STANIS£AWSKI, Jan
(b. 1860, Olszana na Ukrainie, d. 1907, Kraków)

Biography

Polish painter and printmaker. He came from a Polish family that had settled in the Ukraine after having been deported to Russia as punishment for the patriotic activities of the artist's father Antoni Stanis³awski, a lawyer, poet and translator. In 1879 Jan Stanis³awski came to Warsaw and, after completing his higher studies in mathematics, started to study painting (probably in 1881) under Wojciech Gerson (1831-1901) at the Warsaw School of Drawing, continuing in 1883-84 under Wladyslaw Luszczkiewicz (1828-1900) at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. Under Gerson's influence Stanis³awski chose landscape as his main and almost only subject.

His early works were exhibited at the inauguration of the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in Paris in 1890 and at the Friends of the Arts Society in Kraków in 1892. In the 1890s, he travelled extensively and his sketchbooks filled up with drawings from Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Kraków, and various places in Ukraine. Together with Julian Fa³at (1853-1929), he painted the landscape parts of Napoleon's Army Crossing the Berezina, a panorama by Wojciech Kossak (1857-1942).

The principal characteristic of his paintings was their small size, rarely greater than 360*240 mm. This aspect of his work came to be seen as an ironic contrast to his appearance, for he was both tall and remarkably bulky in build.

He co-founded the "Sztuka" ("Art") Society of Polish Artists in Kraków in 1897. Later he became Deputy Chairman and finally Chairman of that society, and showed his works at numerous exhibitions organised by it. In 1898, he became a member of the Viennese Secession, and his works were exhibited among theirs in 1901, 1902 and 1905. In 1901, he became a founding member of the Polish Applied Arts Society. He worked in the Wawel Castle Reconstruction Committee and was involved in the activities of the Green Balloon (Zielony Balonik) Cabaret.