Maria Magdalena Łubieńska (1833–1920) – an emancipated female artist

Danuta Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska

Kraków, Association for Stained Glass Art „Ars Vitrea Polona”, Corpus Vitrearum

 

Abstract:

Maria Magdalena Łubieńska née Countess Łubieńska (1833–1920), an amateur painter, author of oil paintings, watercolours and drawings, forced by the circumstances of life to found in 1867 the School of Drawing and Painting and then, in 1878, “Painting Shop”, which three years later became the Studio of St Luke, operating until at least 1910. Łubieńska’s Studio was chiefly famous for its stained glass windows (made in mixed technique). Many of them have survived to this day in churches, mostly neo-Gothic, located in the then Congress Kingdom of Poland. The stained glass works are also noted in the churches of the Austrian and Prussian partitions of Poland and former eastern borderlands, including Russia. The first stained glass window, for the Warsaw cathedral, Łubieńska was to paint herself. The stained glass windows made in the Warsaw studio, presented in this paper, reflect her activity only in part. Admired by her contemporaries, mocked in subsequent periods, they are currently becoming of interest to art historians.

Keywords: Maria Łubieńska, Studio of St Luke, School of Drawing and Painting, stained glass window, 19th century, 20th century

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Maria Magdalena Łubieńska was born in 1833 as the daughter of Henryk Łubieński of Łubna, landowner, financier, industrialist, and Irena née Potocka.[1] In accordance with her family background and the conventions of the time, she received careful home education. At the age of twenty-two, she became the second wife of Paweł Łubieński, her cousin, landowner, writer, promoter of modern agricultural technology.[2] She was the mother of five children.[3]

She belonged to a large group of well-born young ladies that drew and painted skillfully, mostly for their own pleasure, but they often abandoned that passion after getting married. Some of them developed their skills in the recently reborn field of stained glass painting, like – still in mid-19th century – Matylda Ziołecka née Aksamitowska, from Greater Poland (Pol. Wielkopolska), who worked in the circle of Edward Raczyński; later Mrs Gen. Natalia Kicka neé Bisping[4] or Róża Eugeniuszowa Lubomirska neé Zamoyska of Kruszyna.[5] Only a few women, usually forced by circumstances of life, made their talents their livelihood that was closer to or further from artistic ideals.[6] Maria Magdalena Łubieńska did oil painting and watercolours, and drew. Some of her works were published on the pages of the Warsaw press, such as the views of the pavilions in the International Exposition in Paris in 1867,[7] which she was able to visit in the company of his brother, Julian Łubieński, an official representative of the Russian Empire and the Congress Kingdom of Poland,[8] and perhaps also with Juliusz Kossak.[9] She was not an unknown artist. She exhibited at the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts [Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych] in Warsaw; e.g. in 1869 she displayed four oil paintings (Holy Trinity, Christ’s Head, The Lord Jesus in a Crown of Thorns, St Roch), and in 1874 two watercolours (Penitent St Mary Magdalene, The Virgin Mary) and a picture painted on glass Landscape.[10] In 1880 she exhibited in the Zachęta Society “a painted window Genius of Art” designed by Wojciech Gerson, purchased by the Society.[11] It was the only stained glass window in its collection, and the purchase can be attributed to the fact that Feliks Sobański,[12] a relative of Łubieńska’s, was a member of the Board of Directors (from 1875), and thereafter (1879–1880) the Vice-President. Łubieńska had probably received an allowance for the execution of this stained glass window. Unspecified works were presented by her in 1883 in Cracow’s Society of Friends of Fine Arts [Pol. Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych].[13] The name of Maria Łubieńska appeared on the list of Polish contemporary artists in the calendar issued by the Warsaw “Weekly Review” [“Przegląd Tygodniowy”] in 1887. She was presented as an author of religious images (The Heart of Jesus, St Rudolph, St Benignus, The Guardian Angel, St Catherine) and paintings on church windows.[14]

 Translated by Agnieszka Gicala


[1] Łubieńska Maria Magdalena, in: Słownik artystów polskich (henceforth: SAP), vol. 5, Warszawa 1993, p. 189; R. Kołodziejczyk, Łubieński Henryk, in: Polski Słownik Biograficzny (henceforth: PSB), vol. XVIII, fasc. 4, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków 1973, p. 483.

[2] Z. Grodecka, Łubieński Paweł, in: PSB (fn. 1), pp. 495–496. The biography contains the wrong wedding date: 1885, instead of 1855. Paweł’s first wife, Tekla neé Łubieńska, died in 1853. The first child of Paweł and Maria Łubieńscy was born in 1858.

[3] Sons: Tadeusz (1860–1918), Wacław Wincenty (1862–?), Tomasz (1865–1950), Konstanty Ireneusz (1871–1871); cf. www.genealogiapolska.pl [accessed: 16 Mar. 2012], daughter Tekla Barbara (1858–1886), cf. a note in the biography of her step-sister: Łubieńska Maria Antonina, in: SAP (fn. 1).

[4] D. Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska, Rola kobiet w odrodzeniu polskiego witrażownictwa, a paper presented in the Cracow Branch of the Association of Art Historians 22 April 2009; eadem, Zapomniane. Rola kobiet w odrodzeniu i rozwoju nowoczesnego witrażownictwa (a paper submitted for publication in the materials of the jubilee session of prof. Anna Sieradzka, held on 6 December 2011).

[5] Kościół parafialny pw. św. Lamberta, www.radomsko.pl [accessed: 27 Sept. 2012].

[6] This may be exemplified by the activity of Maria Rostworowska neé Gloger, of Kowalewszczyzna who, having lost her estate, came to Warsaw and opened a dressmaker’s shop with children’s garments in 1874: Narcyza Żmichowska, Listy, vol. IV, Rozmowy z Julią, edited from the manuscript by B. Winklowa, Warszawa 2009, p. 16.

[7] Z wystawy powszechnej w Paryżu, “Kłosy” 5, 1867, no. 105, p. 4.

[8] A.M. Drexlerowa, A.K. Olszewski, Polska i Polacy na powszechnych wystawach światowych 1851–2000, Warszawa 2005, p. 58.

[9] H. Kubaszewska, Kossak Juliusz, in: SAP, vol. 4, Wrocław–Warszawa–Wrocław–Gdańsk 1986, p. 135.

[10] Łubieńska 1993 (fn. 1).

[11] Ibidem; Katalog zbiorów Towarzystwa Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie, Warszawa 1925, p. 11, item 299; J. Frycz, Odrodzenie sztuki witrażowej w XIX i XX wieku, “Szkło i Ceramika” 6, 1974, p. 178.

[12] M. Kosieradzki, Tradycja miejsca – ludzie. Feliks Sobański: cbr.edu.pl/rme-archiwum/2005 [accessed: 10 Oct. 2012]. Sobański was then the owner of Guzów, a former estate of Henryk Łubieński, and a co-founder of the Museum of Agriculture and Industry in Warsaw.

[13] E. Świeykowski, Pamiętnik Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie 1854–1904, Kraków 1905, p. 163.

[14] Ruch. Kalendarz encyklopedyczny na rok zwyczajny 1887, Warszawa 1887, p. 109.

[15] Kołodziejczyk 1973 (fn. 1).

[16] T. Żuchlewska, Henryk Łubieński (1793–1883) i jego działalność gospodarczo-społeczna, “Rocznik Żyrardowski” 6, 2008, pp. 537–570.

[17] R. Fański, W fabryce witrażów artystycznych. Słówko o starej sztuce – przyszłości, “Życie i Sztuka” 1904, no. 41, p. 5. On the women’s education system of that time cf. e.g. A. Morawińska, Artystki polskie, in: Artystki polskie, katalog wystawy, Muzeum Narodowe 1991, ed. A. Morawińska, Warszawa 1991, p. 11.

[18] W. Bartkiewicz, Szkoła żeńska rysunku i malarstwa, „Bluszcz” 3, 1868, vol. 4, p. 1. The address of the school is given in Pawłowicz’s biography: J. Polanowska, Pawłowicz Edward Bonifacy, in: SAP, vol. 6, Warszawa 1998, p. 473 ff.

[19] Bartkiewicz 1868 (fn. 18), pp. 1–2.

[20] Kubaszewska 1986 (fn. 9).

[21] A. Ryszkiewicz, Wojciech Gerson, in: SAP, vol. 2, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk 1975, p. 311.

[22] A. Melbechowska-Luty, Kostrzewski Franciszek, w: SAP (fn. 9), p. 161.

[23] Artystki polskie 1991 (fn. 17), p. 371.

[24] Ibidem; J. Derwojed, Buchbinder Szymon, in: SAP, vol. 1, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk 1971, p. 266, does not mention this area of the artist’s activity.

[25] Polanowska 1998 (fn. 18).

[26] Nagrody na wystawie Pracy Kobiet, “Gazeta Przemysłowo-Rzemieślnicza” 6, 1877, no. 47, p. 1. In the same category, an award was also granted to her stepdaughter (Maria) Antonina Łubieńska.

[27] Zakład św. Łukasza, “Rola” 21, 1903, no. 6, p. 288.

[28] Fański 1904 (fn. 17), p. 5.

[29] (W przeciągu lat…), “Kronika Rodzinna” 6, 1878, no. 22, p. 703.

[30] (Odbieramy odezwę…), „Kronika Rodzinna” 9, 1881, no. 11, p. 352; (Otrzymaliśmy zawiadomienie…), “Biesiada Literacka” 11, 1881, no. 281, p. 320.

[31] (Pani Maria Lubieńska zawiadamia…), “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1881 (1), no. 282, p. 331. The Studio was a kind of partnership between the capital and the employees.

[32] (Otrzymaliśmy zawiadomienie…) 1881 (fn. 30).

[33] (Odbieramy odezwę…) 1881 (fn. 30).

[34] Kronika kościelna, “Przegląd Katolicki” 20, 1882, p. 459; cf. T. Szybisty, Sztuka sakralna Krakowa w wieku XIX, Part 4, Malarstwo witrażowe, Kraków 2012, p. 140.

[35] K. Matuszewski, Estetyczne znamiona czasów i ich odbicie się w wyrobach kunsztu i przemysłu od XVI-go wieku do chwili obecnej (Szkice o wystawie dzieł sztuki stosowanej do przemysłu w Pałacu Brühlowskim, od 14 czerwca do 17 lipca 1881 r.), “Biblioteka Warszawska” 3, 1881, p. 346.

[36] Ibidem, p. 333.

[37] (Odbieramy odezwę…) 1881 (fn. 30).

[38] Witraże kościelne, “Kurier Poznański” 33, 1904, no. 214, p. 3. I would like to thank Ryszard Piechowiak for indicating this source to me.

[39] Ibidem; Fański 1904 (fn. 17), p. 5.

[40] Malarstwo na szkle, “Przegląd Katolicki” 13, 1875, no. 15, p. 233.

[41] Ibidem.

[42] Zakład św. Łukasza 1903 (fn. 27).

[43] Księga adresowa przemysłu fabrycznego w Królestwie Polskim na rok 1906, elaborated by L. Jeziorański, Warszawa 1905, item no. 1256.

[44] Ibidem.

[45] Ibidem.

[46] K. Sobkowicz, Architekci wielkopolscy. Biogramy – dzieła – stowarzyszenia, Part 1, Lata 1886–1939, Poznań 1988, p. 9. I would like to thank Ryszard Piechowiak for indicating the connection of T. Pajzderski with the Studio.

[47] Witraże w kościele goworowskim, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1900, no. 19, p. 377.

[48] D. Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska, Działalność Franciszka Białkowskiego i Władysława Skibińskiego. Przyczynek do badań nad dziejami warszawskich pracowni witrażowniczych, „Sacrum et Decorum” 5, 2012, pp. 63–86.

[49] Fański 1904(fn. 17.

[50] (Nekrolog), „Kurier Warszawski” 100, 1920, no. 81 (20 March), p. 13.

[51] G. Rąkowski, Wołyń. Przewodnik po Ukrainie Zachodniej, Part I, Pruszków 2005, p. 73; Poszukiwani spadkobiercy: centrum.jaroslawrokicki.pl [accessed: 28 Sept. 2012].

[52] Quoted after: Szybisty 2012 (fn. 34), p. 141, fn. 313.

[53] Sketches in the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw. I would like to thank dr Tomasz Szybisty for indicating them.

[54] F. M. S. [Sobieszczański], Okno malowane na szkle w kościele św. Jana w Warszawie, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 15, 1875, no. 388, p. 356.

[55] Ibidem.

[56] Malarstwo na szkle 1875 (fn. 40), p. 234.

[57] warszawamoimoczkiem.blogspot.com [accessed: 20 July 2010]. Neither of them has survived.

[58] For this information I would like to thank Andrzej Skalski.

[59] Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce. Seria nowa, vol. 9, fasc. 2, Ciechanowiec, Zambrów, Wysokie Mazowieckie i okolice, elaborated by M. Kałamajska-Saeed, Warszawa 1986, p. 48.

[60] Now the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

[61] J. Dominikowski, Łódzkie witraże przełomu stuleci, in: Dziedzictwo polskiej sztuki witrażowej, red. K. Pawłowska, J. Budyn-Kamykowska, Kraków 2000, pp. 70–71.

[62] Witraże kościelne 1904 (fn. 38).

[63] Warszawa.wikia.com/wiki/Kościół_Wniebowzięcia_Najświętszej_Maryi_Panny [accessed: 9 Mar. 2012]. In 1944 the church was almost totally destroyed.

[64] Malarstwo. Kaplica Seminaryjum łac. w Przemyślu, “Przyjaciel Sztuki Kościelnej” 1, 1883, no. 6, p. 111 (this source also mentions a stained glass window for the Gothic church in Niepołomice); J. Kołaczkowski, Wiadomości tyczące się przemysłu i sztuki dawnej w Polsce, Kraków–Warszawa 1888, p. 586; cf. Szybisty 2012 (fn. 34), p. 140, fn. 312; A. Laskowski, Z prac Regionalnego Ośrodka Badań i Dokumentacji Zabytków w Rzeszowie nad rozpoznaniem zasobu witraży na terenie Polski południowo-wschodniej, “Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej” 56, 2008, no. 1, p. 135, fn. 18.

[65] Pracownia malarska, “Biesiada Literacka” 30, 1890, no. 31, p. 74.

[66] Zakład malowania hr. Marii Łubieńskiej, “Bluszcz” 28, 1892, no. 28, p. 223.

[67] (W kościele św. Aleksandra …), „Bluszcz” 30, 1894, no. 48, p. 384.

[68] I would like to thank dr Tomasz Szybisty for the information.

[69] (W kościele św. Aleksandra…) 1894 (fn. 67); Witraże w kościele goworowskim 1900 (fn. 47). The church was damaged during World War I. At present, it has stained glass windows made by Franciszek Białkowski.

[70] (W kościele św. Antoniego …), “Bluszcz” 30, 1894, no. 18, p. 144.

[71] (W kościele św. Aleksandra …) 1894 (fn. 67).

[72] The panel is stored in the rectory. Under the portrait (in the bust) there is wrapper with the name of the founder, the date of portrait completion and the name of the contractor.

[73] A. Tabaka, M. Błachowicz, O dziewiętnastowiecznym wystroju kościoła Wniebowzięcia NMP w Kaliszu, www.swietyjozef.kalisz.pl/?dzial=Osanktuarium&id=13 [accessed: 20 July 2011].

[74] Dominikowski 2000 (fn. 61), p. 70, wrongly attributes to the Studio the creation of stained glass windows for the chancel and the nave while in reality they were made in the studio of Józef Kosikiewicz in 1891. I would like to thank the Reviewer of the present paper for indicating the correct authorship.

[75] I would like to thank Ms Irena Kontny for pointing out these windows to me and lending me the photographs. Both bear signatures and dates.

[76] It is worth noting that in Kazimierza Wielka, starting from 1845, operated the “Łubna” sugar factory founded by Kazimierz Łubieński, a cousin of the owner of the Studio of St Luke.

[77] J. Żywicki, Architektura neogotycka na Lubelszczyźnie, Lublin 1998, p. 335.

[78] I would like to thank Ms Renata Sarzyńskia-Janczak for lending me the photographs of the windows.

[79] pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huszlew [accessed: 20 May 2012].

[80] J. Kucharska, Ilustrowany przewodnik po zabytkach na Wileńszczyźnie i Żmudzi, Burchard Edition 2004, p. 228.

[81] Program konserwacji witraży w katedrze pw. Opieki Najświętszej Marii Panny w Radomiu. Wersja I, elaborated by Pracownia Furdyna, typescript, Kraków 2007: katedra.radom.opka.org.pl [accessed: 2 Oct. 2011]. The stained glass windows for the remaining window openings were made in the following years in the Warsaw studios of Fanciszek Białkowski and Michał Olszewski. During recent restoration work, the figure of St Francis (previously accompanying St Rosalie) has changed places with St Ladislaus (previously together with St Louis).

[82] Witraże kościelne 1904 (fn. 38).

[83] I would like to thank Ms Joanna Kucięba-Wojciechowska for taking a photograph of it.

[84] Laskowski 2008 (fn. 64), p. 135; A. Szykuła-Żygawska, Zabytkowe witraże w kościołach diecezji zamojsko-lubaczowskiej, “Barwy Szkła” 2012, no. 3, pp. 7–8. I would like to thank Ms Marta Nikiel for taking the photograph.

[85] I would like to thank Mr Andrzej Skalski for the information.

[86] K. Hewner, Kościół Świętych Apostołów Piotra i Pawła w Ciechocinku, Ciechocinek 2001, pp. 29–30. I would like to thank Mr Andrzej Bochacz for photographing the stained glass windows.

[87] K. Mączewska, Kościół parafialny pw. Świętych Piotra i Pawła w Wasiliszkach Starych, in: Kościoły i klasztory rzymskokatolickie dawnego województwa wileńskiego, vol. 3, ed. M. Kałamajska-Saeed, Kraków 2010 (= Materiały do dziejów sztuki sakralnej na ziemiach wschodnich dawnej Rzeczypospolitej, ed. J. Ostrowski, Part III), pp. 81–82, figs. 193–210.

[88] Ibidem, figs. 193 and 202, and Hewner 2001 (fn. 86), fig. 31.

[89] Mączewska 2010 (fn. 87), p. 82, fig. 200.

[90] Ibidem, fig. 199.

[91] Ibidem, figs. 200, 201, 203, 204, 205, 207, 208.

[92] Edward Łubieński (1819–1867), a writer and a Catholic and conservative activist, buried in the church of St Claudius in Rome.

[93] I would like to thank Ms Katarzyna Tur-Marciszuk for the information and the photographs of the windows.

[94] I would like to thank Mr Andrzej Skalski for the information.

[95] Żywicki 1998 (fn. 77), p. 258.

[96] T.K., Kościół św. św. Piotra i Pawła – Kurowo, pow. Sierpecki, forum.tradytor.pl [accessed: 21 June 2011].

[97] Witraże kościelne 1904 (fn. 38).

[98] Szybisty 2012 (fn. 34).

[99] Zakład św. Łukasza 1903 (fn. 1906).

[100] (W kościele św. Aleksandra …) 1894 (fn. 67).

[101] J. Dziekoński, (Zbudowany podług …), “Architekt” 6, 1905, fasc. 7, col. 110.

[102] Cf. fn. 70.

[103] I would like to thank Ms Katarzyna Tur-Marciszuk for the information. According to the present pastor, the Rev. Bogdan Zagórski, there used to be another two stained glass windows in the chancel: St Nicholas and Merciful Jesus.

[104] Sobieszczański 1875 (fn. 54).

[105] O oknach w kościele, “Przyjaciel Sztuki Kościelnej” 3, 1885, no. 4, p. 43.

[106] E. Niewiadomski, Malarstwo polskie XIX wieku, Warszawa 1926, p. 294.

[107] Frycz 1974 (fn. 11); D. Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska, Witraże w Krakowie. Dzieła i twórcy, “Krakowska Teka Konserwatorska” 5, 2000, pp. 33–36.

[108] Artystki polskie 1991 (fn. 17) , p. 232. Drawings signed by Łubieńska appear on art auctions.

 

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