Country Idyll

Jan Styka

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Basic information
Jan Styka
Country Idyll
oil painting
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
73 x 36.5
Information about author
Jan Styka
Artist's lifetime
Jan Styka (April 8, 1858, Lviv, Austro-Hungarian Empire – April 28, 1925, Rome, Italy) was a painter, poet, and illustrator. He received his primary education at the Imperial-Royal Four-Grade Real Gymnasium in Brody, where he began painting. In 1871, his family settled in Lviv. In the Lviv gymnasium at the Bernardine monastery, drawing was taught first by Professor Godlewski, and after his death by Karol Mlodnicki, an artist and friend of Artur Grottger. Jan Styka also visited the studio of Julian Markowski and Tadeusz Baracz, who considered the artist to be a future sculptor. In 1877, the artist went to Vienna. He continued his art education at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Christian Griepenkerl and Leopold Müller. He also traveled to Italy, where he became acquainted with the works of famous Italian artists. In Rome, Styka got acquainted with the artist Henryk Siemiradzki. There the artist became interested in the poetry of Torquato Tasso, under the influence of which he created paintings. After returning to Lviv, he went on an internship with Jan Matejko at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow. He worked in Paris, where he maintained close relations with the Polish diaspora. Between 1889 and 1890, the master's own house was built in Lviv; the construction work was by Ivan Levynskyi's firm according to the project of the architect Juljan Zacharjewicz. In 1900, the artist moved to France. In 1907, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky bought the villa in Lviv (now there is the Oleksa Novakivskyi Art Memorial Museum). In 1910, Jan Styka moved to Italy, where he lived on the island of Capri. The artist died in Rome in 1925. He worked in various genres, including paintings on historical and battle themes, portraits, biblical stories, as well as large-scale panoramas such as “Raclawice” (1894) and “Golgotha” (1896).
Object description
The image of a rock on which a thin tree grows on the left is depicted against the background of the Italian landscape. A young man with a naked torso stands on top of a rock; he is wearing a hat, and his hands are raised to the face. A spotted black and white dog is shown next to him. In the lower right corner of the painting there is a young girl who is leaning her head on her left hand while her elbow is placed on a large stone. She is dressed in a red tunic and a white blouse. To the left of the rock there is a road behind which there are white brick houses; the mountains are visible in the distance on the horizon.
At the bottom right there is an author's inscription "J. Styka/Roma 882".