Permanent exhibition

Gallery of Old European Masters

Address Aleje Jerozolimskie 3, Warszawa
Tags Paintings
Entry PLN 10–15
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The former galleries: the Gallery of Decorative Arts and the Gallery of European and Polish Old Masters of the National Museum in Warsaw have been merged to form the new Gallery of Old Masters. Bringing together diverse art forms, they intend to move away from the traditional discourse of art history where the “high” pictorial art — painting, sculpture, drawing and graphic arts were separated from decorative arts understood exclusively in utilitarian terms. Yet such division did not exist in the past. Generally speaking, all art forms were perceived as equal. If any of them was considered superior, it was not painting or sculpture but goldsmithery and tapestry weaving. The very notion of art – Latin ars (followed by Italian arte and French art), Greek techne, German and Dutch Kunst – originally signified artistry, skillful execution, craft. What was most highly esteemed in painting and sculpture was exactly artisanal expertise, virtuosity of workmanship.



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