The Akademie der bildenden Kunste in Vienna and the School of Drawing and Painting at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow between 1818 and 1833
Wiedeńska Akademie der bildenden Kunste a krakowska Szkoła Rysunku i Malarstwa przy Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim (1818-1833)
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The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts did not play as important a role in the history of Polish painting and sculpture as other European centres of artistic training, especially Munich, Saint Petersburg and Paris. Yet, the importance of the Danubian Capital should not be underestimated, because some of the graduates of its Academy had been instrumental in introducing significant changes that shaped Polish art at the end of the eighteenth, and especially in the first half of the following century. What is morę, for many of them the training received at the Vienna Academy was of crucial importance for their artistic activities. And the meaning of the last concept should be understood in much broader terms, embracing not only the creation of works of art, but also teaching, in the period when Polish university-level schools for painters and sculptors were still in their swaddling clothes. The aim of the present study is to examine the role that the contacts between Cracow and Vienna played in the formation of the School of Drawing and Painting at the Jagiellonian University. The attracting force of Vienna as an artistic centre, at the turn of the nineteenth century, resulted obviously from the city s geographical location and political conditioning, but also from the fact that the local Academy was at that time in a period of intensive development. Furthermore, the present considerations give an opportunity to at least partially supplement biographical information about professors and teachers who were active at both educational institutions. Józef Brodowski, in whose successive syllabi (from 1820,1833 and 1836) one can identify direct references to Viennese practice, should be seen as a champion of Viennese academic tradition in Cracow. Brodowski was also responsible for purchasing drawings by contemporary Austrian painters, which were intended to serve as models to be copied by students. The models prepared by him imitated the manner of Heinrich Friedrich Fiiger. Both professors of sculpture, Josef Riedlinger (a long-time corrector of sculpture in Vienna) and Josef Schmelzer (who could boast a substantial output of works and, before his arrival in Cracow, was active in Vienna, Hungary and Transylvania) were artists trained in the Vienna Academy. Anton Schimser, a sculptor and one of the most serious candidates for the professorship in sculpture at the Cracow school (in a competition for this post, eventually won by Jakub Tatarkiewicz, in 1833) had a similar background, as far as artistic training was concerned, to that of Schmelzer. Also Jan Nepomucen Bizański, who taught drawing at the Cracow school using a Viennese textbook by Johann Martin Fischer, had studied in Vienna for a while. While discussing the connections of the teaching Staff of the School of Drawing and Painting with the Vienna Academy, a mention has to be madę also of the teachers working in the Saint Annes and Saint Barbaras secondary schools, namely: Antoni Giziński, Piotr Wyszkowski, Josef Sonntag, and Jan Nepomucen Głowacki. Both these schools were under administration of the Jagiellonian University, but what is important is the fact that they pursued a curriculum similar to that used in the early years of the School of Fine Arts in Cracow. It was most likely in Vienna that Wyszkowski familiarised himself with lithography, of which he was the first user in Cracow, whereas Głowacki is considered to be one of the pioneers of Polish mountain landscape painting and at the same time, a follower of Franz Steinfeld, the most eminent landscapist in Vienna of the Biedermeier period. Finally, it was from the Austrian Capital that a set of teaching aids was brought - not only the aforementioned drawings of Viennese painters, but also prints, and especially a sizeable collection of ancient sculpture in plaster casts. The present author has managed to reconstruct in detail the story behind the efforts to secure this enormous purchase, in which originally involved were Józef Brodowski and Josef Riedlinger, and subseąuently also Josef Schmelzer. The casts, brought to Cracow in 1826, had been madę in the workshop of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (Kaiserliche Konigliche Akademische Kunsthandlung).
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