Stanisław Wyspiański lived at the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries in Kraków. He was one of the greatest Polish artists and a real „Renaissance man”! During his life he was a painter, a poet, a playwright, he designed clothes, furniture and stain glass windows, decorated church walls and ceilings with his paintings and ornaments…His art was truly special!
Stanisław was also known for his crazy lifestyle, he didn’t avoid any stimulants nor pleasures of life. He loved Polish folklore and the traditional Polish countryside culture, he didn’t care about the etiquette nor the conventions of those times and so, even though he came from the well educated family fromthe city, he married a countryside girl. Due to his reckless lifestyle and… his bad luck he died very young – being only 38 years old. He died due to syphilis, which he caught during one of his trips to Paris. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take the medicine, because he was allergic to penicillin!
There is even this one Kraków’s legend about Stanisław Wyspiański. It’s a legend about one special bell (about which I’ll tell you in another newsletter soon!) – Sigismundus Bell! It’s a bell that rings on the most important holidays and national events of Poland. The story says, that when Wyspiański was a little boy, together with his friends they sneaked into the Wawel’s Cathedra and rang theSigismundus Bell. The bell ringer who worked there, caught the boys red handed and pulled them out of the tower by the ears. “You have to earn it for Sigismundus to ring for you!” – he yelled. That moment, little Stanisław promised (himself and the bell ringer), that “one day, Sigismundus will play for me, don’t you worry about it!”. The bell ringer laughted in the face of the insolent boy. And 30 years later, during the crowded, national funeral of Stanisław Wyspiański, for him and for him only, Sigismundus rang from the top of the tower of the Wawel’s Cathedra.