Wojciech Korneli Stattler
The Maccabees, 1830-1842
Gift of Ludwik and Anna Helcel, 1886

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 262 x 371 cm

description: Wojciech Korneli Stattler’s work oscillates between Classicism and Romanticism, as well as religious, historical and portrait themes. The artist was influenced by 15th and 16th century Italian art, and especially by the work of Raphael. These fascinations are visible in the painting entitled The Hasmoneans, which is a reference to an event from Jewish history described in the 1st book of the Hasmonean Old Testament – the revolt of the Hasmoneans between 175 and 164 BC in defence of the faith of their ancestors against the despotic rule of the Roman tributary, Antiochus IV of Syria. Stattler created an illustration representing several events occurring at different times but all related to the announcement of Antiochus’s order urging the Hasmoneans to renounce their faith and bow to pagan deities – an order that made them rise in revolt. The painting also shows a statue of the god Jupiter with a group of Jews at its feet, paying tribute to the deity and in the right-hand side one can see an altar with a hammer and open shackles – a symbol of hope and a reference to the Polish history and the November Uprising. 
Urszula Kozakowska-Zaucha

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Romanticism. Towards national art >>>

© 2010 National Museum in Krakow
design & concept: creator.pl