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Henryk Sienkiewicz Monument (Warsaw, Poland)

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Monument to the Polish Nobel prize-winning Writer in Warsaw.

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      07.09.2011 14:45
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      Lazienki Park has to be one of the most beautiful parks in Warsaw if not the most beautiful. It is vast, shady, full of palatial buildings, ancient trees, beautiful flowers, red squirrels and monuments. Every time I visit I find a new monument which always makes me happy. Sometimes I don't always know who the person is that the monument is commemorating like the one I am going to tell you about in a second but it doesn't matter - I still stand for 10 to 15 minutes admiring the artwork, always clicking away, taking as many photos as possible.

      Henryka Sienkiewicza - who is he? A Polish writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905. Towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century his work became very popular amongst the Polish people and within many literary circles. The only two novels I have heard of are; Trilogy which was published during the years 1884 to 1888 including a story called Fire and Sword from which a film was made and of course Quo Vadis, written in 1896.

      The monument dedicated to this fine Polish writer is an interesting one. At first, I was attracted to the setting rather than the sculpture. I love the way it is set in the middle of a small glade in the wooded area of the park very near to one of the main entrances and a few metres walk away from the monument dedicated to Frederic Chopin. On the day we visited a couple of weeks ago it was good to step into the glade. It was far more peaceful than looking at the Chopin monument as there was a free concert taking place and that area was packed out.

      The monument itself is a bit bulky. It doesn't quite have the flow of some of the other monuments in the park but it's okay. The more I scrutinised it the more I liked it. At first you may not be able to work out the symbolism. You might just think that this is a sculpture showing the novelist sat in his chair pontificating but if you look closely you will see that the base of the chair is in flames. The flames represent the troubled times in Poland during the 17th century. These times are represented in his novel, Trilogy.

      What I really liked about the design of the sculpture was the way the folds of his long coat at the back fell. It was lovely as if someone had draped a curtain over his shoulders. Polish sculptor, Gustav Zemla certainly had an eye for detail which you can witness on the cut of his coat and the beautiful way in which he crafted the fingers on his left hand as he holds on tightly to the side of the chair. Each finger is long and slightly bent; the detailed representation of every fingernail, shortly cropped and the way in which the knuckles are slightly prominent is really outstanding. Zemla studied art and sculpture in Warsaw and is very well known for his contemporary sculptures that can been seen around town in some of the parks. Other sculptures created by Zemla can be viewed in Polish cities such as Plock, Lodz, Katowice and Szczecin and there is one even as far away as Peru.

      So there you go - a monument dedicated to Henryka Sienkiewicza. The setting of old trees with a blanket of creeping ivy is stunning and the monument itself isn't too bad either when you get close up and have a really good look.

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