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Old Polish painting


Covering the period 1800 – 1945, the exhibition stems mostly from the pre-war collection. Since the museum’s restoration in 1984, over 70 paintings have been acquired. At present, the number of works is about 280, some of which are displayed at the permanent exhibition entitled ‘The Gallery of Polish Painting 1800-1945’. The gallery is the  pride of the museum; it ranks among the best in Poland and embraces major trends in art (Romanticism, Realism, historical painting, landscape and genre painting, Young Poland's Symbolism, Impressionism) and features the most outstanding artists of that period (Józef Chełmoński, Aleksander and Maksymilian Gierymski, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, Leon Wyczółkowski, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Stanisław Wyspiański and others).

A significant part of the interwar painting section illustrates the diversity of movements and styles of the period by presenting works by artists associated with different groups such as: ‘Polish Formists’, ‘Rhythm’, representatives of Capism and Colourism, also ‘Ecole de Paris’, ‘Brotherhood of St. Luke’ and members of avant-garde groups named ‘Blok’ and ‘Praesens’.



The list of paintings from the collection together with their photographs may be found in our collection search engine .


Jan Matejko, Ostafi Daszkiewicz, 1873

Józef Pankiewicz, Road in Kazimierz-upon-Vistula, 1890

Aleksander Jędrzejewski, Paris (Arc de Triomphe in – Etoile), 1932


Polish contemporary painting – after 1945


It comprises around 580 works of art that have been acquired since 1984. The collection reflects various currents and tendencies in Polish art after WW II. Here we find works inspired by the Polish colourist tradition; geometrical and emotional abstraction (Informel); metaphoric and expressive painting. The artists represent well-known and highly prestigious schools and artistic groups from Cracow, Warsaw, Wrocław (Grupa Krakowska, ST 53, Arkat, Wprost, Gruppa). The art of the leading Silesian artists is also widely represented here.  A part of the collection may be admired at the permanent exhibition entitled "The Gallery of Polish Painting after 1945"

Jerzy Nowosielski, Half-Nude, 1978

Zdzisław Beksiński, A Y, 1985

Ryszard Winiarski, Game 16