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English Section

Early-20th-century Polish art to be showcased in London

16.09.2021 16:00
More than 150 early-20th-century Polish artworks, including a massive stained-glass window designed by artist and playwright Stanisław Wyspiański, will be showcased at an exhibition opening next month at the William Morris Gallery in London.
A massive stained-glass window designed by Polish artist and playwright Stanisław Wyspiański will be one of the centerpieces of the exhibition at Londons William Morris Gallery.
A massive stained-glass window designed by Polish artist and playwright Stanisław Wyspiański will be one of the centerpieces of the exhibition at London's William Morris Gallery.Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

Wyspiański's impressive stained-glass window, entitled Apollo, the Copernicus System, will be one of the centerpieces of the Young Poland: An Arts and Crafts Movement (1890-1918) exhibition, which is due to begin in the British capital on October 8.

The show will also feature furniture, paintings, textiles, paper cuttings and Christmas decorations created by Polish artists at the turn of the 20th century.

Work has started in the southern Polish city of Kraków to dismantle Apollo, the Copernicus System and transport it to London.

Wyspiański’s work depicts the sun god Apollo tied up and attached to a lyre, which crushes him with its weight. Some art historians say this is a reference to Copernicus "stopping the sun to move the earth." The work shows other planets of the solar system around Apollo.

Destroyed in 1945, the work was reconstructed in the 1970s. It is one of the finest of Wyspiański's 36 stained-glass windows and the only one housed in a secular building, Kraków’s Medical Society.

The Young Poland exhibition aims to bring the Polish arts and crafts movement closer to viewers in London, and show its stylistic and philosophical affinities with the work of British artists William Morris and John Ruskin.