STABBED HIS OWN MASTERPIECE – WHAT DID PODKOWINSKI OBSESS ABOUT?

WŁADYSŁAW PODKOWIŃSKI
“FRENZY OF EXULTATIONS” aka “FRENZY”
ORIGINAL TITLE: “SZAŁ UNIESIEŃ” aka “SZAŁ”
1893
310 x 270 CM
OIL ON CANVAS
NATIONAL MUSEUM IN CRACOW

Wladyslaw Podkowinski - Frenzy - Szal - 1893

Image source: www.palacwchrzesnem.pl

“Frenzy of exultations” is a renowned painting by Władysław Podkowiński. It was also one that sparked conversations, which caused some nightmares to the poor painter. When the painting first went on show in Warsaw’s Zachęta Art Gallery in 1984, thousands of visitors were delighted by it, but many also found it highly eroticised. Three days before the close of the exhibition, Podkowiński showed up in Zacheta with a ladder, placed it against this almost 3m tall canvas, climbed up and started tearing it with a knife. But why?! – I ask. Unfortunately, this has never been explained. But rumour had it, that the author was madly in love with his close friend’s wife. Look at the face of the horse overtaken by madness, the woman’s hair which looks like it was burning, the darkness behind them as they run into the light. Madness! I want to know what happened in that relationship…

 

Wladyslaw Podkowinski - Frenzy - Szal - 1893 - stektch

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Sketch to the “Frenzy of Exultations” by Władysław Podkowiński.