Wyspianski’s Herbarium

Wyspianski was for Krakow what Vermer was for Delft, Klimt for Vienna or Mucha for Prague. That is sufficient reason to see the Wyspianski’s Herbarium exhibition in the House of the Szolayski Family of the National Museum in Krakow.

The strength of the exhibit, part of the celebrations of the Year of Stanislaw Wypianski, lies in the contrast between the artist’s drawings and sketches of plants in 19th Century Krakow and contemporary photos of the plants. The exhibit also includes sheets of authentic botanical herbariums – technical plant sketches and plant specimens in sheets of glass.

The artist based his works on both nature and the pattern books that he was familiar with. The plants he drew are in the great majority of cases highly stylized.

The exhibition is a treat not only for those who love Krakow’s fauna but also for those who enjoy learning about the botanical science of yesteryear.

Another reason the exhibit is worth seeing is that is shows a lesser-known part of the famed artist’s repertoire. It underscores the versatility of the accomplished author of the ‘Father the God’ stained glass window in the Franciscan Church.

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