Visualisations of the rape of Europe conceived in Central-Eastern Europe during the twentieth century evoke an up-to-date version of the echoes of the antemurale ideology, unknown in the West and functioning in the historical consciousness of Central and Eastern Europe for more than 500 years. 'The average nobleman believed that by protecting the south-eastern boundaries of his state against the Tartars, Turkey or Muscovy, he was guarding Christendom as a whole', wrote J. Tazbir. In the case of certain Polish artists the visualisation of the classical theme of the rape of Europe in Polish twentieth-century painting has been subjected to the conspicuous pressure of a specifically Polish historical-religious tradition, which transformed the classical myth of Europe into its antemurale counterpart. The presented study attempts to depict the oeuvre of Starowieyski and Hasior, inspired by the myth of Europe, against the background of European art, which often referred to this classical motif.
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