Kielce National Museum purchases painting by Nobel Prize winner

"Venice" by Henryk Sienkiewicz and "Landscape With a River" by Józef Szermentowski are two paintings that have recently enriched the paintings collection of the National Museum in Kielce, central Poland.

Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Nobel Prize winner and an acclaimed Polish author of, among others, the "Trilogy" is little known for his painting career. The theme of this particular work is not accidental - it was Venice where he met his first wife, and spent a honeymoon with his second one.

Painted in 1894, "Venice" is the first painting signed by Henryk Sienkiewicz in the collection of the Museum.

"Landscape With a River" is the 35th work of Józef Szermentowski owned by the museum in Kielce.

"This is one of the most valuable and interesting paintings of this painter, as it originates from the last period of his oeuvre, when he finally chose his path. He was a great landscape painter and precursor of Polish realism," the vice-director of the museum in Kielce Daria Dyktyńska said.

The museum paid a total of PLN 170,000 (EUR 39,000) for both paintings. The purchase was financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and from the funds of the local government of Świętokrzyskie Province.

"As part of this ministerial program, we have already purchased nearly 30 paintings, for a total amount well over PLN 1 mln. The purchase of these paintings is part of our institution's development strategy. We try to collect paintings of artists who were associated with the Świętokrzyskie region, but are also known in the country as well as abroad, the director of the National Museum in Kielce Robert Kotowski said.

The newly purchased work by Józef Szermentowski will be exhibited in the Gallery of Polish Painting and European Decorative Art among other works in the autumn 2019.