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Poland and Artistic Culture of Western Europe

14 th –20 th Century


Edited By Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarminska and Lech Sokol

In ten studies by Polish authors this book offers an overview of Polish artistic culture and its relation to Western European culture. Thematically, it ranges from fine arts, sculpture and architecture to music, drama and theatre, spanning seven centuries of European artistic culture. While forming an array of topics, it provides a perfect factual introduction into history of art and culture of Eastern and Western Europe for both professionals and readers interested in the humanities. Not only does the book provide historical knowledge, it also helps to understand the peculiar character of Polish culture by triggering the imagination. Absorbing cultural influences from the West, Poland usually tried to integrate these into its own traditions, transferring Western culture further into other parts of Eastern Europe. On other occasions Poland is broadcasting its own culture to the outside world.
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Małgorzata Omilanowska, Polish Architects Studying in Berlin in the Nineteenth Century


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Małgorzata Omilanowska


Artistic relations between Poland and German cultural centres constitute a very broad topic covering a number of different aspects starting from the early Middle Ages.1 At various stages the leading position has been taken by different German cities and centres. Berlin began to play a significant role in the history of German culture, reaching its status of a great cultural centre, in practical terms, only in the eighteenth century. The links of Polish culture with Berlin in the eighteenth century were still relatively weak. Poland, politically targeted at Saxony, did not have at that time many factors in common with the Prussian capital. The situation changed only with the partitioning of Poland, since a part of that country ended up within the sphere of Prussian interests.

We can actually speak of Berlin exerting influence only in relation to the nineteenth century. It was then that the capital of Prussia, and later of the German Empire, became almost the major centre of foreign art, especially for Poznań and other Polish centres which were within the Prussian partition. Interestingly, however, the influence of Berlin was not limited only to those areas, but in the course of time, with its power growing, it began to have an increasing impact also on the territories of the Austrian and Russian partitions, despite the natural tendency of the towns in those partitions to gravitate towards...

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