[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
Raczyński, Stanisław [1903-1982]
“Barbakan” (from the Kraków Series)
monochrome woodcut on paper / 5 inches by 7 inches
Woodcuts and other print media form a significant part of the Collection, perhaps because they are comparatively affordable. This woodcut by Polish artist Stanisław Raczyński comes from a series based on Kraków, an historic city in the southern part of the country and also the home of the artist’s wife.
Stanisław Raczynski studied painting at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, in 1920s. Before World War II his artistic interest focused on graphics and, in particular, wood-cutting, lithography and similar techniques. His early works were influenced mainly by the modernistic style in painting and wood-carving. His admiration for Salvador Dali was notable, though he did not follow the surrealistic style in graphical art. Among more classical authors, he was en enthusiast of El Greco and Albrecht Durer. He was also influenced by Polish groups of artists like Skoczylas and Pronaszko. Between late 20s and 1939 he was a successful young artist with great expectations. He married Bronislawa Gawin, a girl from an old Krakow family, who went on to become his great partner and supporter in all his life. The World War II dramatically interrupted his career.
A barbican (in English) is the outer defense of a castle or walled city. Large portions of Kraków’s medieval fortifications remain.