The study attempts to address the widespread idea about syncretism of Jacek Malczewski's art, combining the ancient cult of Dionysus and the Christian teachings on salvation. The analysis of Saint Francis, one of his numerous paintings with faun figures, tries to prove that the relationship between the titular character and the mythological figures is not a juxtaposition of similar attitudes towards the world of nature. The depicted situation is rather the case of the mythological creatures becoming subject to the 'intransgressible' which for every picture is its surface and its boundaries. This subjection is shown through the formal shaping of the figures. This relation, which can be understood only through direct contact with the work, is an expression through the means of painting of the artist's profound Christian faith, shared also by his other contemporaries who struggled with the modernist 'disenchantment' (in Max Weber's sense of the word) and proving through their work their trust in Christian transcendence (e.g. Jan Kasprowicz).
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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