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#87: Wlastimil Hofman / Vlastimil Hofmann (1881-1970) — Last rites



Wlastimil Hofman Last Rites. Picture from 1953. There is a handwritten dedication on the back of the painting.


Wlastimil Hofman (born April 27, 1881 in Karlino near Prague as Vlastimil Hofmann, died March 6, 1970 in Szklarska Poręba) - one of the most outstanding Polish painters of the 20th century, a representative of symbolism. He was the youngest of six children of a Czech, Ferdynand Hofman, and a Polish woman, Teofila, née Muzyka. In 1889, the family moved to Kraków, where Wlastimil attended St. Barbara and junior high school. Jan III Sobieski. In 1896, he began studying at the School of Fine Arts with Jacek Malczewski, Leon Wyczółkowski and Jan Stanisławski. In the years 1899-1901 he studied at the École des beaux-arts in Paris under Jean-Léon Gérôme. In 1902 he began to exhibit his works. From 1904 he belonged to the Society of Czech Artists "Mánes" and the Society of Polish Artists "Sztuka". In 1905, he wrote Confession, which was staged in 1906 at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw and brought him fame. In 1907, he was the first Pole to be nominated as a member of the Vienna Secession Gallery. In the years 1914-1920 he lived in Prague and Paris, then returned to Krakow. In 1921, he built a house and a studio at ul. Spadzista in Kraków. In 1923, he became a member of the "Sztuka Rodzima" group, which advocated a conservative artistic program. The year 1939 ended the period of peaceful life and forced him to wander through Volhynia to Istanbul, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In 1942, he published a book of poems Through Thorns to Freedom. He returned to Krakow in June 1946, but already in 1947 he left for Szklarska Poręba, where he lived in a modest house ("Wlastmilówka"). After World War II, Hofman continued the rich tradition of the earlier artistic colony in Szklarska Poręba. He earned a living there by painting portraits of tourists and residents. At that time, numerous paintings on religious themes were created for the parish church in Szklarska Poręba, including: The Four Evangelists, the Way of the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and the Adoration of the Child. In 1961 he was awarded the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He died on March 6, 1970, exactly two years after the death of his beloved wife Ada, with whom he legalized his relationship in 1919. Their bodies were buried in a common grave at the municipal cemetery. In Szklarska Poręba there is still a small museum dedicated to the work of Wlastimil Hofman, one of the local schools is named after him, and the painter's works are used in the parish church of St. Corpus Christi at ul. Franciszkańska. The symbolist art of Jacek Malczewski, with whom he was friends until his death, had a significant influence on Wlastimil Hofman's work. Hofman is considered a continuator of the symbolic-allegorical line in painting initiated by Malczewski. He also painted religious, ancient, fairy-tale and fantasy scenes. He was also the author of genre scenes from the life of highlanders and images of peasants, in which he emphasized folklore and decorative clothing.



Dimensions: 70x90 cm, dimensions with frame: 111x90 cm

Signature: signed pg Wlastimil Hofman 1953

Support material: oil on board

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