Madonnas from the Podhale Region - glass painting. Works of Zdzisław Walczak and Marta Walczak Stasiowska

Friday 29 November 2019, 6:00 pm — Friday 31 January 2020, 5:00 pm

Lengyel Intézet

Budapest, VI. Nagymező u. 15.


Madonnas from the Podhale Region

Works of Zdzisław Walczak and Marta Walczak Stasiowska 

Opening of the exhibition: at the Polish Institute on Friday, 29 November 2019 at 6 pm.

In Poland glass painting is mainly associated with the Podtatrze region.  The image of a dark highlander  room with glass paintings fastened in a row to  the board along the main wall, in front of the entrance appears to be pretty obvious. The paintings present the most important for Catholics religious topics and figures : Christ, Virgin Marry and the hosts of saints protecting a family, a house and other possessions.  Those paintings had very important religious function and at the same time their vivid colours and the gloss of glass made the interior more cheerful. This is how it might have looked in the 19th century.

The tradition of covering glass with drawings and colours originates from the ancient times. Relics from the Middle Ages have survived till modern times; painted glass was placed in reliquaries and altars. The development of this decorative  technique is connected with the development of  glassworks in Italian Murano at the beginning of the 16th century. In the following centuries, the production of  glassworks founded also in Silesia and Czech Republic became popular all over Europe. The beginning of the usage of glass in the mass production of devotional paintings is connected with the crisis in this area of industry in the 1760s. In the search  for new markets, paintings presenting saints  were created on small galss panels and distributed among citizens of rural areas. These products were distributed all over a pretty vast area by means of door-to-door sale. Travelling merchants even reached households which were located in the remote and hardly accessible areas. Paintings distributed in the Podhale region mainly came  from glass painting workshops in Slovakia. They differed from the ones distributed in Silesia by  painting technique, the colour of the background and ornamentation.