Warsaw’s National Museum of Art

The National Museum of Art in Warsaw is conveniently located across the street from my grandma’s house. That, and the fact that my mom spent a big chunk of her life there, made it a destination I was excited to see.

My highlights:

  • 13th-century religious figures from Wrocław: apparently these old wooden figures were the subject of my mom’s final paper. What really caught my eye was this tall wooden figure of Jesus on the cross, where rope created bulging veins and grape-vine metal drops of blood created a very intense portrayal of the crucifixion.
  • Faras Gallery: these frescoes were uncovered in Egypt by a group of Polish archaeologists, and was actually a very important discovery (the team found the site just in time, Faras is entirely flooded and under water now). The saints and figures depicted in the frescoes have simple, almost child-like round and oval-shaped features and faces – but their simplicity is very beautiful.
  • Witold Wojtkiewicz: I was interested to see the Polish paintings in the gallery, since I’m really not very knowledgeable about Poland’s art history or major painters. Wojtkiewicz caught my eye because his paintings have interesting topics and I like his painting style. But just seeing all the older as well as more modern art was worth a visit.
  • Ancient Egypt Collection: the museum has a good, if relatively small, collection of artifacts from Ancient Egypt. For me, the highlight was a section from the Book of the Dead that is displayed, including a translation of what each page reads.

There was also a very graphic special exhibit when I toured the museum, Ars Erotica. It was a little too “modern art” for me, but there was an interesting part of the exhibit that examined homosexuality  in mythology.

Overall, the Museum is definitely well worth a visit, especially to see the Polish art displayed there. Saturdays are free!


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