2014 | 2 | 23-36
Article title

„Oficjalny rysownik” I Brygady

Title variants
The ‘official draughtsman’ of the 1st Brigade
Languages of publication
Jan Gumowski (1883-1946) was the Kraków painter, graphic artist and draughtsman. During the studies in the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts and upon graduating, he was awarded and distinguished in artistic contests. The success in one of them made him a holder of the Czartoryski Family Scholarship and allowed to complete the studies in art in Florence, Munich and Paris. Immediately upon returning to the country he set out to war – on 6 August, 1914 he became a soldier of the 1st Brigade of the Polish Legions. In the moments outside the duty, he created drawings in pencil and watercolour paintings, in which he portrayed the Legions’ soldiers and depicted the scenes from the reality of war. There were many artists serving in the Polish Legions, however in his letters to wife Gumowski assured her that the only ‘official draughtsman’ of the 1st Brigade is him. The period of intensive artistic work of Gumowski took place for the most in a time of resting of the Legions at the Nida River and in Karasin, however also during the front’s military operations – near Kostiuchnówka and at Stochód. His other recognized works include the drawings and paintings made during the stay in hospitals and service in an Austrian regiment in Kielce and at the Command of the Polish Legions Group in Kozienice. The war output of Gumowski consists for the most in portraits of the officers, regimental doctors and chaplains. When portraying them, the artist created a specific iconotheca of the Legions’ types and characters. There are very few portraits of the Austrian officers and soldiers in Gumowski’s output. The war-related works of Gumowski have evaluated in time. Pencil portraits of the individuals were specific for the early period. Since the Volyn Campaign, his works extended by double and collective portraits. It was also the era of detailed ‘posed’ portraits for scenic compositions. Such works depicted the officers and soldiers of the 1st Brigade in non-official, even casual poses and different situations – during leisure, playing cards or singing, during the staff meetings, in dug-outs and trenches, in the front redoubts or observation positions. Drawings and sketches of Gumowski neither mythicize nor try to show the heroic aspect of the Legions. These are rather a kind of a realistic chronicle telling us a story of the people from the two-year campaign of the Polish Legions.
Physical description
  • Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Wydział Artystyczny
  • dr hab., doktor historii sztuki, doktor habilitowany w zakresie historii – specjalność historia społeczna i historia kultury. Pracownik naukowo-dydaktyczny i kierownik Zakładu Historii Sztuki w Instytucie Sztuk Pięknych na Wydziale Artystycznym UMCS w Lublinie
  • Album Legionów Polskich, oprac. Lipiński W., Quirini E., Warszawa 1934.
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  • Katalog wystawy Legionów Polskich, Lublin lipiec-sierpień 1917, Kraków 1917.
  • Materiały do dziejów Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie 1859- 1939, [w:] Źródła do dziejów sztuki polskiej, red. Ryszkiewicz A., t. XIV, opr. Dutkiewicz J.E., Jeleniewska-Ślesińska J., Ślesiński W., Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1968.
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  • Milewska W., Zientara M., Sztuka Legionów Polskich i jej twórcy 1914-1918, Kraków 1999.
  • Pawłowski F., Wspomnienia legionowe, Kraków 1994.
  • Szczawińska E., Gumowski Jan Kanty, [w:] Słownik artystów polskich i obcych w Polsce działających (zmarłych przed 1966 r.), t. II, Warszawa 1975.
  • Żywicki J., Jana Gumowskiego motywy polskie. Studium o tekach litograficznych, Lublin 2003.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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