Alexander Kotsis (1836-1877) was at this time a fully formed artist, a graduate of the Cracow School of Fine Arts, where he studied in the years 1850-60 with Wojciech Stattler, Władysław Łuszczkiewicz and Alexander Płonczyński, and a scholarship holder at the universities of Vienna, Warsaw, Paris and Brussels. Having a studio in Munich together with Antoni Kozakiewicz and Franciszek Streit, he perfected his art, remaining faithful to his love of portraying the daily life of peasants, mountaineers, Jews and children.
While travelling together with his friends, including Z. Sidorowicz, through the mountains of Bavaria, Kotsis drew, as he himself wrote, “composition and concept (…) from himself, motivating himself with folk themes of his own feelings” (SAP 1986, vol. IV, p. 185). This statement largely explains the lyrical-moody character of the artist’s genre painting.
Description of the painting:
The young mountaineer and mountaineer, along with the portrait of Sabala and the old mountaineer from the same time, is an excellent example of Kotsis’s portrait painting, combining the ability to extract the psychological depth of the depicted figures with the exquisite colouring of the briefly treated costume and neutral background. These portraits were created during Kotsis’s artistic and tourist trips to Vienna and Munich, confirming the assumption that even there the “lover of the Tatras and the Highlanders” painted, along with alpine landscapes, works related to the Polish mountains.