0216 Under the Pressure of ‘Polonization’ Ideology: Renaissance and Baroque Art in Silesia in the Works of Polish Art Historians after 1945

  • Andrzej Kozieł (Author)
    Wrocław Institute of Art History, University of Wrocław, Poland

    Born in 1966, Andrzej Kozieł is an art historian and professor at the University of Wrocław. He specializes in Baroque painting and drawing in Central Europe and is the author resp. co-author of: Rysunki Michaela Willmanna (1630–1706) [Drawings of Michael Willmann (1630–1706)] (2000), Op Nederlandse manier: inspiracje niderlandzkie w sztuce śląskiej XV–XVIII w.: katalog wystawy [Op Nederlandse Manier. Netherlandish Inspirations in Silesian Art of the 15th–18th Century] (2001), Michael Willmann und sein Kreis: Johann Christoph Liška, Georg Wilhelm Neunhertz und Johann Jacob Eybelwieser – Zeichnungen (2001), Angelus Silesius, Bernhard Rosa i Michael Willmann, czyli sztuka i mistyka na Śląsku w czasach baroku [Angelus Silesius, Bernhard Rosa and Michael Willmann or Art and Mysticism in Silesia in Baroque Times] (2006), Obrazy Michaela Willmanna pod lupą [with German summary: Michael Willmanns Gemälde unter der Lupe] (2010), Michael Willmann i jego malarska pracownia [Michael Willmann and His Studio] (2013) and over 60 articles. He was organizer and co-organizer of several exhibitions and international conferences and is engaged in several projects promoting Baroque art in Silesia, e.g. “The Virtual Museum of Baroque Ceiling Paintings in Silesia”.

Identifiers (Article)


This article explores a neglected topic: Polish research into the Early Modern period of Silesian art under Socialism. Although this epoch has never been quite as popular as the Medieval period as a subject of art historical research, its position was to fall victim to the ‘re-Polonization’ efforts of Polish art historians during the period after Silesia had been incorporated into the Polish state. This paper gives an overview of the numerous studies on Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture that appeared in the period from the difficult first years after the Second World War until the early 1960s, when the phenomenon of ‘Polonization’ of Early Modern Silesian art began to subside. It raises issues relating to the compatibility of Communist and nationalist ideologies and seeks to give reasons for the stance taken by the art historians involved in the story.


Polish art history, Marian Morelowski, Polonization, Silesia, Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture