Child: a mystery. Stanislaw Wyspianski's 'A girl in front of a pitcher with flowers'
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S. Wyspianski's painting 'Dziewczynka przed dzbankiem z kwiatami' (A girl in front of a pitcher with flowers) shows a completely concentrated girl observing a jug standing in front of her on the table. Much in the manner Chardin did in 18th century, the Polish artist intended to create an intimate scene of contemplation of an object. Using a psychological term, a condition of this sort should be named an 'act of attention'. Thus, the child so shown becomes a person having an internal life, a phenomenon mostly neglected at the turn of 20th century, as usually, children tended to be perceived as entirely spiritually dependent beings. The visual juxtaposition of the head and the jar is close to Schopenhauer's text from'Memorabilien, Briefe und Nachlassstücke'. The German thinker compared the human head to a vessel whose content was inaccessible to observers. The girl is watching the jug, touches it gently with her hand, but the thinking processes in her mind remain completely unknown. The painting poses a question of the nature of child and the limits of cognising other human beings.
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