Polish Artists Love of Mary on Display
CINCINNATIFor Polish artist Malarstwo
Wiesławy Kwiatkowskiej, the Virgin Mary holds a special place in her 93-year-old heart. Mary is the
special protector of the Polish people, guiding them through their daily lives
and throughout the countrys tumultuous history, including World War II and over
40 years of Communism. Now, 54 of Kwiatkowskiejs oil paintings will be
exhibited in Ohio at the University of Daytons Marian Library May 17-September
Twelve of these vibrant and spirited artworks illustrate St.
Anthony Messengers June cover photo story entitled, Charming Madonnas
From Poland. Managing Editor Barbara Beckwith writes of the artists evocative
renditions of the Virgin Mary in everyday life. After May 18, the article will
be found at: AmericanCatholic.org.
To Kwiatkowskiej, Mary is more than mother of Jesus. The artist renders her in a
variety of ways: as a brunette, a redhead, a blonde, a young child, a teenager,
a loving mother as well as a grieving mother. Illustrating bits of Polish
poetry that speak of Mary, she uses her skill and faith to create the paintings,
which are on loan from the Diocesan Museum in Plock, a section of which is now
named for her.
Its little surprise that Kwiatkowskiejs work is as enchanting as a fairy tale. She illustrated Hans Christian Andersons
stories and The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupéry. The artists paintings of the Virgin Mary are equally colorful
and full of life. Her fantastic yet realistic flowers, plants and birds spill
out of the canvas onto the frames, in an effort to eliminate the distance
between the viewer and the work, Beckwith writes.
And all of Kwiatkowskiejs paintings have significant, sometimes historical meaning.
She depicts Mary visiting a slain Polish soldier on Brzozowa Street during the
1944 Warsaw Uprising, where 25,000 Poles died fighting the Nazis. Many of the
artists paintings reflect Marys affinity with the natural world: One is of
Mary and her son fleeing on the back of a deer, and another shows her walking
barefoot through a wintry forest.
Though Kwiatkowskiejs work is often visually complex, the artists message is simple.
The artist hopes her paintings will lead viewers to prayer, Beckwith writes.
She offers her work as an invitation to enter a world permeated by the love of
God and Mary and to rejoice in the closeness of her son.
granted to reprint this release.