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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 23, 2008
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The King of Landscapes
April 23, 2008 By Dariusz Pietrzak   
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The Zamek Cultural Center in the western city of Poznań is currently showing an exhibition of the work of Belgian photographer Leonard Misonne (1870-1943), one of Europe's best landscape photographers of the first half of the 19th century.

The black-and-white photographs, which are tinged with ochre and look like paintings, are atmospheric and transport the viewer into a magical and somewhat unreal world as seen by the photographer at the turn of the century. They depict a provincial idyll and a peaceful and unthreatened environment. The viewer cannot but share in the photographer's obvious love of nature. The photographs are a nostalgic view of a world that has disappeared forever.

That the photographs look like paintings is no accident. Misonne was associated with pictorial photography, or a style that tried to imitate fine art and graphics.

Top Polish photographer Jan Bulhak (1876-1950) called Misonne "the king of landscapes" because nature is prominent in Misonne's work-albeit always peopled. Misonne was always careful to choose the right time of day and weather conditions to take his photographs. His work is characterized by light and shade and mighty skies.

The exhibition includes 60 photographs lent by the Photography Museum in Charleroi, Belgium, and the artist's family.

Poznań's Zamek Cultural Center is also hosting in its "pf" Photographic Gallery an exhibition entitled Around Leonard Misonne. This is a collection of photographs by Polish landscape photographers of the interwar period.

The Misonne exhibition is on display at the Sala Marmurowa (Marble Hall) of the Zamek Cultural Center in Poznań, 80/82 ¦więty Marcin St., and runs until May 11.
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