Witold Wojtkiewicz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Self-portrait (date unknown)

Witold Wojtkiewicz (29 December 1879, Warsaw – 14 June 1909, Warsaw) was a Polish painter, illustrator and printmaker. Although generally considered an Expressionist, some of his works are precursors of Surrealism.


He came from a family of eleven children. His father was the chief cashier at Bank Handlowy and did not support Witold's desire to become an artist. Nevertheless, he was able to enroll at the Warsaw school of drawing, where he studied with Jan Kauzik. After a brief attempt to study at the Imperial Academy of Arts, he continued at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts from 1903 to 1904 with Leon Wyczółkowski; supporting himself by doing illustrations for the magazine Liberum Veto.[1]

Demonstration (1905)

In 1905, he was a witness to the Warsaw Uprising, and made some sketches of the event that were widely circulated. Later that year, he became part of the "Grupa Pięciu" (Group of Five), with Leopold Gottlieb, Wlastimil Hofman, Mieczysław Jakimowicz and Jan Rembowski.[2] Three years later, he joined the Society of Polish Artists "Sztuka" and began to exhibit widely throughout Poland and Austria.

He also collaborated with members of the cabaret Zielony Balonik to create watercolors that may still be seen in the café Jama Michalika, and created illustrations for works by his friend, the writer Roman Jaworski, as well as numerous vignettes and illuminated letters for books and postcards.[1]

At an exhibition in Berlin in 1906, he attracted the attention of André Gide, who arranged for a showing in 1907 at the Galerie Druet in Paris and wrote the introduction to the catalog.[2]

By this time his style had darkened due to the suffering from an incurable, congenital heart defect, which led to his death at the age of twenty-nine. At his mother's request, his diary was placed in the coffin with his remains.[citation needed] A major retrospective was held in 1976 at the National Museum, Krakow.

Selected paintings[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brief biography @ Culture.pl
  2. ^ a b Biographical notes @ Pinakoteka.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jerzy Ficowski, W sierocińcu świata: Rzecz o Witoldzie Wojtkiewiczu, Ryton, 1993 ISBN 83-85367-29-2
  • Barbara Niedoba, Witold Wojtkiewicz: między ironią a melancholią : katalog wystawy, Muzeum Śląskie, 1999 ISBN 83-87455-75-X
  • Zofia Gołubiew, Barbara Domańska, Anna Zeńczak (eds.), Witold Wojtkiewicz, Katalog wystawy (2 Vols.), National Museum, Kraków, 1989.
  • Wiesław Juszczak (ed.), Wojtkiewicz i nowa sztuka, Instytut Sztuki (Polska Akademia Nauk), Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1965

External links[edit]