Self-Portrait with Mieczyslaw Gasecki

Jacek Malczewski

  • Self-Portrait with Mieczyslaw Gasecki 2
  • Self-Portrait with Mieczyslaw Gasecki 3
Basic information
Jacek Malczewski
Self-Portrait with Mieczyslaw Gasecki
Date of creation
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
101.8 x 60.5
Information about author
Jacek Malczewski
Artist's lifetime
Jacek Malczewski (July 14, 1854, Radom, Kingdom of Poland, Russian Empire – October 8, 1929, Krakow, Republic of Poland) was an outstanding artist and one of the most prominent representatives of Polish Symbolism. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow, where his teacher was Jan Matejko. The artist participated in an archeological expedition to Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Greece, which was organized by Count Karol Lanckoronski. He also visited Munich and Italy. Jacek Malczewski was one of the founders of the art union "Sztuka" ("Art"). The artist's creative heritage includes landscapes and portraiture, symbolic compositions, interpretations of religious themes, and numerous self-portraits in various images.
Object description
Mieczyslaw Gasecki (May 3, 1883, Lviv – April 16, 1948, Krakow) was an artist, restorer, a good friend of Jacek Malczewski, who, in a friendly way, called him "Goniem'' (from the word "to chase"). He assisted the artist in many aspects, including technical and restoration work; in particular, he made sketches for future works, and was a model for many paintings. In this work, the artist portrayed Gasecki and himself in the image of knights wearing conquistador helmets. As a rule, the main tendencies in Malczewski's self-portraits are always connected with the chivalric ideal. The artist depicted himself tall, slim, in shining knight armor, with a flower and hussar wings behind his back, with a muse and birds, as well as with the image of the Virgin Mary on his chest. The presented picture also has such symbols; in particular, the blue and red colors in the drapery in the foreground refer to the iconographic tradition of depicting the Virgin Mary's clothing, which confirms the interpretation of the "knights of the faith". Jacek Malczewski portrayed himself in a variety of characters and costumes, thus creating a special page of his oeuvre. He painted a lot of self-portraits. There are 12 of them in the collection of the Gallery. The artist portrayed himself reflecting on the messianic tasks, in accordance with the worldview principles of the Romantics and Symbolists, whose life's task was a relentless search for the ideal. However, the irony and the understanding of his own imperfection are often noticeable in his self-portraits; it is a kind of tool that allows the artist to have a dialogue with the viewer.
At the bottom left of the painting there is an inscription "1921. J Malczewski"
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Mieczyslaw Gasecki
Lifetime of the person portrayed