Nekropolis - Adam Bujak
Nekropolis shows the four most beautiful Polish necropoleis as photographed by Adam Bujak. The famous photographer offers readers a tour of the remarkable galleries of sculpture at the Powązki cemetery in Warsaw, the Łyczaków cemetery in Lviv, the Rossa necropolis in Vilnius, and the Rakowicki cemetery in Kraków.
The atmospheric walk through the cemeteries’ dim alleys, sculptures, and tombs of famous people photographed in different seasons begins in Kraków, the hometown of the artist known primarily for his photos of Pope John Paul II. The history of the sites is introduced by the expert Prof. Jacek Kolbuszewski, a literary historian, who shows the history of the cemeteries and how their meaning and place in society has changed. He has added poetic fragments to each chapter, as well as descriptions and commentaries to the pictures.
The Aristocratic Rakowice
The nostalgic landscape of the Rakowicki cemetery includes graves of famous aristocratic families covered in snow, neo-Gothic monuments emerging from the autumn fog, and busts of famous Cracovians, such as Marek Grechuta and Tadeusz Kantor. The walk with Adam Bujak also takes us to Jan Matejko’s grave lit up by hundreds of candles, and that of the Uhlans who fell near Rokitna in 1915.
The Romantic Łyczaków
The following pages of the album are devoted to the romantic necropolis of the Łyczaków cemetery in Lviv, where Maria Konopnicka, among others, rests. It has sepulchral sculptures by prominent European artists, such as the representative of German classicism Hartman Winawer, and Cyprian Godebski, who created the monument of Hector Berlioz at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
The Rossa Park
The authors remind us of the dramatic fate of Rossa in Vilnius, ruined in the days of Soviet Lithuania, one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. Rossa owes its distinct style not only to the unique nature of the tombstones, but most of all to the beautiful landscape, reminiscent of an English park. Here rest professors of the Vilnius University, August Becu – Juliusz Słowacki’s stepfather, and the mother of Marshal Józef Piłsudski – Maria, whose grave is located in the centre of a military cemetery right next to the entrance to Rossa. Her son’s heart was also buried there in 1936.
Gallery of Art at Powązki
The story about Polish necropoleis ends at the historic Powązki cemetery – a sort of a gallery of Polish sculpture from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Outstanding artists like Jakub Tatarkiewicz and Xawery Dunikowski left their works there.
Adam Bujak (born in 1942 in Kraków) is an internationally renowned artist, photographer, author of more than 100 albums. He became famous as the personal photographer of John Paul II, accompanying him at the most important moments of his pontificate. He is member of the Association of Polish Photographic Artists, the prestigious British Royal Photographic Society, the International Federation of Photographic Art in Switzerland, and has won more than 60 international and Polish awards. He received a Gloria Artis medal for his contribution to Polish culture.
The bilingual Polish-English album Nekropolis with photographs by Adam Bujak and text by Jacek Kolbuszewski was published by Bosz/
Author: Anna Legierska, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, May 2015Culture.pl