New Cleopatra

Jozef Mehoffer

  • New Cleopatra 2
Basic information
Jozef Mehoffer
New Cleopatra
Date of creation
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
70.5 x 65
Information about author
Jozef Mehoffer
Artist's lifetime
Jozef Mehoffer had a universal artistic gift. A master of an easel and monumental painting, scenographer, graphic artist, poster designer, stained glass and textile designer, he was one of the leaders of Polish Art Nouveau. This trend came to be known as "Young Poland" (Młoda Polska). Mehoffer studied at the Faculty of Law at the Jagiellonian University, and from 1887–1894 studied at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow, under the tutelage of Izidor Jablonski, Jozef Ujejski, Władysław Łuszczkiewicz and Jan Matejko. From 1889 to 1890, he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and from 1891 to 1896 he also studied in Paris: first at the Académie Julian and at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, Académie Colarossi with Joseph Blanc and Jacques Courtois, and from 1892 at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Leon Bonnat. Since 1905, he was a professor at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts and later rector of this institution. Jozef Mehoffer was married to Jadwiga Janakowska and had a son called Zbigniew. The artist lived mainly in Krakow, but travelled widely, particularly to Italy and Switzerland. He won international acclaim for his stained glass windows made between 1895 and 1936 in the Gothic collegiate church of St Nicholas in Fribourg, Switzerland. He died of tuberculosis on 8 July 1946 in Wadowice and was buried in Krakow's Rakowicki Cemetery. A museum dedicated to the artist was established at Józef Megoffer's house at 26 Krupnicza Street in Kraków.
Object description
Belted image of a woman on an olive-grey background with stylistic representations of snakes/grass snake. The woman's black hair is disheveled, her body and head are turned three-quarters to the left and her gaze is also directed to the left. On her shoulders is a red kerchief that covers her breasts, leaving a narrow neckline open; the woman's arms are folded across her chest.
On the top left is the author's signature: «Józef Mehoffer 99». On the reverse side of the canvas: «Państwowe Zbiory Stuki 3895».