Instytut Historii Sztuki <Posen> [Editor]
Artium Quaestiones — 2.1983

Page: 142
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/artium_quaestiones1983/0180
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P. PIOTROWSKI

wisko, które Stefan Żółkiewski nazwał wielofunkcyjną instrumentaliza-
cją tekstów 10. Banknot jako przedmiot użytkowy zaczął silnie podkreślać
swą funkcję pieniądza, jakby zdobył „samoświadomość”, lecz jedno-
cześnie stał się wypowiedzią o charakterze ideologicznym, jednym z og-
niw w systemie oficjalnej perswazji politycznej, znacznie mocniej ak-
centującym tę rolę niż na początku dwudziestolecia międzywojennego.

RHETORIC OF A BANKNOTE

Summary
The above text is a contribution to the studies of the visual culture ocf the
period of the interwar period. We consider banknotes as the examples of that cul-
ture because they represent one of the most common mass media’s visual com-
nuuniioation, and at the same time being „non-accidental” means of projpaganda.
They also represent the official interpretation of the ideology transmitted by means
of conventionalized symbols. The above .symbols, Lcongraphical motifs, stereotypes
of pictorial associations and their traditions are the subject of our analysis.
„Zloty” .banknotes, signed by Bank Polaki can be roughly divided into two
groups. The first one is constituted of objects dated 2.8 Felb. 1919 although float-
ed after the date 28 April 1924. They characterize with homogeneous composi-
tion based om a symetrie .set of oval plains which om the obverse are filled
with a portrait of a national haho on one .side, while on the other a water-mark
duplicates an image of a historical hero*. On the averse there is a national em-
blem. Those banknotes represent rather traditional decorative stylistics.
The second group is constituted of banknotes designed and issued Since the
mid-twenties and into the thirties. T.hlis group is not as .homogeneous as the pre-
vious one. Its variety can be noticed on a few various levels, namely on the
obverse and reverse axis. Conventionally obverse used to be reserved for the
historic implications which were meant to stress the national tradition, its con-
tinuity and power. In this place there usually, appeared the images of heroes such
as: Tadeusz .Kościuszko, Prince Józef Poniatowski, Emilia Plater, General Henryk
Dąbrowski, .however, especially in the water-marks, portraits of Podisti kings
oouid be found. The reverse was usually meant to stress the .development of
the country, its modernity, economic and cultural power of the country by means
of personification of agriculture, industry, trade, sea-trade in particular, then
personifications of Science, art and architecture.
The variations within the second group are also noticeable in a context of the
differentiation of the nominal. Banknotes of lower values undergo the changes
more often, and their symbols refer to the transient value’s, while the banknotes
of high nominals were changed less frequently and they refered to the icono-
graphy of the “duration”. It can be easily noticed on the example of a hundred

10 S. Żółkiewski, Przyczynek do krytyki teorii kultury XX wieku. W: Kul-
tura, komunikacja, literatura. Studia nad XX wiekiem, pod red. S. Żółkiewskiego
i M. Hopfinger, Wroclaw 1976.
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