Sports Motifs in Interwar Polish Art — a Reconnaissance
Sport is an important cultural phenomenon permeating many spheres of human activity. It has a great strength of influence and is constantly present in art and literature, also in Poland. Artists, especially the ones being lovers of sport, have always been fascinated with the potential existing in different kinds of games.
After regaining independence in 1918, physical activity enjoyed great popularity in the awakening Polish state. Sport was seen as achance of broadly understood renaissance of the nation; in addition, its role in preparing the army to fight in the times of still real threats was appreciated. A positive influence of sport on youth was also seen. It also entered the world of art.
The aim of this paper is to present Polish artists inspired by sport, also including laureates of the Art Competitions at the Summer Olympics, like (for example) poet Kazimierz Wierzyński, painter Władysław Skoczylas or sculptor Józef Klukowski. The author analyses both their motivations and the artistic output. The examination is preceded by an introduction showing the beginnings of Polish art inspired by sport and entertainment, whose elements one will find for example in the case of Leon Wyczółkowski or Wojciech Kossak, as well as the beginnings of sports literature. The history of the presence of sport in Polish art and literature is quite rich. The research enquired exploration of the history of Polish antebellum sport, looking over the works of artists interested in sport, as well as familiarising oneself with numerous publications devoted to this phenomenon.