Orientalism in Polish Art

Orientalism in Polish Art

Orientalism, which refers to a cultural current in Europe centered on an interest in the cultures of the East, manifests itself in art, architecture, music, literature, and the theatre. It sprang forth from academic painting, inspired first and foremost by the cultures of the Islamic countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as of Moorish Spain. In the specific case of Poland, interest in the Orient goes back to medieval times; a natural result of her geographic location, which rendered Poland particularly susceptible to influences from the East. To a large extent, this period in Polish history was defined by successive wars with the Ottomans, and it left an indelible trace in culture. A variety of equestrian types, generic skirmishes and great historic battles were depicted many times by various skilled artists, as well as Oriental characters, landscapes, and genre scenes –first and foremost of the harem. The latter subject matter, popular among audiences, was often taken up by painters who had never been to the East themselves. 

Orientalism in Polish Art exhibition catalogue presents works by the artists such as Jan Matejko, Wacław Pawliszak, Jan Ciągliński, Jacek Malczewski, and especially Stanisław Chlebowski, the court artist of Sultan Abdülaziz. The catalogue also sheds light on the artistic influences of Poland’s cultural interaction with the East, different from the Western Orientalist approach, through history, diplomacy, battles and travelers. 

Publication Year: 2014 
Page number: 360 
ISBN: 978-605-4642-37-3


9 Foreword
Suna, İnan & İpek Kıraç

10 Foreword
Agnieszka Morawińska

14 Poles vis-à-vis the Orient and Orientalism
Jan Kieniewicz

26 Orientalism in Poland
Tadeusz Majda

46 Between Fashion and Tradition, Orientalism in the 19th Century Polish Painting
Anna Kozak

74 Franciszek Tepa (1828-1889), The First Polish Orientalist Painter
Anna Rudzińska

92 Photography and Orientalism, Photography Collection of the National Museum in Warsaw
Danuta Jackiewicz

105 Catalogue

328 Biographies

350 Bibliography

Orientalism in Polish Art

The exhibition highlighted the orientalist trend in Polish painting, as well as drawings and graphic arts. The works in the exhibition covered a wide period from the 17th to the early 19th centuries.

Orientalism in Polish Art