Young Poland: Wikis


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Stanisław Wyspiański self-portrait in soft pastel
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Young Poland (Polish: Młoda Polska) is a modernist period in Polish visual arts, literature and music, covering roughly the years between 1890 and 1918. It was a result of strong aesthetic opposition to the ideas of Positivism. Młoda Polska promoted trends of decadence, neo-romanticism, symbolism, impressionism and art nouveau.



The term was coined after a manifesto by Artur Górski, published in 1898 in the Kraków newspaper Życie (Life), and was soon adopted in all of partitioned Poland by analogy to similar terms such as Young Germany, Young Belgium, Young Scandinavia, etc.

Polish literature of the period was based on two main concepts. The earlier was a typically modernist disillusionment with the bourgeoisie, its life style and its culture. Artists following this concept also believed in decadence, an end of all culture, conflict between humans and their civilization, and the concept of art as the highest value (art for art's sake). Authors who followed this concept included Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Stanisław Przybyszewski, Wacław Rolicz-Lieder and Jan Kasprowicz.

A later concept was a continuation of romanticism, and as such is often called neo-romanticism. The group of writers following this idea was less organised and the writers themselves covered a large variety of topics in their writings: from sense of mission of a Pole in Stefan Żeromski's prose, through social inequality described by Władysław Reymont and Gabriela Zapolska to criticism of Polish society and Polish history by Stanisław Wyspiański.

Writers of this period include also: Wacław Berent, Jan Kasprowicz, Jan Augustyn Kisielewski, Antoni Lange, Jan Lemański, Bolesław Leśmian, Tadeusz Miciński, Andrzej Niemojewski, Franciszek Nowicki, Władysław Orkan, Artur Oppman, Włodzimierz Perzyński, Tadeusz Rittner, Wacław Sieroszewski, Leopold Staff, Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Maryla Wolska, and Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński.

Music and visual arts

In music, the term Young Poland is applied to an informal group of composers that include Karol Szymanowski, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Ludomir Różycki and possibly Mieczysław Karłowicz. The group was under strong influence of neoromanticism in music and especially of foreign composers such as Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner and those belonging to The Mighty Handful group e.g. Modest Musorgski, Alexander Borodin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

In the period of Young Poland there were no overwhelming trends in Polish art. The painters and sculptors tried to continue the romantic traditions with new ways of expression popularised abroad. The most influential trend was art nouveau, although Polish artists started to seek also some form of a national style (see also: styl zakopiański). Both sculpture and painting were also heavily influenced by all forms of symbolism.[1]


Prominent painters and sculptors

See also

Notes and references


  • Dobrowolski Tadeusz, Sztuka Młodej Polski, Warszawa 1963.
  • Słownik artystów polskich i obcych w Polsce działających. Malarze, rzeźbiarze, graficy, t. II, Wrocław 1975 (Urszula Leszczyńska).
  • Puciata-Pawłowska Joanna, Konstanty Laszczka, Siedlce 1980.

Simple English

's self-portrait]] Young Poland (in Polish: Młoda Polska) is a period modernist of Polish art, literature and music. This period covered about the years since 1890 until 1918. It was one of the effects of the strong opposition to the ideas of the positivism and developed the nature of decadence, of neoromanticism, of symbolism, of impressionism, and of the Art Nouveau.



The expression was known after one of the manifestos written by Artur Górski. The manifesto was published in the daily (newspaper) Życie ("Life"), seated in Cracow, in the year 1898, and was immediately accepted in all the parts of the divided Poland, by analogy with other similar expressions as Young Germany, Young Belgium, Young Scandinavia and so on.


Polish literature of the period was based on two main understandings:

  • The first understanding was the usual modernist state of being disappointed by bourgeoisie, its way of life and its culture. The artists who follow this understanding believed also in the decadence, in the end of all the culture, in the conflict between the people and its civilisation, and in the understanding of art as highest value (in Latin: ars gratia artis). Among other writers there are Kazimierz Przerwa Tetmajer, Stanisław Przybyszewski, Wacław Rolicz-Lieder and Jan Kasprowicz.
  • The second understanding was the continuation of the romanticism, and for this reason is called neoromanticism. The group of writers which followed this idea was less organized and the writers independently covered a wide area of subjects in their writings: from the sense of the mission of the Polish in the prose of Stefan Żeromski to the social inequality described by Władysław Reymont and Gabriela Zapolska, to criticizing the Polish people and to the history of Poland described by Stanisław Wyspiański.

Other important writers of the period were:

  • Wacław Berent
  • Jan Kasprowicz
  • Jan Augustyn Kisielewski
  • Antoni Lange
  • Jan Lemański
  • Bolesław Leśmian
  • Tadeusz Miciński
  • Andrzej Niemojewski
  • Franciszek Nowicki
  • Władysław Orkan
  • Artur Oppman
  • Włodzimierz Perzyński
  • Tadeusz Rittner
  • Wacław Sieroszewski
  • Leopold Staff
  • Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer
  • Maryla Wolska
  • Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński


In music, the expression Young Poland is put into use to an informal group of composers which include Karol Szymanowski, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Ludomir Różycki and probably also Mieczysław Karłowicz. This group worked under the strong influence of the neoromanticism of the music, and especially of composers from another countries as Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. The composers would be also strong links with the The Five, a group of composers Russian which included Modest Musorgski, Alexander Borodin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.


In the period of the Young Poland there weren't great artistic currents in the Polish art. The painters and the sculptors attempted to continue in the romantic tradition, in bringing new ways of expression already popular in another countries. The more influential current was the Art Nouveau, even if the Polish artists started attempting also new forms of national style. The sculptura just like the painture of the period were strongly influenced by all the forms of the symbolism.

Main artists of the period

  • Olga Boznańska
  • Konstanty Brandel
  • Xawery Dunikowski
  • Julian Fałat
  • Jacek Malczewski
  • Józef Mehoffer
  • Józef Pankiewicz
  • Ferdynand Ruszczyc
  • Jan Stanisławski
  • Władysław Ślewiński
  • Wojciech Weiss
  • Leon Wyczółkowski
  • Stanisław Wyspiański
  • Jan Bukowski


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