Major Polish female artist of the inter-war period. Born 1891, died 1976.
Zofia Stryjeńska was among the most colourful figures of artistic life in inter-war Poland. Its hub was Warsaw, where the artist settled in the mid-1920s. During this time - taking part actively in the Polish capital's artistic, literary, and theatrical life - Stryjeńska became the symbol of an era, appealing first and foremost to the tastes of the intelligentsia of her day. The phenomenon of Stryjeńska is also extraordinary in an international context - due to the position that she as a woman enjoyed in the official art of the young country.
The museum in Warsaw boasts the largest collection of Stryjeńska's works, including her most important projects, such as large-sized works from the 1920s: the decorative panels Pory roku ["The Four Seasons"] (with allegories of the months) for the Polish Pavilion at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris (1925, winner of the Grand Prize), the allegories Ogień ["Fire"] and Woda ["Water"] for the Polish Mission in Sofia (1928); the Pascha ["Resurrection"] cycle (1917-1918); complete portfolios of Bożki słowiańskie ["Slavic Gods"] (1918, 1922, 1934), including monumental designs on this theme for the Senator Tower at Wawel Castle (1917).
She was an extraordinarily versatile artist: she designed tapestries, decorated the passenger liners Batory (1934) and Piłsudski (1935) and the Fukier wine tavern and Wedel patisserie in Warsaw (1935), designed decorative patterns for the China Factory in Ćmielów as well as posters and postcards, advertising leaflets and toys, even stage sets. Her works form an extensive presentation of the 1920s and 1930s style, from painting and graphic art to interior design, costumes, kilim rugs and fabrics - on loan from a great many public institutions and private collections.