Examples of sculpture of the second phase of classicism.
European classicism in its finally crystallized and mature form produced two outstanding artists. They are Canova and Thorwaldsen.
ANTONIO CANOVA (1757—1822) represents an exquisite and lyrical classicism. In his statues, figural and portrait groups masterfully carved in white marble, the ancient meets the modern. The artist is equally eager to sculpt figures from ancient mythology (np. Amor i Psyche z Luwru), and contemporary figures, sometimes posed as ancient heroes, half clothed or in ancient Greek clothes. The sculptural form of his statues, conceived of sincere enthusiasm for antiquity, through the grace and subtlety of the characters presented, with graceful gestures, as if taken from a minuet, however, it makes us think about the influence of the French Rococo. Idealizing figure shapes and facial features (np. in a portrait of Napoleon from. 1802), in some portraits, Canova is won over for expressive realism. This is evidenced by the portraits of Popes Clement XIII and Pius VII, whom, for the sake of their position, he could not bestow the costume or features of ancient heroes.
More powerful, Danish BERTHEL THORWALDSEN played a classic chord (1770—1844), a worshiper of Greek and Roman art, undisturbed by any influences, serious and severe in its statics, dignified statues and figural groups, like for example. frieze Procession of Alexander the Great, in which the note of sculptures from the pediment of the Athenian Parthenon resounds.
In the 1830s,. several works by the excellent sculptor were commissioned for Poland. They include m. in. two monuments in Warsaw: ks. Józef Poniatowski and Mikołaj Copernicus and the statue of Włodzimierz Potocki in the Wawel Cathedral.
The monument to Copernicus was completed by Thorwaldsen in. 1828, statue of Fr. Poniatowski a year later. A summary of Pinck's work discussed above (Jan III Sobieski on horseback) with the monument to Poniatowski clearly illustrates the significant differences between the dynamism of the Baroque, still lingering until the end of the eighteenth century., with static, harmony, clarity of form and haughty coolness of classicism.
The news will be interesting, that the statue of. Poniatowski, today we have such a sentiment both as a work of art, as well as one of the symbols of old Warsaw, at the time of its creation, it was not received very favorably. Admittedly, he was not denied artistic values, but they did not want to donate the ancient costume, in which a Danish artist dressed a heroic Pole. That patriotic note, this sense of national separateness and this attachment to the history of the country are related to the traditions of the Polish Enlightenment and at the same time testify to the gradually rising wave of romanticism, which will soon take over Polish art.
An outstanding Polish sculptor of that time was JAKUB TATARKIEWICZ (1798—1854), Thorwaldsen's student. In Tatarkiewicz's work, classicism and romanticism alternately come to the fore, but mostly both, fundamentally contradictory trends, they come together in one work. In the figures of Stanisław Kostka Potocki and his wife carved on the slab of the tomb in Wilanów one can see, that the spirit of Romanticism was understood by Tatarkiewicz as a return to the forms of the Middle Ages. But in his numerous portrait busts of Napoleon, Kosciuszko, ks. Joseph or Chopin, the artist skillfully combines classicism with romanticism and certain manifestations of realistic characteristics.