Monday, October 31, 2022

Matejko Painting of Sad Jester: Stańczyk

 The joker below is based on a famous enigmatic painting by Jan Matejko in 1862. A copy of the painting is shown below. In the painting there is a distraught brooding court jester who contrasts dramatically with his character and the festive court ball visible in the background.

The painting is about a specific court jester and moment in history. Stańczyk is the jester and the year is 1533 (OK, there's some debate if the jester is mythical or historical and the date seems to be also up for discussion). 

On the table lies a letter likely announcing that Poland has lost Smolensk (now in Russia) to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, causing Stańczyk's sorrow and reflection on his fatherland's fate. The letter seems to have been discarded by some official, and only the jester realizes its significance – while the rulers are partying...(Source: Wikipedia)
A Brooding Court Jester by Jan Matejko
A Brooding Court Jester by Jan Matejko

And thanks to Ronald Kruijmel of the FB Joker Collectors Club for first cluing me in to the origins of this joker.
I believe all of these are derivatives of that painting but I could be wrong. Perhaps they are all just using a common "look" for a jester unrelated to the painting. Opinions?

 And here are their backs...


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Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.