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Kraków academics appeal to save painting by Polish master Matejko

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.10.2015 11:16
Academics and curators in Kraków have made a last ditch appeal for help in purchasing a portrait by Polish master Jan Matejko, with the painting due to go under the hammer in Vienna.
Detail of Jan Matejko's 'Portrait of Professor Karol Gilewski'Detail of Jan Matejko's 'Portrait of Professor Karol Gilewski'

Matejko's 'Portrait of Professor Karol Gilewski' is set to be sold at the Dorotheum, one of the world's oldest auction houses, on Thursday.

The fate of the painting had been unknown for a hundred years, with the last trace of the work dating to 1915, when it was exhibited in Vienna.

Professor Gilewski (1832 -1871) was a pioneering medic who worked at Krakow's Jagiellonian University. During his professional career, Kraków was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Gilewski won recognition for his revolutionary techniques in the operating theatre, and he was one of the first ever medics to successfully remove an ovary with a cyst.

Jan Matejko (1838-1893), who is counted among Poland's most celebrated artists, painted the portrait posthumously at the request of the professor's widow. The artist had himself been a patient of Gilewski's.

Neither the city of Kraków nor the Ministry of Culture has consented to fund the complete purchase of the painting. The value of the work has been estimated at between EUR 100,000 and 140,000.

With time running out, Kraków academics have been attempting to persuade businessmen in the city to stump up the money for the work. (nh/rk)

Source: Dziennik Polski/Gazeta Wyborcza

tags: Matejko
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