Pierwszy śnieg Czajkowski, Józef (1872 - 1947)

Pierwszy śnieg

Józef Czajkowski (1872-1947) studied at the Munich Academy, the Paris Académie Julian, the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, and the Vienna Academy of Arts and Crafts. He was a painter, architect, designer of kilims and carpets, and a lecturer in painting and interior architecture.

Description of the painting:
The painting depicts a view from the artist’s window at 7 Reformacka Street, which includes a fragment of the park in the distance and the Reformators’ monastery garden in the foreground. It is a record of the first snow that covered the gray streets and leafless trees, brightening the landscape. The rhythmic trunks of the park are in contrast to the chaos prevailing in the cloister garden.

From the Krakow window of the artist at 7 Reformacka Street, a fragment of the garden belonging to the Reformators’ convent was visible. Just behind the garden stretched the famous Krakow parkways. Czajkowski created at least three paintings depicting this view in the years 1905-1906. Two of these paintings were purchased for the Rogalin collection by Edward Alexander, but one of them has gone missing.

The painting “First Snow”, which is currently in the Picture Gallery in Rogalin, is a free pastel drawing, perhaps created under the influence of the moment. The gray of late autumn suddenly turns into a bright, clean space. Snow, covering everything around, reveals another face, restores freshness and illuminates the world. Maybe inspired by this sudden change, the artist decided to capture the view from the window. The shapes of the trees, the course of the wall, the free disorder prevailing in the garden were certainly well known to the artist, as well as the parkways stretching out in the background with the trunks of the pines.

The juxtaposition of the disorderly, cozy, private garden and the public, austere in expression, rhythmic public park can be related to the interior of a person who in his fortress, behind the walls, hides a private part, not always orderly, although externally keeps appearances and respects accepted norms. However, external conditions affect every sphere of a person, both private and external, which in the painting is illustrated by snow.

Before 1905 Joseph Czajkowski painted a lot. After that year he focused his attention on architecture, graphics, furniture design and kilims. At the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts he ran the chair of interior architecture