Jan Matejko (1838–1893)
Portrait of Alfred Potocki, 1879
Donated by the Government Board of the Galician Seym in 1919

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 120,5 × 86 cm

description: Alfred Potocki (1822–1889) was a landowner and industrialist, politician, Austrian privy counsellor, minister and Minister-President, Marshal of the Galician Seym, governor of Galicia, one of the richest Poles and the organizer of the Galician agriculture industry. He was a co-initiator of the servile address of the nobles from Eastern Galicia to Emperor Franc Joseph, containing demands for internal reforms and an offer of the agreement between Poles and the Habsburg Dynasty. Emperor Franc Joseph trusted Potocki to the end of his life. Like other artists painting formal portraits of state dignitaries at that time, Matejko portrayed Potocki dressed in the Polish national costume. Apart from the karabela sabre, an element referring to the tradition of the gentry, the painter also included the symbols of power associated with the Austro-Hungarian Empire: the Marshal’s baton, the 1st Class Order of the Steel Crown and the Order of the Golden Fleece. His refined black attire with the white elements of the collar and cuffs, as well as an elegant, dignified pose correspond to Potocki’s bearing. He was perceived as a man of honour and a great aristocrat. Barbara Ciciora

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

key: Around the academy >>>

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