Szymon Starowolski and Charles Gustav in front of the Grave of Wladyslaw Lokietek

Jan Matejko

  • Szymon Starowolski and Charles Gustav in front of the Grave of Wladyslaw Lokietek 2
Basic information
Jan Matejko
Szymon Starowolski and Charles Gustav in front of the Grave of Wladyslaw Lokietek
Date of creation
Eastern Europe
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
164 x 127
Information about author
Jan Matejko
Artist's lifetime
Jan Alojzy Matejko (born 24 June 1838 in Krakow - died 1 November 1893 in Krakow) - famous Polish painter, graphic artist and teacher. In 1852 he began studying painting at the Krakow School of Fine Arts (now the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts). Studied at Wojciech Korneli Stattler and Władysław Łuszczkiewicz. The artist graduated from the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts in 1858 and after that, he studied for two more years in Munich with Hermann Anschütz, where the young artist experienced a period of fascination with the historical painting of French painter Paul Delaroche. The artist participated in numerous art exhibitions. He travelled frequently to Paris and Vienna and visited Prague, Budapest, Berlin, London, Istanbul and many locations in Italy. He became the head of Krakow School of Fine Arts in 1873 and remained at its head until his death. His students included such outstanding Polish painters as Jacek Malczewski, Stanislaw Wyspiański, Jozef Mehoffer. Jan Matejko's artistic heritage - it is more than three hundred paintings: portraits and paintings on historical, religious and allegorical themes, as well as several hundreds of graphic drawings and sketches. The B. Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery holds some of the best works of this outstanding Polish artist.
Object description
The artist's graduation work, for which he received a scholarship to study in Munich. It depicts a scene from the history of Poland, which took place on 19 December 1655 during the so-called "Swedish Deluge". The Swedish king, Karl X Gustav, having conquered Kraków, arrived at Wawel, where he accompanied by the Kraków canon, Szymon Starowolski, was inspecting the cathedral. They stopped at the tomb of Lokietek, where the canon recounts that Lokietek was driven out of Poland three times, but managed to return. The Swedish king said that exiled Kazimierz will not return. Starowolski's answer to this was: "Deus immutabilis, fortuna variabilis" (God is constant and fortune is mutable). These words are carved on the wall next to the sarcophagus.