Girl (a sketch)

Jacek Malczewski

  • Girl (a sketch) 2
  • Girl (a sketch) 3
Basic information
Jacek Malczewski
Girl (a sketch)
oil painting
cardboard oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
32.3 x 40
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
Portraits by Jacek Malczewski are one of the greatest pages of his artistic legacy. Portrait paintings had several characteristic features, in particular the portrayed person was depicted either bust-length or knee-length; the figure was shown in such a way that the viewer's attention was focused on the head and arms of the person in the painting; the face was emotionless, and the facial expressions were undemonstrative. The character of the person portrayed was emphasized with the help of surrounding objects or a landscape. In this work, one can see an image of a young girl with a sad and wistful gaze directed downwards. An interesting accent of the work is the unusual clothes of the girl, namely a skirt thrown over her head that causes direct associations with the iconic image of the Virgin Mary in an omophorion. Later, Jacek Malczewski began to use this technique in his other works. Historically, an omophorion was a traditional clothing of married Jewish women. The omophorion, an outer garment in the form of a long women's veil falling down from head to toe, was worn by women in the ancient world. The omophorion of the Virgin Mary is one of the most important Christian relics associated with Her memory; as a rule, it is depicted either red or blue in iconographic paintings.