Composition with Satyrs (Fauns ?)

Jacek Malczewski

  • Composition with Satyrs (Fauns ?) 2
Basic information
Jacek Malczewski
Composition with Satyrs (Fauns ?)
Date of creation
paper watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
15.7 x 22.3
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 multi-figure sketch composition represents a group of satyrs depicted against the blurred umber background. In ancient Greek mythology, satyrs were forest and mountain deities of lower rank, who embodied the primordial force of nature; they were deities of fertility and constant companions of Dionysus. Satyrs were depicted as men with horns, pointed ears, a snub nose, often with a goat's or horse's tail, and animal legs. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the interest in ancient themes, which were somewhat forgotten in the 19th century, increased significantly; they began to be perceived somewhat differently, mostly nostalgically. At this time, the art of Ancient Greece was reviewed. Artists from different countries eagerly studied the works of different periods of Greek history and reproduced the impulses of forgotten eras in their works. Jacek Malczewski rarely turned to ancient plots, although he sometimes tried to combine antiquity with modernity, as in the presented work.
At the upper left of the painting there is an angle-wise inscription "I marca 1897/ J Malczewski, внизу по центру напис: Potwierdzam autentyczność / Wlastimil Hofman"