Józef Simmler

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Portrait of Józef Simmler (left) and his brothers (c.1850)
Death of Barbara Radziwillowna

Józef Simmler (March 14, 1823, in Warsaw – March 1, 1868, in Warsaw) was a Polish painter known for his classical style and his Polish subjects.


Simmler came from a wealthy German Protestant family. It was this affluent upbringing that allowed him to pursue his interest in cities like Dresden, Munich and Paris.[1]

Perhaps his most famous work is "Death of Barbara Radziwillowna" ("Śmierć Barbary Radziwiłłówny"), an oil on canvas work completed in 1860. The painting gained immense popularity when the Warsaw-based Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, a newly formed institution with the goal of encourage and promote domestic art and artists, put it on exhibit in 1861.[2] It now hangs in the National Museum, Warsaw. His other famous paintings are “Children of King Edward” (1847) and “Portrait of a Nobleman with a Parrot” (1859).[1]

Józef Simmler's major contribution to Polish art is the humaneness that his paintings evoked. He was a specially gifted portraitist. Using styles of costume paintings prevalent in France, he produced works that allowed the public a view of the past. His paintings, however, were more than just reproductions of history. The masterful works also gave a deep sense of compassion, dread, and tenderness.[2]

His daughter's brother-in-law was Eduard Strasburger, the famous Polish-German botanist. One of Simmler's grandsons was Henryk Leon Strasburger, a Polish delegate to the League of Nations.

Selected paintings[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Joseph Simmler". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Jozef Simmler". Retrieved 23 October 2013.

External links[edit]