RIHA Journal – new article online!

"Public Commemoration, Modern National Identity and the Crisis of Neoclassicism – The Case of Early Nineteenth-Century 'Resurrected' Poland" by Mikołaj Getka-Kenig
RIHA Journal – new article online!

Bertel Thorvaldsen, Model for Monument to Józef Poniatowski, 1829/30, lithography, 21.8 x 17.2 cm, The National Library, Warsaw (photo: POLONA)


The years between 1815 and 1830 constitute an important period in the history of Poles as a modern national community. During these years, the traditional way of thinking about Poles as a nation of nobles was gradually giving way to a more democratic vision. This socio-political transformation coincided with the development of Neoclassicism in the fine arts. However, the artistic canon of ideal forms appreciated by academics and aristocratic art lovers alike proved too hermetic for modern artistic enterprises such as public monuments of heroes cherished by the masses. This article investigates two such monuments: Bertel Thorvaldsen’s equestrian statue of prince Józef Poniatowski in Warsaw, and the monument to national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko in Cracow.


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RIHA Journal is the eJournal of the International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art: https://www.riha-journal.org/.

RIHA Journal's managing editor is based at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich.