In this episode of The Debrief, we find out more about a Polish film dating from the 1930s which has just been unearthed at the German Bundesarchiv in Berlin.
Piotr Ostrowski, director of the Workshop of Museum of Stained Glass said: “In his wildest dreams, the artist hoped to show himself to a wider public, but starting out from Kraków, he didn’t have a chance, he was limited by the provincialism of the town and lack of support from Poland, which didn’t exist on the map. For us, this showing is an incredibly exciting moment.”
Made in 1931 by surrealist Warsaw artists Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, the anti-fascist film ‘Europa’ was intended to reflect an atmosphere of horror and all-pervading societal decline as Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Originally intended as just a three-day visit, the Spanish artist instead embarked upon a mini tour of the country lasting two weeks.
Using 158,000 pieces of the coloured building bricks, 21 ‘LEGO Ambassadors’ from across Poland spent over 400 hours painstakingly recreating the masterpieces on a 1:1 scale which include Jan Matejko’s iconic Stańczyk.
Starting in 2015, Ireneusz Rolewski’s stunning end result is a painting that is 13 cm higher than Matejko's original, giving it massive dimensions of 440 cm high by 987 cm wide.
Depicting a scene from the legend of Krystyna – written by the chronicler Jan Długosz in the 15th century – the 35cm x 47cm oil painting shows Bishop Stanisław castigating Bolesław for adultery whilst the monarch, resplendent in his armour and finery, glares from behind a billowing curtain.
Unveiled on Tuesday in the Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in the Kraków’s Cloth Hall, Maksymilian Gierymski's 1872 landscape Winter in a Small Town is considered one of the most important pieces of Polish art.
Included are extraordinary gifts given to the late Pope such as a metal relief excavated from a mass grave of Polish officers murdered by the NKVD, a crucifix carved by a concentration camp prisoner from a toothbrush, handwritten notes and never-before- seen archival documents from his student life in Rome.
The thief who walked out of Poznań’s National Museum with the seven-million-euro masterpiece and the only Monet in Poland under his jacket, would remain at large for 10 years. With a new film inspired by the true life events of 20 years ago now out, TFN’s Stuart Dowell looks back at the bizarre case of what has been described as the art heist of the century.