District Museum in Suwalki
16-400 Suwałki, ul. T. Kościuszki 81 | tel. (+48) 87 566 57 50
Exhibition in the form
of panoramic presentation



The realisation of the presentation funded
as part of the programme EU Interreg Lietuva-Polska
Project: LT-PL-5R-389

Fair [Borderland Market]

Fair [Borderland Market]
1900, oil, canvas, 75,5 x 126 cm
private collection

In 1900 Stanisław Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz left Munich and returned to Poland. Fair, which was painted in that period, is a closure in the stage of his education and search. This multifaceted genre scene, set in the extensive panorama of a borderland town echoes the craftsmanship of Polish artists of the Munich School. Those painters often employed motives from the life and customs of the countryside or towns.
The composition is built on a few levels. In the foreground, on the left side of the axis, the artist placed a large figurative group seen slightly from above. Next to the people, there is a disengaged cart with oxen and just behind their backs, there are a few adjoining low cottages with widely spread roofs. This section of the painting is shown in front of the viewer, unlike the first one. This inconsistency of the points of view of the two fragments allowed the artist to fit them in the canvas and to create the impression of depth. In the central point of the composition there is a small figure of a Jew, who is turned backwards and is talking about something. In the congestion of figures, carts and animals, his partly visible silhouette with a hand raised in a rhetorical gesture becomes central due to this effect.
Opening on the far left, there is a view over a widely spread town. It is a counterbalance to the congestion of the focal scene, which takes up almost the whole surface of the canvas. The panorama of the town shown slightly from above, with a line of the horizon placed high, gives the Fair a feeling of vastness.
In his painting Stanisław Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz used a broad palette of warm, clean colors. Golds, reds, blues create rhythmical patches against the background of the ochres and browns, spread tonally from very light, straw-coloured shades to shining and saturated. The foreground and the background have an intensive colour scheme, which fades and loses colour, turning into light blue of the sky just above the strong line of the horizon.
The painting was created with a lot of ease. The tracing of the wide brush is energetic, seemingly without applying any rules. It is, particularly, visible at the front, in the sections of sandy ground with green patches. To paint the background panorama of the town, the artist used a small brush, applying the paint lightly and transparently.
Fair is a brilliantly depicted genre scene with figures typical of borderlands such as a Jew in a gaberdine and a hat and peasants listening to him with attention. They are wearing boots, shirts bloused over trousers and characteristic warm hats.
It is one of very few scenes in the work of Stanisław Bohusz-Siestrzeńcewicz with such a broadly shown background, taking place in an open, sunlit space.