Beksiński created his works out of a sense of fear, loneliness, and a strong conviction about the nothingness of life and the power of death. His painting is characterized by very careful workmanship. He presented scenes existing somewhere on the verge of reality. The artist was not interested in objects as they appear in reality but transformed only for the use of art, which, in his opinion, does not consist in reflecting nature but in presenting visions. Beksiński's works show the world as we see it in a dream—in dreams, however, this transformed world appears to us as natural.
It is not entirely right to identify Beksiński's style with Surrealism. The method of free associations connected it with this movement, but the artist himself felt the strongest connection with the painting of the 19th century. Do you also associate this picture with the Rouen Cathedral series by Monet?
Unlike Surrealists, Beksiński did not have a strict artistic program, and his paintings did not transform the reality completely. The process of their creation can be divided into "photographing" the visions that the artist experienced and then painting the rest of the scene.
The work presented today comes from the 1980s, from the period when the artist painted pictures in which the significance is not as important as it was in his earlier works. He himself emphasized that searching for a hidden meaning in his visions made no sense; one must simply absorb this world without trying to explain it rationally.
- Judyta Dąbrowska
We present this painting thanks to the Historical Museum in Sanok.
P.S. Fascinated by this painting? Get to know more about the dystopian Surrealism of Zdzisław Beksiński here.