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Stanislaw Witkiewicz - Artist and Architect of Zakopane

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Stanislaw Witkiewicz (1851 – 1915) was a Polish painter, architect, art theoretician and writer. However, he was mostly renowned as the creator of the Zakopane style sometimes also referred to as the Witkiewicz style. Aged 35, he first arrived in Zakopane to heal tuberculosis. Four years later Witkiewicz settled here with his family. It was here that he became fascinated with the folk art of the town. Witkiewicz made his name as the designer of both the architecture and the interiors of the following residenial villas of Zakopane: "Koliba", "Pod Jedlami", "Pepita", "Zofiowka", and many others. Most of them have survived till the present day and have been registered as historical monuments of wooden architecture. The Chapel of the Holiest Heart of Jesus in nearby Jaszczurowka was also designed by Witkiewicz. The theory of the Zakopane style is not all Witkiewicz is remembered for. He also wrote a book entitled "Na przełęczy" (On the Mountain Pass), which is often referred to as the "Gospel of the Tatra Mountains". In 1908 Witkiewicz, suffering from tuberculosis, moved to Lovranno, Croatia where he died in 1915. For his merits Zakopane awarded Witkiewicz with the town honorary citizenship (for the first time in the town history). He was buried at the Peksowy Brzyzek Cemetery in Zakopane.

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