THE CHARLES LE BRUN WALL PAINTING FROM THE AURORA PAVILION AT SCEAUX AS INSPIRATION FOR THE SEASONS OF THE YEAR CEILING DECORATION BY JERZY ELEUTER SIEMIGINOWSKI AT WILANÓW
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The French influence on this Polish court painter's work has already been considered. It seems probable the artist had already spent at least a year, possibly two, in Paris prior to visiting Rome. This sojourn would appear to confirm certain compositional and iconographic similarities with Charles Le Brun's mural from 1672 in Jean-Baptiste Colbert's suburban Paris residence at Sceaux. Siemiginowski used for his own creative ends the elements of the monumental composition by Le Brun, applying them to compositions that were new and different. It is worth emphasising the knowledge, masterly skill and independence of this artist as witnessed not only in the solutions adopted to compositional difficulties but also appearing in the creating of the original iconography of the Wilanów four seasons. Apart from the already known programme described by M. Karpowicz should be added the figures of Phosphorus and Sleep depicted pulling back the curtain of night in the composition titled Summer, as well as the Hyades of Autumn. The concept of expressing the symbolism of the dual star of Lucipher-Vesper through the angelic figure lighting one torch from the other is astonishing in its originality, as is the camouflaging of the four elements, imperceptibly accompanying each season of the year.
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