Jozef Mehoffer

  • Singer 2
Basic information
Jozef Mehoffer
Date of creation
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
192 x 132
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
On the background of a light coloured theatrical curtain, decorated with green floral ornamentation, is a full-length image of a woman. The woman's pose is somewhat theatrical: her head is turned to her right shoulder and is slightly raised; her right hand, holding a small bouquet of flowers, is lowered and her left hand is at her waist. The woman is dressed in a pink blouse with fluffy "ruffles" on the chest and sleeves ( girded with a wide green belt) and a long black skirt; a shawl with a floral ornament encircles the woman's waist and both ends fall down on the skirt. Behind the singer's left shoulder, through a raised curtain, we can see a group of people: three men (one with red hair and two with dark hair), their eyes fixed on the woman standing on the stage. Behind the red-haired man, there is another woman depicted in a three-quarter turn to the right who, like the others, is contemplating the performance. The lady in the foreground is Wanda Janakowska, who was the sister of Mehoffer's future wife, Jadwiga. Wanda Janakowska is known to have studied singing in Paris (she later went to a monastery, where she remained for the rest of her life).
In the bottom left is the author's signature: «Józef Mehoffer 1896».
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Wanda Janakowska
Lifetime of the person portrayed