Zbigniew Herbert, in his 'Poeta wobec wspólczesnosci' (Poet and the Modern Times), calls for poetry based on a word which is 'a window open to reality', a transparent sign. One of the implications of this conception is understanding of literature as a 'transparent presentation' in which vividness is accentuated. In this context the present study is an attempt to answer the question about the painterly quality of this part of Herbert's poetry which enters into an intertextual dialogue with fine arts. It is also a question about a peculiarly Herbertian mode of intersemiotic translation. Those problems are discussed in 'Interpretacje' - the first part of the study. The second part - 'Poezja wobec sztuki', based on the conclusions drawn from the former, is concentrated on the issue of transcending of descriptive lyrics in the context of aesthetic rule of 'restrained imagination' on which Herbert formulates the postulate of coupling of aesthetics and ethics.