News Consular Information Consulate Polish community
18 September 2012
Based upon the information from the Forest Lawn Memorial Park http://www.forestlawn.com/Special-Events-And-Facilities/Hall-Of-The-Crucifixion-Resurrection.asp?id=2
“The masterpiece of noted Polish artist Jan Styka, The Crucifixion is the largest framed mounted to canvas painting in the world, standing 195' long by 45' high.
What makes The Crucifixion so impressive is not its size, but its detail. "It is not just a great painting," said George Stout, President of the International Society for the Preservation of Museum Objects, when he inspected it, "it is many masterful paintings within a painting."
In 1894, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, noted musician, statesman, and Premier of Poland conceived a painting of The Crucifixion of Christ and inspired fellow countryman Jan Styka with the idea. For two years, the artist studied and sketched in the Holy Land - and on his way back to Poland, Styka knelt in Rome before Pope Leo the XIII to have his palette blessed. The gigantic canvas, made to order, awaited his return.
The first exhibition in Warsaw was marked by all Europe as the great religious and artistic event of the century. In 1904, Styka brought the painting to America hoping to see it displayed at the St. Louis Exposition, but no suitable place was found. Pressed with obligations and expenses, he was forced to return to Poland without his masterpiece. He never saw it again.
The Crucifixion was lost to the world until news of its existence reached Dr. Hubert Eaton, Founder of Forest Lawn. After a lengthy search, he located and purchased the painting in 1944 and set in motion the work that would lead to its permanent display.”
The painting is accompanied at the exhibition by a number of other artifacts related to Poland – i.e. Styka’s palette and his self-portrait, letter from I. J. Paderewski to Jan Styka, medals, official recognitions by Polish governments and Polonia organizations. A very touching place for any Pole and Catholic of any nativity.
1712 South Glendale Avenue