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Sold at Auction: Zofia Stryjenska

Alias:Zofia LubańskaZofia Stryjeński
PainterIllustratorCommercial artist


Zofia Stryjenska (13 May 1891, in Kraków – 1976, in Geneva) – Polish painter, graphic designer, illustrator, stage designer, a representative of art deco. Along with Olga Boznanska and Tamara de Lempicka, she was one of the best-known Polish women artists of the interwar period. In the 1930s she was nominated for the prestigious Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature, but declined the offer.

Stryjenska was the oldest of six children of Franciszek Lubanski. As a child, she often drew and painted. She first attended a craft school, then a teacher's seminary, and until 1909 Leonard Stroynowski's private art school. In 1909 she started to study painting at the Maria Niedzielska fine art school for women. She graduated in 1911 with honors for painting and applied art. In 1910 she joined her father on a trip to Italy via Austria-Hungary, during which they visited galleries and museums in Vienna and Venice. As a young girl she worked for magazines such as "Role" and "Voice of the People".

On October 1, 1911 she was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich; only 40 of around 200 applicants were taken. She used the name of her brother, Tadeusz Grzymala Lubanski and dressed like a boy because at the time, the academy did not accept women.[1] After a year, her fellow students started to become suspicious. She returned to Kraków, where she worked on painting and literature. Her first artistic success came in 1912, when the Kraków Society of Friends of Fine Art included 18 of her watercolour illustrations of Polish Fables in its exhibition.
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