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2015 | 2(36) | 40-55

Article title

Spotkania Józefa Ignacego Kraszewskiego z Ostatnią Wieczerzą, czyli trzy epizody z włoskiej podróży


Title variants

Józef Ignacy Kraszewski’s meetings with The Last Supper, or three episodes from an Italian journey

Languages of publication



The article discusses three ekphrases produced by Kraszewski referring to an execution of one pictorial topic, namely the Last Supper, consecutively the famous work executed by Leonardo da Vinci from Milan, Last Supper at present assigned to Perugino or Perugino’s school (whilst in the mid 19th century it was claimed Raphael’s work), and a fresco by Andrea del Sarto from San Salvi. The writer’s reports are inscribed in his European (or to be more precise, Italian) journey, and preserved on leaves of his Kartki z podróży (Pages from a Journey). The set of the descriptions concerning the grand art subject allows us to recognise a mechanism of description and evaluation of a work of art performed by the author of Stara baśń (An Ancient Tale). The analysed relations are undoubtedly marked by substantive and almost report-like approach. At the same time Kraszewski does not hide away his knowledge and erudition which derived from various specialist as well as fiction and popular editions, e.g. guide books of that time. The circumstances under which the works of art were created, historical and biographical facts concerning the painters, anecdotes and legends, etc. function as not only introductory and preparatory elements but first of all – as an acoustic background of the writer’s account, which makes it sound more fully and louder. Kraszewski does not hide his emotional and subjective approach to the viewed and contemplated by him piece of art, what can be seen at the level of the very description, which despite its substantive and objective form, does not purport to be a complete one as in case of scientific or even popular scientific approach, but also at the level of formulating judgement. These reflections have their basis in an axiological intention, which is born at the moment when the descriptor reveals a crucial sense of a pictorial message. A “literary” or a “semantic” factor becomes an essential one. To a large extent it defines Kraszewski’s style of reception. In case of Sarto’s Supper, where a simple equivalent in a form of a deeper verbalized sense is lacking (as it was not the artist’s aim, he wanted to achieve for instance external beauty or technical proficiency), the judgement and evaluation are strident and clearly negative. Whereas, in case when the sense is the basis of a work of art, the descriptor focuses on revealing it, and subordinates to it all elements of his relation. The sensu stricto literary categories introduced by Kraszewski in his descriptions of works of art by Leonardo and a supposed one by Raphael tend to reveal axiological inside of the reality – motion and life (seen in drama, or even scenic categories), and silence before the storm (in categories of epic order and epic sensitivity).





Physical description

artykuł monograficzny




  • Ośrodek Badań nad Twórczością Cypriana Norwida, KUL, Lublin


  • Andrea del Sarto, disegni, scelti, annotati A. Petrioli Tofani, Firenze 1985
  • Barcelona Pinin, Marani Pietro C., Leonardo, „The Last Supper”, transl. H. Tighe, Chicago 2001
  • Kamionka-Straszakowa Janina, „Grand Tour” Józefa Ignacego Kraszewskiego. Tematyka i poetyka „Kartek z podróży 1858–1864”, [w:] Kraszewski – pisarz współczesny, red. E. Ihnatowicz, Warszawa 1996
  • Kraszewski Józef Ignacy, Kartki z podróży, 1858–1864, przypisy, posłowie P. Hertz, Warszawa 1977, t. 1–2
  • Kremer Józef, Podróż do Włoch, t. 3: Mediolan, Pawia, Genua, Florencja, Warszawa 1878
  • Marani Pietro Cesare, „Il Cenacolo” di Leonardo, Milan 1986
  • Muratow Paweł, Obrazy Włoch, przeł., przypisy, posł. P. Hertz, Warszawa 1988
  • Okoń Waldemar, Sztuki siostrzane. Malarstwo a literatura w Polsce w drugiej połowie XIX wieku. Wybrane zagadnienia, Wrocław 1992
  • Rzepecka Dorota, Podróż jako weryfikacja – „Kartki z podróży” Józefa Ignacego Kraszewskiego, [w:] Podróż i literatura, 1864–1914, red. E. Ihnatowicz, Warszawa 2008
  • Steinberg Leo, Leonardo’s Incessant „Last Supper”, New York 2001

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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