Kazimierz Sichulski (1879-1943) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. In 1904, he traveled through Europe, getting acquainted with contemporary artistic trends. In 1905, he visited Huculszczyzna, which became an inspiration for his creativity. He traveled through the Carpathian meadows and willingly portrayed the local highlanders. This resulted, among other things, in the three images presented in the Gallery, which are another reflection of the Młodopolska fascination with the life of a simple people. Rogalińskie portraits of the Old and Young Hucuł and the young Hucułka were created during Sichulski’s first trip to Huculszczyzna. Exhibited shortly after his return to the Krakow Society of Friends of Fine Arts, they aroused the interest of the critics, but also of the chairman of the Society, Edward Aleksander Raczyński, who bought them for his Gallery*.
Description of the painting:
The portraits are composed similarly to a photographic frame – the figures dressed in traditional Hutsul mountain costumes fill almost the entire image field. The background on which they are shown is blurry and blurry. The portraits are filled with intense colors that blend together to form a cohesive whole. The artist used pure colors that are matched with muted elements. The combination of colored characters with the green background of mountain vegetation emphasizes their origin and unity with nature in which they live. The outlines of the figures are clear, filled with spots of color, which resembles the way stained glass is composed, which also fell within the scope of the artist’s artistic activities. The image field seems to emanate light emphasizing the figures, which are also subject to light phenomena. The painter’s style, through a wavy contour, refers to the Secession period prevalent at this time.
The portrait of “The Old Hucuł” depicts a man in an en face view. He is dressed in an embroidered keptar and a dark brown serdak adorned with tassels. The wrinkles on the man’s face emphasize his age. The man’s light blue eyes attract the viewer’s attention, however, the highlander does not make contact with him, looking into the distance. The sunburnt face shown in the dominant yellow color is surrounded by dark, wavy hair interspersed with strands of blue. The man’s head is protected by a hat with a ribbon allowing it to be tied under his neck. Both the face of Hucuł and the headgear have become spaces for the exposure of light phenomena, which is expressed in the combination of colors and strong light and shadow. The figure, kept in muted colors, is surrounded by a bright halo. The background is a clearing on the edge of the forest. On the left side, a wooden building can be seen, possibly a shed.