Born in the Free City of Kraków in 1838, Matejko's talent for art was evident from a young age. He studied in Kraków, at the School of Fine Arts, as well as in Munich and Vienna, but soon returned to his home town. He established a studio here, in his family home, and over the next few decades his historical and political paintings, often depicting famous events in Polish history, began to gain him international recognition. In 1872, he became Director of the School of Fine Arts where he had formally studied.
The Jan Matejko House, which opened in 1904, preserves and displays over 6,000 objects relating to the artist in the old Kraków building where he lived, worked and, finally, died. The collection includes everyday objects and personal artefacts, archives, sketches and and oil paintings, as well as Matejko's own significant collection. Today, it is managed by the National Museum in Kraków, which puts on a range of temporary exhibitions, as well as educational programs and public lectures.
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