Portrait of Ludwik Zelenski

Jacek Malczewski

  • Portrait of Ludwik Zelenski 2
  • Portrait of Ludwik Zelenski 3
Basic information
Jacek Malczewski
Portrait of Ludwik Zelenski
Date of creation
oil painting
cardboard oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
92 x 72.5
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
Ludwik Zelenski was a Polish sports figure, one of the founders of the Polish Football Association and its first president, collector, and friend of Jacek Malczewski. He was born on February 27, 1870 in Krakow. He studied law at the University of Vienna and agricultural science at the Agricultural Academy in Hohenheim. Between 1904 and 1906, Zelenski worked as a deputy professor at the Agricultural College of Jagiellonian University; however, on November 23, 1911, he resigned on health grounds. The portrait is made in the usual realistic manner, but is supplemented by unrealistic figures characteristic of Symbolism, namely Pegasus and his rider Bellerophon. In many works, including portraits, along with real figures, Jacek Malczewski depicted fauns, satyrs, chimeras, and Bellerophon riding a Pegasus horse; they are the so-called idols and heroes of antiquity, and imaginary archaic beings that were re-established in the 19th century as signs and allegories in the art of the Symbolists. Their rich assortment and the content embedded in them remain a mystery. In fact, Malczewski's original choice of ancient iconographic motifs and the transposition of archaic fiction encrypted his reflections on the primitive instincts of living beings and the dark side of human nature, as well as built the bridge between the past and the present.
At the upper right of the painting there is an inscription "1912 J. Malczewski"
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Ludwik Zelenski
Lifetime of the person portrayed