He has made a name for himself on the pages of Polish art history as one of the most prolific artists - his artistic output is estimated at 2,000 canvases. Much of his paintings are in private hands, in Poland and abroad. The portraits of Wojciech Kossak's paintbrush are not limited to capturing the image of the canvas's hero. The surrounding, the landscape, and above all the atmosphere, tell the character of the model.
MASTER OF GENRE SCENES
Own portrait with palette, Wikipedia
(31 December at a quarter past midnight) in Paris, as the first of the twins, Wojciech Kossak, son of Juliusz and Zofia Gałczyńska was born. Soon he came to Warsaw with his parents. He has been drawing a lot since childhood.
he started learning painting at the Cracow School of Fine Arts, where he was a student of Władysław Łuszczkiewicz (1828-1900)
He went to Munich to study art, from where he sent a drawing for the Sukiennice Fair. As the artist's mother wrote: Matejko), he starts to praise very much, to admire, to look at, to take out from the grey end, to hang on the honorable place...".
Wojciech Kossak started his studies in Paris
He returned to Cracow, where he fell in love with 20-year-old Maria Kisielnicka.
He married Maria Kisielnicka on July 16th. Their children: Jerzy Kossak (1886-1955), Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska (1891-1945) and Magdalena Samozwaniec (1894-1972) grew up in the famous Kossakówka (a house full of souvenirs, still in the hands of the family). All three of them will gain fame and enter the history of Polish art
Kossak's marriage served him well, he painted and exhibited a lot, and his works were very successful in Vienna, where he received a gold medal for his painting "The History of the First Uhlan Regiment".
He lived in Berlin and was considered the Emperor's court painter. For "Horse Portrait of William II" he was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle. He also received the bachelor's cross of the Order of the Iron Prussian Crown. These honors were publicized in the Polish press - a scandal broke out: in many eyes Wojciech Kossak appeared to be a traitor to the Polish cause, or at least a man devoid of patriotic feelings.
The first public show "Panorama Racławicka" took place on 5 June. The huge composition was enthusiastically received by the audience
after a few years in Berlin, the artist returned to Poland, bitten by the accusations of using Prussians
the artist's greatest easel canvas was created: "Bloody Sunday", which was shown in Vienna, London, Paris, the United States, Cracow and Lviv and enjoyed critical and public acclaim
On the initiative of Wojciech Kossak, a painting group "Zero" was established, referring to historical and patriotic values.
he was elected a member of the management of the Society of the Friends of Fine Arts in Cracow, he still painted a lot, and his works were exhibited in London, Paris, Munich, Antwerp and Rome
He became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In the same year he published his "Wspomnienia" - the book had great reviews and was very popular. He started selling a lot and finally he could stop complaining about the spectre of "death by starvation".
World War I broke out and although Wojciech Kossak was already 57 years old, he was conscripted into the Austrian army. He did not stop painting and composed, among other things, front scenes: "Young Hero," "Soldier's Dream," "On a battlefield.
This time in the Polish army, Wojciech Kossak became a major of the uhlans
He left for Paris and the United States with a diplomatic courier mission. In the USA he received 2 large orders for paintings: "Pulawski near Savannah" and "Kosciuszko near Saratoga". For each he received 20,000 dollars
The main source of the artist's income has become portraying the "famous and rich". His popularity was not decreasing, although his works were very uneven. Apart from the magnificent and full of momentum paintings, many auto-physicals and repetitions are also made. In the 1930s, Wojciech Kossak was very much under attack from avant-garde critics, but despite the "bad" press, almost everyone who could afford it wanted a portrait made by his hand.
The outbreak of World War II found Wojciech Kossak in Cracow. During the occupation, despite many pressures, he did not want to sell any painting to the Germans. Speaking of old age, he rejected the proposal of Governor Hans Frank, who necessarily wanted to have a portrait of Kossak's brush. And yet, the artist painted to the end and even boasted that he did not have to wear glasses. He preferred to paint Krakow craftsmen than portraits of German generals.
Wojciech Kossak died on 29 July in Cracow, leaving a lot of unfinished works.