; and then in J?drzejów, where lived Wincenty Danilewicz, his grandfather. He was also copying Juliusz Kossak's pictures from illustrated magazines.
Since 1871 Stanis?aw Mas?owski lived in Warsaw, where his father was transferred by court administration. His studies at the Warsaw School of Drawing (i.e. Wojciech Gerson's drawing school) lasted perhaps permanently in 1871-1875. "In this school I received - finds the artist in an autobiographical note - the advice of Mr. Gerson and Mr. A.Kaminski." In 1875 Mas?owski received the silver medal of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, as an award for his school drawings. During this period he took an active part in the life of the famous atelier rented by a group of artists-painters: J. Che?mo?ski, S. Witkiewicz, A.Piotrowski and others in the "Hotel Europejski" in Warsaw. Sincere affection for his colleagues from "Europe" (as he called it) remained him for the rest of his life.
However it was Ukraine, which gave to young Mas?owski many painting emotions. For the first time he went there accompanied by writer Edward Ch?opicki (1875). The second trip took place in 1876 (with this Ukrainian visit a number of Mas?owski's letters to the artist-painter W?adys?aw Leszczy?ski are involved). The next trips took place at least in 1878, and 1886.
In 1884-1887 Stanis?aw Mas?owski entered a new phase of creativity and a new environment. At that time, he developed close relations with the group of friendly painters and writers associated with "W?drowiec" weekly magazine, including Aleksander Gierymski and Antoni Sygiety?ski, and young painters: Józef Pankiewicz and W?adys?aw Podkowi?ski. In 1886 Maslowski spent half a year in Munich, where - as he writes - "worked at home."
In Mas?owski's creativity, years 1890-1907, was called a period of "the storm and ferment". Its initial phase is characterized by transition through impressionism and get away from it to find his own form. In 1897 Stanis?aw Mas?owski became a member of the Society of Polish Artists "Sztuka" in Kraków, created at the initiative of Jan Stanis?awski. A number of artists came from Warsaw e.g.: Józef Pankiewicz and Konstanty Laszczka. In 1899 Mas?owski issued a number of watercolours in Aleksander Krywult Salon; this year and in 1902 he took part in the exhibitions of the Vienna Secession. In 1900 he traveled to Italy and Paris. In 1900 at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, he gained a medal award for picture "The market in the Kazimierz". In 1901 he demonstrated a small watercolours in the "Chimera" monthly editorial. Collective exhibition in 1902 in the Zach?ta ends the second phase of Mas?owski's creative explorations.
The restless period of 1902-1907 points out the artist's first trip in 1903 to Wola Rafa?owska between Mi?sk Mazowiecki and Siedlce, where he soon found his synthesis of his Polish landscape. In the following year he began a series of trips to Italy. In 1904 - to Rome, Florence, Fiesole, but also to Troki near Wilno. The special exhibition on "Zach?ta" (1904) demonstrated Mas?owski's 58 water-colours.
In 1905-1907 Mas?owski worked in his atelier in Warsaw (at Mokotowska street) and experimented. Period of 1907-1926 was a phase of prosperity and decline of Mas?owski's creativity. Plein air in Nowosió?ka in Volhynia in 1908 brought 18 watercolours, which then was exhibited in the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts (polish abbr.: TZSP). In 1909 and 1910 Mas?owski had a solo exhibition there, and then exhibited there annually until 1914 the landscapes from Italy, Tunisia and from Polish village Wola Rafa?owska. In 1913 Mas?owski arranged a small exhibition of watercolours in the Galerie Léon Marseille in Paris.
In June 1914 Mas?owski received an invitation to taking a position as professor at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts. However he not accepted the proposition. The outbreak of the World War I found him in the country. In April 1916 the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts arranged Mas?owski's big collective exhibition. In December of that year he received the jubilee award of Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts. The end of the war in 1918, brought great moral relaxation. Maslowski then painted a picture "Beliniacy" (related to name of one of Polish patriotic military divisions).
In 1921 Mas?owski was elected a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1922 he made another trip to Italy. In 1925 a jubilee exhibition of Mas?owski's works was held in the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts. The next year, Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts issued a premium reproduction of his painting "Jarema's Duma" (of 1879). In 1925 Maslowski was awarded Officer's Cross of Polonia Restituta.
In the last year of life, suffering from a heart disease, he little worked. He died 31 May 1926 in Warsaw and was buried at the Pow?zki Cemetery in Warsaw, in the tomb of his mother's family (section 11-1-7/8, cf. the information boards behind the entrance of the "Saint Honorata" gate in the category: "Plastycy", i.e. "Artists").
A free time Maslowski was spending on your favorite readings of both the Old Polish literature, and foreign - mostly French or Italian (his favorite reading was Montaigne's writings - the book found by the bed after his death). A peculiar fruit of his reading was a translation into Polish of Giorgio Vasari's "Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects" (probably for the first time before World War I)
He was married (from 20 February 1897) to Aniela Ponikowska - sister of Cezary Ponikowski, lawyer (advocate-attorney), the first President of the Supreme Advocates Council in Poland (after restore of the independence of Poland, in 1918). They had son Maciej Mas?owski, an art historian (born in Warsaw 24 Jan. 1901, died in Wysokie Mazowieckie 17 Aug. 1976).
Mas?owski's artistic talent occurred already at an early age. He received a silver medal in 1975 from the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, for his school drawings. "Mas?owski - recalls Henryk Pi?tkowski (painter) - while still very young boy, as a student at the Warsaw School of Drawing (i.e. Wojciech Gerson's drawing school) marked his outstanding talent in the first creative gusts" - and adds, that - "he learned mostly not in school, but in the environment of Polish nature, which he felt and spoke with the mastery". These observations complements and confirms relation of his fellow Mi?osz Kotarbinski, in which we can read of the "very distinctive in school, and not yet appreciated Stanis?aw Mas?owski. He was already a naturally born impressionist. Studies on the plaster casts of classical sculpture he led in purely impressive mode, in which forgiving executives completely did not complain. With vividly colourful and scenic landscape studies of nature he overtook most ardent later Impressionists."
The year 1875 brought in Mas?owski's life the first images exhibited in the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, namely: "Owczarek" ("The Shepherd") and "Kozacy" ("Cossacks"), then - the first illustrations included in the "K?osy" Weekly Magazine, and the first trip to Ukraine. Ukrainian topic had a strong influence on Mas?owski in his youth. It was carrying parallel: blustering vigor and lyrical musing. That was the Ukraine, which Maslowski saw and began to enact in his studio compositions. It was unlike the painting of the noble-knight's and hunter's Ukraine by Juliusz Kossak, Józef Brandt and Józef Che?mo?ski. A numerous images of Ukrainian themes may be mentioned: "Odbicie branki" (Reflection from Captive - exhibited 1878), "Po?egnanie Kozaka" (Farewell Cossack - illustration, 1878), "Jarema's Duma" (1879), "Ch?opcy w stepie" (Boys in the Steppe - illustration, 1879), "Noc" (Night - exhibited in 1880), "Tabun" (Herd of Horses, 1880), "Odpoczynek czumaka" (Chumak's Rest, 1880), "Wesele" (The Wedding, 1881), "Odpoczynek" (The Rest, 1882), and finally "Taniec Kozaków" (Cossacks Dance - Kozachok, 1883), which is a kind of closure and synthesis of the whole. At this, however, does not exhaust the subject matter and the topography of Mas?owski's paintings created in atelier, in early stages of his work. It happens a Masovian village ("Na pastwisku" - en.: "On the Pasture", 1880), and even melodrama ("Niedola" - en.: "Misery", 1881), but still the Ukraine was the main emphasis of his contemporary work. Mas?owski's studio painting of this period can not be reduced to a common denominator; his realism has a number of editions - closer to the romantic sentiments, or closer to the truth of nature. Generally speaking, Mas?owski's way goes from linearity to ornamentation, from value to colour, from oil to watercolour, and in total - from atelier to plein air.
The most interesting result of the Ukrainian and other Mas?owski's expeditions were quite precursory studies and sketches from nature - watercolours, pencils, and oils, including "Trójka ba?agulska" (a Three-Horse Carriage, National Museum, Kraków), "Studium konia" (Study of a Horse - ibid.), "Zima" (Winter - ibid.), "Cyganka" (Gypsy woman, 1877, formerly in Bohdan Wyd?ga collections), "Studium jamnika" (Study of Dachshund), "Szczeniaki" (Puppies - owned by the artist's family), "Studium psa" (Study of a Dog), "G?owy byków" (Bulls Heads - National Museum in Warsaw), "Oset" (Thistle, between 1876-1878, reproduced as a vignette in the "Sfinks" Monthly ecession magazine in 1909 and 1912). Their cognitive function rapidly transformed and expanded. One of the most interesting studies arose during a few days stay in the Gypsy camp behind the Warsaw-Praga Turnpike. But first fame, and even financial success brought him no pioneer "minor sketches" but "Duma Jaremy" (Jarema's Duma) and "Taniec Kozaków" (Cossacks Dance - Kozachok, reproduced in the booklet No 11 of "Album of Polish Painters" (polish: "Album malarzy polskich", ed. Warsaw 1885).
In 1884-1887 Stanis?aw Mas?owski entered into a new phase of creativity. He came into a close relationship with a fellow group of painters and writers associated with "W?drowiec" (en.: "The Wanderer") weekly magazine, i.e. with Aleksander Gierymski and Antoni Sygiety?ski, with young Józef Pankiewicz and W?adys?aw Podkowi?ski. This period already in 1884 resulted in large oil-composition done in the atelier, which is a landscape entitled "Wschód Ksiyca" (en.: "Moonrise", National Museum in Cracow - in the "Cloth Hall" Department). In Mas?owski's painting now pushed to the fore the problem of light in the night and day - the colour issue parallel to the value question. Mas?owski's painting underwent profound changes during this period. This is evidenced also by following paintings: "Wschód s?o?ca" (en.: Sunrise, 1886), and next: "Zachód s?o?ca" (en.: Sunset, 1887), "Targ na Mariensztacie" (en.: Market on Mariensztat, ca 1887), "Po?udnie" (en.: Noon, ca 1888). These images pave Mas?owski's way to Impressionism. Gerson in criticism in 1888 notes: "Mr. Mas?owski sent to the exhibition a "Mazovian Cottage" - a watercolour painting of rare beauty and strength".Gerson sees in it a lot of brightness, richness, strength of color, plasticity. At this time a new topic appears in Mas?owski's works - the city of Warsaw. Particularly interesting came out a numerous notes from Iron-Gate Square in Warsaw. From this period come a numerous watercolour studies of Masovia, picking Mas?owski in a row of "the first Polish Plein air-ists and Impressionists" (S. Rutkowski).
The years 1890-1907 were a "period of storm and ferment" in Mas?owski work. Its initial phase - was to go through Impressionism, and then move away from it in search of its own, separate forms. The first attempt towards a new image was reportedly "Pocztylion" (en.: Postman, 1890), and then "Targ na Grzybowie" (en.: Market on Grzybów district of Warsaw, 1892), "Ostatnie promienie" (en.: Last rays), "Przed poborem" (en.: Before the Conscription, 1892). Next years brought a numerous and still a new trials and experiments, ranging between Impressionism and Neo-romanticism. In 1893 Maslowski issued, inter alia, "Stare miasto" (en.: Old Town) and "Poranek" (en.: Morning) and in 1894 - "Mickiewicz and Maryla" and "Porwanie" (en.:Kidnapping); in 1895 - "Wiosna" (en.: Spring); in 1896 - "Sprawa o granic?" (en.: The Case of the Border) and "Bociany" (en.: Storks). All these were big oil compositions. It seems that far-reaching attempt in the direction of divisionist, speckle technique of painting was image entitled: "Poranek" (en.: Morning). The year 1896 brought synthesis of previous efforts, as exemplified by two major themes: "Sprawa o granic?" (en.: Case of the Border) and "Bociany" (en.: Storks). Great collective exhibition in the Krywult exhibition room of art in Warsaw in 1896, closed most turbulent phase of a new period of Maslowski's painting.
In 1899, Mas?owski exhibited a dozen of watercolours in Krywult exhibition room. This year and in 1902 he participated in the exhibitions of the Vienna Secession. In 1900 he traveled to Italy and Paris. In 1901, in the editorial of "Chimera" monthly magazine, he presented a set of small watercolours. Here are the leading Mas?owski's works of these years. Of 1898 come paintings: "Chart" (en.: Greyhound), "Portret dziewczynki" (en. Portrait of a Girl), "Giewont we mgle" (en. Giewont Tatra Peak in the Mist); then of 1899 - "Rynek w Kazimierzu" (en. Market Square in Kazimierz), and "Kapliczka w Kazimierzu" (en. A Wayside Shrine in Kazimierz), and finally of 1902 - a big image of "Cyganka" (en.: Gypsy Woman), landscapes of Rybiniszki (former Polish Livonia now in Eastern Latvia), "Wrona" (en. Crow), "Kamienica pod Okr?tem" (en. "Tenement under Ship" in Warsaw Old Town). It is worth noting that these are only watercolours.
A Picture "Rynek w Kazimierzu" (en.: Market Square in Kazimierz) was awarded the medal on the Universal Exhibition in Paris (1900). A collective show of his paintings in 1902, in the Zach?ta (i.e. Society for Encouragement of Fine Arts) ends the second phase of Mas?owski's explorations. Of the numerous reviews deserves reminder E. Niewiadomski's sentence: "Mas?owski's place will be in the same series, in which were artists otherwise of different measure: Kossak Juliusz, Matejko, Grottger, Che?mo?ski, Piechowski. He is a national artist through and through. National are the motives of his works and their concepts, the national temperament, life gushing from images, colour strength [...]".
The special exhibition in the "Zach?ta" (1904) demonstrated 58 Mas?owski's watercolours. In 1905-1907 Maslowski worked experimenting in his Warsaw studio (at Mokotowska street). He did illustrations for "Pan Tadeusz" (special edition in 1905 for subscribers of "Rozwój" Publishers in ?od?), as well as other figure compositions, for instance a full of rhythm and expressive image of "Pijani Ch?opi" ("Drunken Peasants", 1906, National Museum in Warsaw), the scene of the Revolution of 1905 - "Patrol Kozaków" ("Cossacks Patrol"), also known as "Wiosna 1905" ("Spring 1905") or "?wit 1906" ("Dawn 1906" - painting of 1906, Museum of Art in ?ód?) , picture "Pierwsze ?yto" ("First Rye", 1907) and rare attempt of symbolism in Mas?owski's work - ?wi?tynia Sztuki" ("The Temple of Art", 1907, lost). In autumn of 1907 the charming landscapes of Radziejowice was created - combining graphic lines with the painterly clarity of stains, such as "Pond in Radziejowice" (1907). Plein air in Nowosió?ka on Volhynia in 1908 brought 18 watercolours exhibited in the "Zacheta" - Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts.
As already mentioned, in 1909 and 1910 took place Mas?owski's individual exhibitions in the Zach?ta. From this period (1909) originates, inter alia, watercolour, entitled "Maki" (The Field of Corn Poppies). In the following years, until 1914, he exhibited in the "Zacheta" - Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts the landscapes of Italy, Tunisia and Polish of Wola Rafa?owska village, including: "Podwórze w Villi d'Este " (Courtyard at Villa d'Este),"Zatoka Neapolita?ska" (Bay of Naples), "Krowy" (The Cows), "Bia?e maki" (White Poppies - the field of corn poppies), "Chojar" (A Single Old pine-Tree), "Motyw z Taorminy" (Theme from Taormina), "Beduinka" (Bedouin Woman), "Wej?cie do Pa?acu Beja" (Entrance to the Bey Palace),"Kawiarnia arabska" (Arabic Cafe) and other. All of them presented an unusual wealth of colour and decoration, a rare freshness and directness of vision. Examples of watercolor paintings from this period are the images of "Poppies" and "A Hollyhocks in the Garden" (1911). There were also oil pictures at that time.
Soon he returned to landscape painting. Works of this final period was uneven. The most outstanding works of this time include watercolor paintings from a trip to Italy in 1922 and some landscapes of Wola Rafa?owska village, such as a few from the year 1924: "Ule" (The Beehives - the Silesian Museum in Katowice), "Gryka" (The Field of Buckwheat) and "?ubin" (The Field of Yellow Lupin - The National Museum, Warsaw).
Konie przy obie (Horses at the Crib), study in pencil on paper, ca 1880 (National Museum in Warsaw)
Tragarz (A Porter), a study in pencil on paper, 1884 (Historical Museum of Warsaw, phot. J. Mierzecka)
Goods Train, landscape with a goods train, watercolor, 1890, (National Museum in Warsaw)
Portret ?ony artysty (Portrait of Artist's Wife), watercolor on paper, 1897 (artist's family collection)
Staw w Radziejowicach (Pond in Radziejowice, 1907)