JAN VANRIET ENTERS THE NATIONAL MUSEUM GDANSK
Polo Gallery proudly announces
that the paintings The Promise and The Three Graces by Jan Vanriet have entered the
permanent collections of The National Museum Gdansk. The former painting
alludes to the false political promise of reconstructing Poland and the latter
to three young women who were deported to Nazi concentration camps.
Jan Vanriet is a pivotal figure of Belgian narrative painting. His intellectual resources and technical virtuosity enable him to embrace the essential and universal by reducing forms to signs and symbols through restrained means. He applies evocative colours with carefully constructed, lyrical pictorial surfaces, almost as if he was inventing a mysterious calligraphy from his sensitive brushstrokes. His style – or, as French art historian Michel Laclotte puts it, « maniera » – follows a path reflecting the lifelong themes of his work: man and nature oppressed by the unyielding march of history.
The National Museum in Gdańsk, one of the oldest in Poland, inherited the collections and traditions of two institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Gdańsk and the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
The museum's main building is a late Gothic Franciscan abbey converted into a museum in the nineteenth century. Since then, it has acquired wonderful works of art – paintings and works on paper by European masters, tapestries, ceramics, sculpture, furniture and metal artefacts. The donations and legacies of Gdańsk and Pomeranian families played an important role in the collections' evolution.
To accommodate its important and rich collections, the museum has expanded into several departments and buildings. The National Museum's main building houses the Historical Art Department, including Hans Memling's masterpiece The Last Judgement, the jewel of its collections and the most valued work of art in Poland.