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Q: Name this work of art ( Answered,   9 Comments )
Subject: Name this work of art
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: kylems-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 20 Jun 2006 12:44 PDT
Expires: 20 Jul 2006 12:44 PDT
Question ID: 739733
I would like some history on this work of art.

Good information would be its title, artist, and year completed.

Great information would be (1) what is happening (is it the signing of
a treaty?), (2) who are the sides involved, (3) what is that lion
doing in the bottom left of the painting, and (4) an estimate of what
it might be worth.  It's in a frame, and I can't open it, but I'm
guessing it's a print on canvas.

The more information given the better!

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Jun 2006 12:47 PDT
>>The more information given the better!<<

I couldn't agree more.

Such as...What work of art are you talking about?

Clarification of Question by kylems-ga on 20 Jun 2006 12:50 PDT
I can't believe I forgot to post the link!

The full painting:

Detail of main scene (not the full painting):

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 20 Jun 2006 15:58 PDT
Very fascinating! The painting has clearly a Polish patriotic theme.
The Polish national colours, white and red, are displayed in
abundance. The soldiers wearing blue uniforms are the "Blue Army", a
Polish legion recruited in France in 1917, which after 1918 became the
core of the army of the newly founded Polish republic. Their headgear
may look like a beret or a French Basque cap, but it actually is a
soft variant of the "czapka", the traditional cap worn by Polish
soldiers to the present day. The blue uniforms are from French depots
and almost identical with those worn by the French army then.

The soldiers on the far right seem to date from an earlier time, as do
most of the civilians on the left side (the woman's blue dress is
clearly from about the 1840s). I'd say the civilians are a symbolic
gathering of important Polish patriots and persons of reknown of the
19th century.

The painting itself originated necessarily after 1917, because of the
"Blue Army". Onviously, it is a Polish patriotic allegory. Maybe it
celebrates the founding of the Polish state in 1920.


Clarification of Question by kylems-ga on 21 Jun 2006 10:04 PDT
Someone asked where I live, and how I got the painting.  I live in
Minnesota, USA, and my dad owns it.  I'm not sure how he got it,
though, but he probably got it from someone in the Czech community. 
We are of mostly Czech ancestry, and he loves to collect such things.

I'm curious now if anyone has a lot of experience with art, and may be
able to name some artists that may have painted this.  I'm not sure if
it has any characteristics that give hints at the artist or not,
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
Answered By: hedgie-ga on 26 Jun 2006 22:16 PDT
Both Poland and Czechoslovakie became independent in 1917.
Poland cannot be excluded, but  founding of Czechoslovakia fits beter:

The speaker looks more like Masaryk

Then Piludsky or  Daszynski

Czech Retinue Flag ( white and red )  was used by Czech Legions in Rusia

(Blue wedge added later, used to represent Slovakia, but was retained,
after the 'velvet divorce' in 1993

So I would say, the painting commmorates  founding of Czechoslovakia in 1917
with Masaryk (the founder of the republic) talking to the peoople 
with  Czech Legions in the backgrounds, returning from Russia

Czech Legions:

Lion is a symbol of Bohemia
The oldest colour representation of the Czech lion
in Abbess Cunigund's Passional from 1313 to 1321

Related to Bruncvik Legend

The 90 aniversary of this event will be in two years, perhaps a
similar exibit will be opened

More on the history is at

Part 9 about the 1917 events


Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 27 Jun 2006 19:19 PDT
Few clarifications:

Re scriptor's (pretty good) observations:

  "blue uniforms are from French depots .."

  During WWI Czech legions were formed  in Russia, France and Italy
  Here are  photos of the three kinds of uniforms:

"Thomas Masaryk entering Prague in 1919. Veterans of the Czech Legion
march in with him, wearing Italian, French, Russian, nationalist
paramilitary Sokol as well as the old Austro-Hungarian uniforms..."

Uniforms of  'legionairs'  french, italian and russian

 " (the woman's blue dress is clearly from about the 1840s)..."

 The woman represents the  beginning 'czech nation revival' which
 culminated in the independence: the 1830s and 1840s, the National Revival ceased being a matter
of a small group of activists and became a matter for the whole nation
. ...
   It is (most likely) idealized represenation of an importan writer
(and activist)  of that period, Bozena Nemcova - heroine of a recent movie 

Durch diese Nacht sehe ich keinen einzigen Stern (2005)

which do not recommend, but which does illustrates that period.

A guess about the painter:

One posibility is Mucha, well known for his art deco posters,

e.g. of Sarah Bernard,
Sarah Bernhardt Mucha
less known for his  "Slav Epic" , which has style similar to this painting.

Beyond that guess, I can only recommend a boook:

Modern Czech painting 1907-1917 
by Miroslav Lamac
 Publisher: Prague : Artia, 1967.

and a visit of few os the many art galleries in Prague :)


Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 29 Jun 2006 09:27 PDT

I like my answers rated. 
If you do that, I will reveal identity of the person in the back
with her arms rised.
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: pinkfreud-ga on 20 Jun 2006 14:11 PDT
I can't identify the painting, but I have a few thoughts about it. It
looks to me as if a surrender is involved, since the flag is being
laid on the ground. The style of dress appears to be mid-19th century.
The lion's pose is such that I suspect it is a statue.
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: denco-ga on 20 Jun 2006 14:30 PDT
The soldiers on the right might be Garibaldi Redshirts.
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: myoarin-ga on 20 Jun 2006 17:26 PDT
Scriptor locked your question while I was still writing, so now all
the following adds is some other thoughts about the picture.  Pleased
that my speculation about Poland was correct.

   *   *   *

I believe that the picture represents a scene from around the end of
the 19th century to the time of WW I, despite the woman's style of
dress, noting that the figures to the left are much more carefully
portrayed, indeed possibly copied from a photograph, probably of once
identifiable persons, whereas the soldiers in different uniforms and
local girls are drawn from imagination, indeed, they may not have been
present, nor the surrounding landscape have been that opposite the
formal building with columns on the left of the picture.  The lion
would have a mate at the other end of the steps.

The white and red flags suggest Poland, as do the eagles at the heads
of some of the flagstaffs.  Military flags in a nation's colors often
include the coat of arms and sometimes other symbols for the unit, as
this site with modern Polish flags shows:

The headgear of the soldiers also suggests an Eastern European source,
as do the short, many layered skirts and bodices of the girls.

If you think it is a print, it probably is.  The differences between
the horizontal and vertical cracks suggests to me that the picture is
on stiff paper or glued to cardboard  - rather than on canvas.

Yes, the lowered flags could well be a sign of surrender.  The
principal persons are the man with the paper and the two at the top of
the steps:  the one with his hand on his breast and the one next to

If it is a print, it must have been an important event to justify the
effort to make reproductions.

But what event, when and where?
As a reproduction in this condition it wouldn't be worth more than the
frame -  unless the scene had such signifcance to someone who would
pay more for it.

I should have started by asking where you got the picture and where you live.
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: czh-ga on 20 Jun 2006 17:39 PDT
I don't think the lowered flag means surrender. Rather, it seems to be
a tribute that is welcomed by the party centered on the woman in blue.
There is a rainbow in the top right which seems to signify peace and
harmony and possibly reconciliation. The woman with raised arms in a
white robe in the top left area also seems welcoming and affirming. I
think Scriptor is on the right track. I just wish I knew more about
Polish history.
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: myoarin-ga on 21 Jun 2006 14:35 PDT
Trying to learn something about Polish history on Wikipedia and maybe
identify persons in the picture, with Scriptor's information about the
"blue army", I am wondering if the scene recalls the end of the
Polish-Soviet War or maybe the resignation of Stansilaw Woyciechowski
after the May Coup d'Etat in 1926.
The gentleman with the paper bears a resemblance to Woyciechowski, and
would seem to be in a scene that could be his offering his
The rather supercilious man in the foreground might be Leopold
Skulski, not that he seems to fit historically in that scene (but what
do I know?).

I retract my suggestion that this portion of the picture is from a
photo of the event and now consider that it is collage of portraits of
the significant persons (maybe including ones who were not present but
shown anyway).

Here are the Wikipedia sites  - with many more names, some with photos
either on the English site or on the Polish language sites.  Josef
Pilsudski seems to be a military leader involved in both events, a
nice candidate for the man at the right border of the picture, but it
doesn't look like him with the goatee and no sign of rank.
The woman in the blue dress is certainly important, but only an
observer of the event, I believe.  Someone who can explore Polish
websites might be able to identify her as being a woman involved in
the politics of the time.
Good luck!
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: myoarin-ga on 28 Jun 2006 07:28 PDT
Excellent work, Hedgie!  The flags and that picture of the veterans
from with the men in different uniforms, quite the
equivalent of those in the painting, are absolutely convincing, not to
mention Masaryk.

I looked for a building in Prag or Bohemia with such columns, but
didn't find anything that looked remotely similar, maybe artistic
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: hedgie-ga on 02 Jul 2006 08:07 PDT
Thanks for you comment myoarin-ga

You are right about the 
.. maybe artistic license ..

It is not a specific place.

The (mythical) princess Libu?e (a search term) standing in the back
did her prophecy at Vysehrad, but you cannot see mountain ?íp (Hora
?íp is also a search term) which is in the center of the painting.
The picture spans events of some 1000 years
(which is similar to the Slav Epics series.

Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: martin33-ga on 04 Aug 2006 23:22 PDT
Yep.hedgie is right.
I see our (czech) first president Tomas Garyk Masaryk holding the
treaty and Hora Rip (mountain Ríp -this mountain is very important in
"czech mytology") behind him in the center.
Hedgie could you tell us your search strategy? How did you find out?
How can you google a painting?:)
Subject: Re: Name this work of art
From: martin33-ga on 04 Aug 2006 23:50 PDT
I can't see a "lion
doing in the bottom left of the painting", but its probably there
because lion (with two tails) to czechs is a symbol, like Bold Eagle
to Americans.

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