Flowers in a Vase

Jozef Czapski

  • Flowers in a Vase 2
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Basic information
Jozef Czapski
Flowers in a Vase
Date of creation
Eastern Europe
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
55.5 x 48
Information about author
Jozef Czapski
Artist's lifetime
Józef Czapski was a Polish artist and writer, the son of the governor of Minsk, a member of the old German family of the counts Hutten-Czapski; brother of Maria Czapska. He spent his childhood on the estate of Pryluky near Minsk, completed his studies at a high school in Sankt Petersburg and graduated from the law faculty of Sankt Petersburg University. Was close to the Zinaida Gippius circle. During World War I was a cavalry officer decorated with the order of Virtuti Militari. From 1918 he studied at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts, from 1921–1924 he studied at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, In 1924–1931 he studied painting in France, then returned to Poland. On 1 September 1939, Czapski was enlisted in the Polish army as a reserve officer. On 27 September, he was captured by the Red Army in the vicinity of Lviv. He was held in the Starobelsk camp in Ukraine, then in the Gryazovets camp in the Vologda region of Russia. On September 3, 1941, after signing a military agreement between the Soviet and Polish governments, he was dismissed and soon joined the Polish Army of General Anders. He was authorised to search for the Polish officers who had disappeared on Soviet territory. In 1942 in Tashkent he met Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy and Anna Akhmatova. Since 1945 he lived in France, was actively involved in the publication of the famous Polish magazine "Kultura" edited by Jerzy Giedroyc, in the work of Vladimir Maximov's magazine "Continent. Czapski wrote about Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Dmitry Filosofov and Aleksey Remizov, with whom he was closely acquainted. He was one of the first, together with Czesław Miłosz, to introduce to the Polish reader the philosophy of Simone Weil. He worked as a consultant for Andrzej Wajda in his production of the film Katyń. He authored memoirs of Gulag, 'Starobilsk Memoirs' (1944), 'On an Inhuman Land' (1949), a collection of lectures on Marcel Proust 'Proust contre la déchéance' (written in the Gryazovets camp in 1940–1941, Polish and German editions), and the post-impressionist artists, in particular his beloved Cézanne.
Object description
On the corner of the red-brown table is a dark blue vase with red, blue-purple and white flowers. The bouquet in the vase is depicted against a grey-blue-ochre wall. The still life has a somewhat unusual perspective, from top to bottom. The manner of painting is pastoral, the artist works in small strokes.
In the bottom left is the author's signature: «J.Czapski»