Faces of a Dandy? Stanisław Witkacy’s Self-Portraits Cover Image

Twarze dandysa? Autoportrety Stanisława Ignacego Witkiewicza
Faces of a Dandy? Stanisław Witkacy’s Self-Portraits

Author(s): Dorota Niedziałkowska
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL & Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Keywords: Witkacy; self-portraits; dandy; painting and literature; Witkacy; autoportrety; dandys; plastyka i literatura

Summary/Abstract: This paper describes the self-portraits of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939) who was a painter, writer, philosopher, theoretician, and critic. The author has selected twelve most interesting works, analysed them and interpreted in the context of the whole literary, philosophical, and epistolographic output of the artist, including his biography. The text is supplemented by coloured oil reproductions, pastels, and drawings. They are described in detail in a chronological order. All the elements of Witkacy’s works become meaningful, starting from typically historical and artificial: representations, views, colours, techniques, and signatures or the author’s title. This paper is based on a master’s thesis and it contains also some remarks concerning the whole collection of self-portraits. The author sought to show Witkacy’s self-portraits. Witkacy was a professional portrait painter in the perspective of dandy painting. Now drawing on the studies written by historians of art and literature, she sought to indicate how useful are the categories used in literature or journalism for painting. Dandy painting is a key of interpretation that helps to explain not only why the author of A Farewell to Autumn was so eager to paint his physiognomy (there are eighty-two self-portraits), but also the varied character of the collection of self-portraits. We may find among them representative portraits painted with care, and some sketches drawn in haste under the influence of drugs, or self-caricatures attached to correspondence.

  • Issue Year: 55/2007
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 183-214
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: Polish