Many Polish artists, although beginning their studies in Poland, studied and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Three such artists share similar beginnings, all starting their training at the Warsaw Drawing School. Artists Jan Van Chelminski, Jozef Marian Chelmonski, and Wladslaw Czachorski attended the art school in Warsaw in the late 1860s and early 1870s and went on to have successful careers as painters, gaining fame in Europe and the United States.
Jan Van Chelminski, perhaps the most recognized of the three painters, was born in 1851. After training at the Warsaw Drawing School, he left for Munich and worked with Alexander Strahuber and Alexander Wagner, Jozef Brandt, and Franz Adam. During this time, Chelminski traveled to New York, Paris, and London and built a name for himself as an artist. He painted mostly hunting scenes and eighteenth-century genre pictures.
As his popularity grew, he was commissioned to paint portraits of Princess Teresa, Prince Regent Leopold, and Prince Emanuel. King Louis even bought his “The Hunt Par Force”.
In England and America Chelminski painted sport and genre scenes with the air of a traditional English painter. These gained the artist enormous success and provided Chelminski access to important peoples, including Theodore Roosevelt, of whom he illustrated numerous hunting stories. These paintings appeared in Century Magazine in 1885.
As his financial and artistic success grew, Chelminski’s love of battle scenes grew as well. He began collecting weapons, particularly from the Napoleonic period, which later became a significant theme in his work. Through intense study, the artist was able to take his portrayal of battle scenes to the next level, and in 1904, a collection of his battle paintings was exhibited at the Galerie des Artistes Moderns in Paris. The same year forty-eight paintings in tribute to the army of the Duchy of Warsaw were exhibited in Paris as well. These paintings, along with all his battle scene paintings, provide incredible documentation and are extremely historically accurate. Permanent collections of Chelminski’s work are exhibited throughout Poland and abroad. In the United States his paintings have been sold at auctions for close to $100,000.
MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. has had the good fortune of appraising pieces by Jan Van Chelminski in addition to researching various reknowned Polish artists. For more information, take a look at our past blog entry about Chelminski and his success in the United States.
Here are a few of Chelminski's works that we have worked with at MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.:
http://chicagoappraisers.blogspot.com/2009/07/jan-van-chelminski-1851-1925.html (Past MIR Blog about Chelminski)
Jozef Marian Chelmonski trained at the Warsaw Drawing School from 1867 to 1871. During his studies he worked in the private studio of Wojciech Gerson who greatly influenced his early work. He moved to Munich for the years of 1871 to 1874 and formed a relationship with a circle of Munich-based Polish artists, including Jozef Brandt and Maksymilian Gierymski. Throughout his years in Munich, the artist made many returning trips to Poland, visiting Podolia and the Ukraine. These trips undoubtedly left a lasting impression on Jozef that is quite evident in his work.
Jozef Marian Chelminski traveled to Paris during the 1880’s and in 1889 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the Universal Exposition. While working in Paris, the artist formed a relationship with art dealer A. Groupil, who made his paintings available to English and American collectors. Some of his most popular paintings feature a motif of horses galloping through the snow.
The artist also worked as an illustrator, and from 1884 to 1892, was employed by the Parisian magazine Le monde ilustre, like Polish artist Wladyslaw Teodor Benda.
Jozef exhibited in Chicago in 1903 and continued painting up until his death in 1914. He was most inspired and most happy in his native Poland, where he returned permanently near the end of his life. His later works are reflective and melancholic, showing a huge respect and affection for the border regions of his country, where he spent so much of his life.
Quite opposite to Jozef Marian in his affinity for depicting their native country was Wladyslaw Czachorski.
Like Jan Van and Jozef Marian, Czachorski began his studies at the Warsaw Drawing School and like the others, he traveled to Germany and eventually settled in Munich. Czachorski did a lot of traveling throughout his early years as an artist, mostly to France and Italy, sometimes visiting his native Poland. Although he came from a similar background of culture and training as both Chelminski’s, Czachorski created paintings with an English flare, and abandoned Polish cultural influences. In fact, many of his paintings are of Shakespearean scenes. His most recognized work, “Hamlet Receiving the Players”, from 1875 shows his affinity for English literature.
Czachorski also painted portraits, still lifes, and genre scenes. His paintings of young women in luxurious interiors show off his ability as an artist, for the women, jewelry, fabrics, and clothing are depicted with incredible detail. His canvases exude luxury and elegance with an almost photographic realism.
The staff at MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. seeks to fully understand the arts in their particular cultural contexts and to analyze relationships between various artistic mediums and genres; in this way we can broaden our expertise as art appraisers. We are located just steps from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center; please do give us a ring to set up an appointment for a verbal evaluation of your most prized works of art.
Researched and written by Taylor Maatman
Researched and written by Taylor Maatman
MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
Principal Appraiser: Farhad Radfar, ISA AM
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-8510