Wlastimil Hofman (1881–1970) was a Polish painter, one of the most popular painters of the interwar and postwar years.
Hofman was born Vlastimil Hofmann in Prague to Ferdynand Hofmann, a Czech, and Teofila, a Polish woman. In 1889 Vlastimil moved to Kraków in Poland, where he studied at St Barbara's School and then at the Jan III Sobieski high school. In 1896, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, where he studied under Jacek Malczewski. In 1899 he went to study painting at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1902 he had his first showings in an exhibition by the "Sztuka" society. Further exhibitions followed in Munich, Amsterdam, Rome, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Warsaw. In 1904 he painted the first of his village (or peasant) "Madonnas". In 1905 he started the cycle of pictures called "Confession". In 1907 he was the first Polish painter to be made a member of the Gallery of the Vienna Secession. In the period 1914–1920 he lived in Prague and Paris. Back in Kraków in 1921 he had a house and studio built in Spadzista Street. Sometime around 1922, due to the influence of Jacek Malczewski, he changed his name to the less Czech and more Polish Wlastimil Hofman.
Malczewski died in 1929. In September, 1939 Hofman fled from the Nazi invasion because of his Jewish wife and during the Second World War was in the Soviet Union, Turkey, and Palestine. In 1942, he published a book of poetry called Through Darkness to Freedom. During the. He returned to Kraków in June 1946 where he met his future wife, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. In May 1947, together with his wife, he moved to Szklarska Poręba in the mountainous south of Poland. In the period 1953–1963 he produced religious paintings for the local church, including "Four Evangelists" "The Way of the Rosary", "The Way of the Cross", "The Adoration of the Child". He also produced many portraits of local people and also self-portraits. In 1961, he was awarded the Cross of the Order of the Polish Renaissance. Wlastimil Hofman died on March 6, 1970.
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