Kazimierz Stabrowski’s Esoteric Dimensions. Theosophy, Art, and the Vision of Femininity

Karolina Maria Hess, Małgorzata Alicja Dulska


   The aim of this paper is to present the Theosophical inspirations that shaped the idea of femininity in the works of the painter Kazimierz Stabrowski (1869–1929). The Theosophical movement began to develop in Poland at the turn of the 20th century. Kazimierz Stabrowski was one of the most influential figures in Theosophical circles, a first leader of the first Theosophical association officially sanctioned by the state in Polish lands, and later a member of the Anthroposophical movement. His circle also impacted on the development of esoteric ideas in a wider context in Europe, as one of Stabrowski’s students who became interested in Theosophy during his studies was a prominent Lithuanian artist – Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis.

   As an artist Stabrowski belonged to the movement known as Young Poland (Młoda Polska), shaped by Art Nouveau and modernist symbolism. Nature was for him the purest manifestation of femininity. His visions of women are personifications of beauty; they are full of inner light, power, and possessors of uncountable mysteries. Above all Stabrowski wanted to develop and emphasize the spiritual element of his works of art. He developed his own, unique style that can be recognized in his portraits, visionary-symbolic compositions and landscapes. In those works, the fascination with occultism, Theosophy and Anthroposophy can be clearly seen. 

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