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The Literature of Polish Romanticism in Its European Contexts

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Edited By Krzysztof Trybuś

The book contains essays on the heterogeneity of Polish Romantic literature and its links with Europe’s cultural heritage. The essays deal with, among other topics, the idea of beauty and truth, correspondences between the arts, the role of tradition and memory in the Romantic era, and the significance of mysticism and irony. The authors of the essays write about such seemingly distant issues as music and revolution in Chopin’s times, and travel to places as disparate as Siberia and Italy. Their thematically diverse reflections are linked by questions they pose about the romantic roots of today’s Europe. The works of Mickiewicz and other Romantic poets discussed in this book thus clearly do not concern merely the past, but also speak to the present day, describing the experiences of everyday life in its various dimensions.

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Italian Renaissance Art in Teofil Lenartowicz’s Literary and Visual Creative Output: A Case Study

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Abstract: The chapter is devoted to the treatment of Renaissance culture in the work of Teofil Lenartowicz. The author of the chapter discusses how the artist turned to this period in his writings, published in the form of letters in the Polish press and in poems, and in sculptures created by Lenartowicz. These reveal the presence of Renaissance culture in his work in their form and inspirations. His goal was to create a bridge between this culture and the romantic imagination and to bring knowledge about the art of the Italian revival to the nineteenth-century.

Keywords: Lenartowicz, literature, art, neo-renaissance, Italy

Teofil Aleksander Lenartowicz, a Polish nobleman of the Pobóg heraldic clan, was born on 27 February 1822 in Warsaw, and died on 3 February 1893 in Florence. He is mainly remembered as a poet, but he was also a sculptor, ethnographer and conspirator. His contemporaries, as well as more recent researchers, described him as the bard of Masovia, or the hermit of Arno. His literary works often express folkloristic, religious and patriotic themes,1 a tendency that was noted in early critical discussions of the poet’s work.2 Although they were subsequently questioned,3 these descriptions have reinforced the general conviction ←169 | 170→that Lenartowicz was a folksy poet of limited thematic range, whose poetry was schematically styled on peasants’ songs, and whose views were narrow-minded. However, over the last twenty-five years, in the wake of a renewed interest in late-Romantic Polish poets,...

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