Jacek Malczewski (15 July 1854 in Radom – 8 October 1929 in Kraków) was one of the most famous painters of Polish Symbolism. In his creativity he successfully joins the predominant style of his times with motifs of Polish martyrdom.
He began his training in 1873 in Krakow's School of Fine Arts on the instigation of the historical painter Jan Matejko (1838-93). Malczewski was initially taught by Wladyslaw Luszczkiewicz (1828-1900) and Feliks Szynalewski (1825-92) and from 1875 worked exclusively under Matejko's supervision. In 1876-7 he studied under Ernest Lehmann (1814-82) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; here he began to abandon Matejko's historical subject-matter in order to tackle contemporary problems and give expression to his own experiences. He espoused the realism of, among others, Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school. In 1877 he again studied under Matejko but broke away in 1879. In 1880 he travelled to Italy and in 1884 acted as draughtsman for an archaeological expedition to Asia Minor, visiting en route Vienna, Trieste, the Albanian coastline, Rhodes and Athens. His mature work dates from after a period spent in Munich in 1885-1886.
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