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#140: Edward Mesjasz (1929-2007) — Ulan Yazłowiecki leading a horse


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Edward Messiah (1929-2007) was a well-known and respected realist painter. He specialized in combat. Associated with Częstochowa. He was born on February 1, 1929 in Lipno, Kłobuck County. From his youth, he showed interest and artistic abilities. Initially, he was taught drawing by his father, a soldier of the 1st Krechowiec Uhlan Regiment from the 1920s and an outstanding draftsman. He studied in Krakow at the Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1954. During his studies, he also attended Jerzy Kossak's studio, which deepened his interest in historical and battle topics. Immediately after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts, he started working at the Art High School in Częstochowa, where he became a teacher and mentor, among others. Jerzy Duda-Gracz. In later years, he also taught technical drawing and lettering at other educational institutions in Częstochowa. He was a member of the Association of Polish Artists. He created mainly battle paintings, landscapes, and genre scenes, most often involving horses. He had several individual exhibitions, including: in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa (1972), and in the District Museum in Częstochowa (1978). He participated in many collective exhibitions in the country. The peak of popularity occurred in the period from 1970 to the mid-1980s. He painted pictures thematically related to the history of the Polish Arms, from Mieszko I to the Polish People's Army. Following his childhood experiences, he loved painting September 1939, especially the Polish cavalry fights. In addition to the accounts of the participants of those events who were alive at that time, he made his works more realistic with careful inspections and studies of the battlefields. Until his last days, he painted using a magnifying glass due to his poor eyesight. He died after a serious illness in Częstochowa on May 29, 2007.

14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment

It was formed in Kuban, Russia, in 1918 from the uhlan squadron of the 4th Rifle Division of General Żeligowski. It received its number and name in August 1919. For the war of 1918-1920, the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment was decorated and its banner decorated with the Silver Cross of the Order of VM. The 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment was stationed in Lviv. In 1939, the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment protected Poznań from the west (September 3). In the Battle of the Bzura, the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment attacked Uniejów and Wartkowice. He fought near Ozorków and then Brochów (September 14). He charged near Wólka Węglowa (September 19) and got through to Warsaw. The 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment took part in the defense of the capital until the capitulation. For the war of 1939-1945, the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment was again awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of the VM with the right to inscribe on the state ribbons of the banner: "Distinguished for extraordinary bravery in the 1939 campaign in Poland." A six-barrel infantry regiment was recreated underground as part of the Home Army in Lviv. He cooperated with the Soviet Army in the liberation of the city. Moreover, in the Miechów District of the Home Army, a horse squadron of the regiment was recreated.
Recreated in the PSZ in the west in 1941-1944 as part of the 16th Armored Brigade of the 1st Polish Corps. Regiment colors: yellow pennant with a narrow white stripe in the middle. Horned caps, yellow rim. Regimental holiday - July 11 (anniversary of the Battle of Jazłowiec in 1919).

Owning a painting by Edward Mejsasz marked one's position in society in the 1970s and 1980s. The works of this painter from Częstochowa have traveled around the world. He himself was Jerzy Duda-Gracz's mentor. This is what Jerzy Duda-Gracz wrote about E. Messiah in a letter for the 50th anniversary of the Fine Arts Secondary School in Częstochowa:

“Finally, a few words about my first and most important Master - Professor Edward Messiah. Battle fighter and chronicler of September 1939, the last heir of the romantic uhlan legend of the Republic of Poland. I had many teachers at school and at the Academy, but I owe "everything" artistically to Him. In addition to the basics of painting and drawing still lifes, plasters, figures and landscapes, in addition to the addiction of daily sketching, in addition to awakening the love for Polish tradition and art, Professor Messiah taught me the most important thing: faithfulness to myself, always and everywhere...."

You can read more in an interview conducted with the artist in 2005:


Many art experts and critics, as well as history enthusiasts, believe that the work of Edward Messiah, in some respects, even exceeds the work of his master - Jerzy Kossak. His wonderful painting achievements were mainly related to the History of the Polish Arms, the history of the Polish Cavalry, but not only that. It is difficult not to be amazed when looking at his outdoor scenes, landscapes, genre scenes and portraits. Unlike the works of Wojciech and Jerzy Kossak, whose paintings were sometimes the motivation for his works, he paid great attention to details regarding uniforms and weapons. The creation of the new work was preceded by reliable and realistic sketches, as well as thorough inspection and studies of the battlefields. This then translated into a perfect presentation of silhouettes of people and horses, like in the works of few contemporary battle artists. Following his childhood experiences, E. Messiah often painted the campaigns of 1939, in particular the Polish cavalry fights. Before creating subsequent works on the September fighting, he visited specific places or immortalized episodes based on the accounts of participants or witnesses of these events. This created a realistic chronicle of the 1939 campaign.

Picture description

The painting has a rectangular plan and shows a realistic genre scene. In the foreground, the painter showed Uhlan Jazłowiecki, leading a beautiful, bay horse. The scene was set in a frosty winter scenery. In the background, rural buildings and low black storm clouds are visible. The details of the uniform indicate that we are dealing here with an lancer from the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment from the 1920s, dressed in a blue Austrian sheepskin coat. The figure of the uhlan in this painting may be an allegory to the person of 2nd Lieutenant. Władysław Nowacki. The characteristic color of the 14th Jazłowiecki Uhlan Regiment is a specific shade of yellow. The lance has a characteristic canary (pale yellow) pennant with a white vein in the middle. In turn, there is a yellow ring visible on the horn. This painting is exquisitely painted, both in terms of anatomy and composition. You can admire a lot of details on it. The painter painstakingly reproduced the details of the uhlan's uniform, equipment and weapons, as well as the anatomy of both the soldier and the horse. The linear perspective has been beautifully preserved, giving the presentation depth. In addition to the realistic reflection of the scene itself, the artist also managed to perfectly capture the mood of horror and uncertainty that prevailed during the war turmoil. A beautiful frame goes well with this painting. This painting is part of a certain cycle. The same uhlan can be seen, for example, in the painting entitled "Knock, knock, on the window" and "Ask for directions".


Parameters and state of preservation

Oil on canvas. 68x55.5 cm. Dimensions including frame: 81x68.5 cm. Signed ld "E. Messiah". The painting is framed in a beautiful, engraved wooden frame. The painting and frame are in very good condition. The painting is ready to hang. Provenance: this painting was personally given by E. Messiah to the previous owner.



Dimensions: 68x55.5 cm. Dimensions including frame: 81x68.5 cm.

Signature: signed ld "E. Messiah"

Support material: Oil on canvas

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