Huge Matejko reproduction with ‘modern twist’ appears on Paris street corner

The 6 m wide by 3.5 m high painting shows street artist Pascal Boyart’s "Pensées du bouffon rouge" (Thoughts of the red jester) which he calls a “reprise” of Matejko’s famous Stańczyk painting “with a few additions from our time”. pboy_artist/Instagram

An enormous mural inspired by a well-known painting by Polish artist Jan Matejko has appeared on a Paris street corner.

The 6 m wide by 3.5 m high mural located on the Rue de Montmorency in the city’s 3rd arrondissement, was created by Pascal Boyart, who is known by the name PBoy, and whose work includes interpretations of other classic works of art.

Entitled "Pensées du bouffon rouge" (Thoughts of the red jester), a reference to the red clothes worn by the figure in Matejko’s 1862 Stańczyk painting, the mural shows a red jester slumped in a chair surrounded by a scattering of 100 euro notes across the floor around his feet.

The mural shows a red jester slumped in a chair surrounded by a scattering of 100 euro notes across the floor around his feet.pboy_artist/Instagram

In Matejko’s original, the jester is depicted as the only person at a royal ball who is troubled by news that the Muscovites have captured Smolensk.

PBoy kept the historical furniture and clothes of the 19th century painting, but replaced the paper on the table – a letter – with what looks like an electronic tablet, which gives the painting a modern twist.

In Matejko’s original, the jester Stańczykis depicted as the only person at a royal ball who is troubled by news that the Muscovites have captured Smolensk.Public domain

The mural features the name of the Polish artist and the original painting, in the top left-hand corner.

The original painting was looted during World War II first by the Germans and then by the Soviet Union, but returned to Poland in the 1950s.

Street artist Pascal Boyart (PBoy) is known for his interpretations of classic works of art.pboy_artist/Instagram

It is now displayed at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Sharing his work on Instagram, the artist called it a “reprise” of Matejko’s painting “with a few additions from our time”.

PBoy kept the historical furniture and clothes of the 19th century painting, but replaced the paper on the table – a letter – with what looks like an electronic tablet, which gives the painting a modern twist.pboy_artist/Instagram

He followed these words with a green money emoji, like the euros on the floor.

PBoy painted the mural over two days in July 2020 as part of the #W_Art festival organised by Paris-based contemporary art gallery Gallerie W Landau.

Matejko was born in Kraków in 1838 and is known for his historical paintings, which depict major Polish political and military events.Public domain

It includes a QRcode which passers-by can use to donate money to the artist directly to support his work.

Matejko was born in Kraków in 1838 and is known for his historical paintings, which depict major Polish political and military events, such as the “Union of Lublin” (1869) and the “Battle of Grunwald” (1878).