Members' talk and Q&A
Join Christopher Riopelle, The Neil Westreich Curator of Post 1800 Paintings, for an introduction to our new exhibition, Conversations with God: Jan Matejko’s Copernicus.
Jan Matejko’s (1838–1893) epic painting ‘Astronomer Copernicus’ unites two of Poland’s most famous figures.
On loan from Kraków's historic Jagiellonian University, one of Europe’s oldest founded in the 14th century, this is the first time that we’ve exhibited a painting by a Polish artist.
Despite being largely unknown outside his homeland, Matejko is regarded as the national painter of Poland. His huge paintings, showing iconic events from Polish history, are part and parcel of Poland’s national identity.
This painting celebrates one of the most important names in the history of science, Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473—1543); known for his theory, published in 1543, which proposed the solar system with the sun at its centre and the planets orbiting around it.