Head of a Saint Woman

Jacek Malczewski

  • Head of a Saint Woman 2
  • Head of a Saint Woman 3
Basic information
Jacek Malczewski
Head of a Saint Woman
Date of creation
oil painting
wood oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
13.3 x 10.7
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
The exact date of this work has not been established; presumably, it was created in the late 1870s. Being a good example of the early period of the artist’s oeuvre, the work is significantly different from the later works by Jacek Malczewski. On the reverse side of the work there are remnants of the label with the inscription "Matki Bos…"; it suggests that this work could be a sketch for the painting “Madonna”. Jacek Malczewski often turned to her image, especially at the beginning of his career. The earliest dated work in the collection of the Gallery is a study for the painting “Madonna”, which was made in 1874. It is also known from the inscriptions on the labels that the work comes from the collection of the artist’s friend Piotr Dobrzanski, who lived in Lviv and was repeatedly portrayed by Jacek Malczewski.