Wojciech Kossak

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Wojciech Kossak
PL Wojciech Kossak Autoportret z paleta.jpg
Wojciech Kossak, self-portrait.
Born Wojciech Horacy Kossak
(1856-12-31)31 December 1856
Paris, France
Died 29 July 1942(1942-07-29) (aged 85)
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Known for Painting
Notable work The Racławice Panorama
Panorama Berezyna
Olszynka Grochowska
Wyjazd na polowanie w Gödöllö
Krwawa niedziela w Petersburgu 22 stycznia 1905 r.

Wojciech Kossak (Paris, France, December 31, 1856 – July 29, 1942, Kraków, Poland) was a noted Polish painter and member of the celebrated Kossak family of artists and writers. He was the son of painter Juliusz Kossak, and twin brother of freedom fighter Tadeusz Kossak, and the father of two highly talented literary daughters, Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska and Magdalena Samozwaniec and of a painter son, Jerzy Kossak.

Kossak's Piłsudski on Horseback, 1928,[1] National Museum, Warsaw—one of the most popular artistic portrayals of Piłsudski


Wojciech Horacy Kossak was born on New Year's Eve of 1856 just before midnight, while his twin brother, Tadeusz Kossak, just after, on January 1, 1857, in Paris. The family eventually left France.[2] His middle name was in honour of his godfather, French painter Horace Vernet. Kossak began his education upon his family's return to Poland. He went to middle school at Three Crosses Square in Warsaw and later attended high school, the Gimnazjum św. Anny, in Kraków. He simultaneously studied painting with his father Juliusz.[3]

Between 1871-1873, Wojciech studied at the School of Drawing and Painting - later the School of Fine Arts - under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz, followed by a stint until 1875, at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, with professors Aleksander Strähuber and Alexander Wagner.


Wojciech Kossak's historical painting was different in style from that of his predecessor Jan Matejko. He belonged to a new generation of Polish battle-scene artists influenced by the work of his father Juliusz. However, like Matejko, he is known for depicting the history of Polish armed struggle and notable Polish battles of Central and Eastern Europe against foreign oppressors. Among his most famous paintings is The Racławice Panorama.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Pilsudski on Horseback". Gallery of Polish Painting Masterpieces. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  2. ^ Olszanski, Kazimierz (1982). Wojciech Kossak. Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich. ISBN 83-04-01297-9. 
  3. ^ Olszański, Kazimierz (1982). Wojciech Kossak (Wyd. 3., popr. i uzup. ed.). Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich. ISBN 83-04-01297-9.