Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Thomas Cole
Title: Stańczyk
Date Created: 1862
Dimensions: w120 x h88 cm
Type: Paintings
Medium: oil on canvas
Location: The National Museum in Warsaw
It is one of Matejko's most famous works and the one that launched him to fame. It has been described as one of the most recognizable paintings in the Warsaw National Museum, and is a flagship painting for the "Collection of Polish paintings prior to 1914". Its primary composition is the contrast between the solemn jester (the titular Stańczyk) and the lively ball going on in the background. The painting has created an image of Stańczyk that has become iconic, and widely recognized in Poland. Stańczyk, the male figure depicted in the painting, was the court jester when Poland was at the height of its political, economic and cultural power during the era of the Renaissance in Poland, during the reign of King Sigismund I the Old. He was a popular figure; besides his fame as a jester he has been described as an eloquent, witty, and intelligent man, using satire to comment on the nation's past, present, and future. Unlike jesters of other European courts, Stańczyk has always been considered as much more than a mere entertainer. Stańczyk's fame and legend were strong in his own time and enjoyed a resurgence in the 19th century, and he remains well-known to this day.
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