Year of Matejko inaugurated at the Wawel Castle

unknown sketch of the “Prussian Homage”. Photo: PAP/Art Service

On Saturday, Wawel Castle joined the Year of Matejko by presenting an unknown sketch of the “Prussian Homage” painted by him. The painting, which originates from a private collection, will be exhibited in the castle for several months. Its last public showing was almost 150 years ago.

During the ceremonial unveiling of the painting, Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński emphasized that “this sketch reveals Matejko’s painting genius.”

The artist created this small painting around 1874, and it was displayed in his studio in Kraków during a visit by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1881. The painting was then obtained by a private collector, and it has remained in the family’s possession to this day.

“The presentation at Wawel will be fascinating not only for experts but also for a wider audience,” the culture minister stated. “This is an opportunity to remember that we are commemorating the Year of Matejko on the 185th anniversary of his birth and the 130th anniversary of his death,” he added.

It is important to talk about Matejko

Gliński, who visited the Jan Matejko House, a branch of the National Museum in Kraków, emphasized the importance of discussing Jan Matejko.

“It’s worth talking about Matejko, arguing, and discussing because there really is a lot to talk about. All the more so because some of his paintings have yet to be discovered after the war, while some are surfacing. Hence, there is much to talk about,” the minister pointed out. “He was a great and very Polish painter,” he added.

The museum is located in the family home of Jan Matejko in Kraków. The three levels of the building showcase over 600 items related to the painter’s life and work.