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Portrait of Józef Fedorowicz

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In 1925, Witkacy devoted himself to the art of portraiture, realised within the framework of the one-man "S.I. Witkiewicz Portrait Company", which was to become a source of quick profit and remedy his financial problems. The artist defined the rules for creating portraits in the technique of pastel, charcoal, crayons and pencil in detailed regulations, specifying with the letters A, B, C, D and E the nature of the five basic types and their combinations. He often created them under the influence of controlled experimentation with psychoactive substances - drugs, narcotics or alcohol, documenting his state with sign abbreviations. These freehand drawings, codified as type C, were created during social gatherings and were reserved for friends. Type C was characterised by a subjective approach to the model, psychological characterisation, and the introduction of caricatured deformation. The artist also assumed reaching an abstract composition - Pure Form. Type C is represented by the portrait of Józef Fedorowicz, a meteorologist painted by Witkiewicz many times, called Pimek or Wiatr Halny, who belonged to the circle of the artist's closest friends from Zakopane. Thanks to his acting skills, Witkacy cast him in his plays produced by the Formist Theatre. The image of Pimek from 1930 was created during his intensive drug experiments, which allowed the artist to achieve a heightened experience of reality. A combination he often used was the combination of cocaine (Co) and eucodal (Eu), a morphine derivative, marked within Fedorowicz's portrait, inducing a state of euphoria. A slight level of deformation of the features allowed the model's likeness to be preserved and his individual features - a triangular face with a characteristic goatee, hastily outlined with a black line - to be brought out. The narrow frame captures only the head and a fragment of an arm, dynamising the image and giving it expression. It is intensified by strokes of yellow pastel, which create a unreal luminous glow around the contour of the figure.

Anna Hałata

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator

Witkiewicz, Stanisław Ignacy (Witkacy) (1885-1939) (author)


cały obiekt: height: 50 cm, width: 64,3 cm

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Creation / finding place

powstanie: Zakopane (Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Tatra County, Zakopane Commune)


The National Museum in Lublin

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