Bulletin du Musée National de Varsovie — 40.1999

Page: 123
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1 cm
Jerzy Miziołek

The Story of Antiochus and Stratonice
by a Pupil of J.L. David: The Painting
by Józef Oleszkiewicz in the
Lithuanian Art Museum in Yilnius*

One of the most interesting paintings presented at the Warsaw-Vilnius
exhibition Around Yilnius Classicism in the National Museum in Warsaw at
the end of 1999 was a large painting by Józef Oleszkiewicz (1777-1830)
Antiochus and Stratonice, paintedin 1810 (ill. I).1 For most exhibition visitors,
including the author of this study, it was the first contact with this picture
belonging to the Lithuanian Art Museum in Vilnms which had not been
previously presented in Poland. Untił 1967 even Andrzej Ryszkiewicz,
a distinguished scholar of the period, was not familiar with the painting. In
his study on the reception of David’s work in Polish art, Ryszkiewicz ąuoted
the following, previously unpublished description of the painting by the late
Zygmunt Batowski: “A large classicist-academic composition. A death scene.
A young man among a group of people.”2

* I would like to thank the directors of The Huntington Library and Art Colletions in San Marino
and Lithuanian Art Museum (Lietuvos Dailes Muziejus) in Vilnius for sending me the photographs
and a right to publish them. I am particularly grateful to Sylvain Bellenger who generously lent
the photographs of drawings and an engraving by Anne-Louis Girodet Trioson, Etienne Lochę
and Jean-Dominique Ingres. Also, I wish to express my gratitude to Elżbieta Charazińska, Ryszard
Bobrow and Krzysztof Zalęski, curators of the National Museum in Warsaw for allowing me to
study the 01eszkiewicz’s painting several times during the Warsaw exhibition entitled Around
Yilnius Classicism and for making accessible some rare materials. The following study was written
within the frame of a research project dealing with the Classical Tradition in the Visual Arts in
the Institute of Archteology of Warsaw University.

1 Entry by W Dobrowolski and K. Zalęski in W kręgu wileńskiego klasycyzmu, ed. by E. Cha-
razińska and R.Bobrow, exh. cat., Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, December 1999 - January
2000, Lietuvos Dailes Muziejus in Vilnius, March - September 2000, in press, cat. 1/14, p. 111,
colour ill. on p. 11, 170 x 247 cm, sign.: “Joseph Oleszkiewicz faciebat”, 1810 (the catalogue
will be also published in Lithuanian version under the title: Yilniaus klasicizmas). It arrived at the
present place of storage (and was given the mventory number T. 2134) from the collection of the
Drawings and Paintings of Vilnius University.

A. Ryszkiewicz, Francusko-polskie związki artystyczne. W kręgu J.L. Davida, Warszawa 1967,
p. 157 and footnote 63 on p. 209. For the Polish art (Polish artistic culture) during the
Enlightenment period cf. S. Lorentz, A. Rottermund, Neoclassicism in Poland, trans. byj. Baldyga,

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