Wojciech Kossak

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Wojciech Kossak
PL Wojciech Kossak Autoportret z paleta.jpg
Wojciech Kossak, self-portrait.
Born (1856-12-31)31 December 1856
Paris, France
Died 29 July 1942(1942-07-29) (aged 85)
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Known for Painting

Wojciech Kossak (Paris, France, December 31, 1856 – July 29, 1942, Kraków, Poland) was a Polish painter and member of the celebrated Kossak family of painters and writers. He was the son of painter Juliusz Kossak, the twin brother of freedom fighter Tadeusz Kossak, and the father of painter 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 1856/7 just before midnight (the birth certificate of his twin brother, Tadeusz Kossak, states that he was born on January 1, 1857) in Paris. His parents left France shortly after their wedding.[2] His middle name was given to him in honor 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, Gimnazjum św. Anny, in Kraków. He simultaneously studied painting with his father Juliusz.[3]

In the years 1871-1873 Wojciech studied at the School of Drawing and Painting (later called the School of Fine Arts) under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz, and later, until 1875, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, with professors Aleksandra Strähubera and Alexander Wagner.


Wojciech Kossak's historical painting was very different in style and subject matter from that of his predecessor Jan Matejko's. Kossak belonged to a new generation of Polish battle-scene artists influenced by the work of his father Juliusz. However, similar to Matejko, he is known for depicting the history of Polish armed struggle and notable Polish battles of Central and Eastern Europe against the 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.