Pomniki ku czci Chopina wizerunki kompozytora w polskiej rzeźbie

Pomniki ku czci Chopina   wizerunki kompozytora w polskiej rzeźbie

Chopin’s monuments.
Images of the composer in Polish sculpture. Statues of Chopin are
scattered all over Poland. They decorate the places connected
with the biography of the artist, storing the memory
of his visits, such as parks and city
institutions bearing his name. All of these forms of commemoration can
be also found today in Żelazowa Wola, the place where Fryderyk
Chopin was born. The oldest of them is a metal
obelisk in the shape of a tombstone, unveiled on the 14th of October 1894. It features a medallion
with a bust of Chopin, as well as an inscription
FRYDERYK CHOPIN, 22 FEBRUARY 1810, below which there is a
lyre surrounded by leaves. This monument and its classical form were
designed by Bronisław Żochowski-Brodzic, and the image of the composer
was made by Jan Wojdyga, based on the model of a medallion
of Jean-François-Antoine Bovy, made during the
composer’s lifetime. With each subsequent epoch,
the image of Chopin changed, and so did its character. Slowly, this image started being decoupled
from a real person and became a symbol, which changed with the
spirit of the epoch. In the 19th-century,
closer to the mid-19th century, we had elegant
aristocratic portraits, but at the turn of the centuries
during the Young Poland period, we saw the emergence
of symbolic portraits, which were supposed to symbolise
spirit and inspiration, because the figure of Chopin was perceived
as the most spiritual symbol of an artist. In Chopin’s birth room there is a
bust sculpted by Xawery Dunikowski. It is a bronze cast head of Fryderyk
Chopin from the Wawel Heads series, which the sculptor
created in 1925–1929. The long, slender neck bears
a youthful face, looking slightly upward, gazing into an
unspecified distance. The cloud of hair, rather symbolic,
is more tousled and disorderly rather than being
carefully coiffed. It is not a face as we know
it from the iconography created during the
composer’s lifetime. In this most important room in
the Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace, we wanted to present the image
of a composer that is fresh and not set in a particular time
– one could say it’s ahistorical. Hence why Dunikowski appeared
in Fryderyk Chopin’s birthplace. It is worth noting that Dunikowski’s
Chopin is a part of the series, which the sculptor created for the purposes
of decorating the Envoys’ Hall at Wawel and Chopin was to be surrounded
by the most eminent Poles – not necessarily from
a specific historical period, but among the most eminent individuals who left an exceptional mark
on the history of Poland. The bust of Chopin,
sculpted by Stanisław Sikora, can be considered a spatial reflection
of the face of the ill Chopin, which we know from a photograph
taken a year before his death. On the plinth, we can see a
swollen face with ashen skin, the texture of which is
emphasised by the material from which the bust was made. The first commemoration
was a cast of a death mask. It was a very common
practice in the 19th century. Also, there were many casts of these
masks circulating around Europe, even to this day many Polish intelligentsia
families have such a mask lying somewhere on a shelf. After that, we had two of
the most classic busts, sculpted by Jakub Tatarkiewicz in
1851 and Bolesław Syrewicz in 1872. Both were sculpted in
a 19th-century Academic manner, made of white Carrera marble. It seems that that Polish sculptors
considered these works to bec lassics and they referred
to them later on. In his sculpture, Józef Gosławski
decided to return to the salon, to the more aristocratic
image of Chopin. The composer turns his head towards
the ground, his eyes are closed. His hair is carefully done. His facial features are known from one
of the most widespread images of Chopin, whose author was Ari Schaefer. The composer is dressed
with care and elegance, his neck is covered with an
intricately tied foulard, his shoulders are covered with
a tailcoat and a warm coat. With his right hand, the composer
drags it on his shoulder, putting it over his knee with his left hand, as
if he wanted to protect himself from the cold. Although the monument is cast in
bronze, Gosławski’s sculpture conveys the composer’s
fragile body, in which noble spiritual
beauty has been enclosed. In Warsaw, the Łazienki Park
houses a monumental sculpture designed by Wacław Szymanowski,
placed in a distinguished spot. Chopin sits under a Mazovian willow
tree, slightly leaning back, turning his head to the left, putting his
right profile in the direction of the wind, which adds dynamism to the
composition of the monument, bending the crown of the
willow in the same direction as the folds of loose robe
covering the composer’s body. Chopin’s face has the features
known from his death mask, but is devoid of any trace
of exhaustion or illness, instead made nobler
and smoother. Chopin does not
hide from the cold, instead he succumbs to the
charm of the powerful element and draws inspiration from
the nature around him. Szymanowski’s Chopin is not
only an excellent sculpture, which in 1909 was recognised
by an international jury, awarding it first place in a competition announced
to commemorate the composer’s 100th birthday, but also a magnificent monument recalling the
composer’s organic relationship with the Polish land from which he came and which
wants to preserve his memory.

7 thoughts on “Pomniki ku czci Chopina wizerunki kompozytora w polskiej rzeźbie

  1. Rzeźbę godną Chopina mógłby stworzyć jedynie ktoś jego kalibru; to musiałby być tak wielki poeta wśród rzeźbiarzy jakim Chopin jest wśród kompozytorów. Wszystkie one rozczarowują, może z wyjątkiem Szymanowskiego z Łazienek, ale to jeszcze nie ten poziom…

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