We are releasing an unseen Feliks Topolski as a limited edition print this year for Art Car Boot Fair. The print is an ink drawing of his friend, Polish writer, poet and ADC to General Sikorski, Mieczyslaw Lisiewicz's hand. The drawing was for the old BBC show Arena and was lent to us by Mieczyslaw Lisiewicz's daughter who owns the original. The print has been produced with the kind permission of the Topolski Estate.
Feliks Topolski was a Polish expressionist painter and illustrator who worked primarily in the United Kingdom. He was born in Warsaw in 1907 and studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art. In 1935 he received a commission from Waidomosć i Literackie (Literary News) to travel to Britain and record King George V’s Silver Jubilee. Once in England Topolski became widely known as a chronicler of London’s social and cultural scene. From 1940 he was an official war artist and his depictions of London during the Blitz resulted in the book Britain in Peace & War. As a war artist he travelled widely and was in Bergen-Belsen just two weeks after its liberation, he was also an official artist at the Nuremberg trials. Topolski is possibly best known for his large-scale paintings of the festival of Britain in 1951 and also for the commissioned mural made during the Coronation of Elizabeth II that still hangs in Buckingham Palace. During the Festival of Britain “The Cavalcade of the Commonwealth” was displayed in an open arch of Hungerford Bridge on London’s South Bank. From 1953-1979 the artist published Topolski’s Chronicles, broadsheet drawings of his travels – documenting history as it happened. In 1975 Topolski began work on the painted panorama “Memoir of the Century’, a monumental work of art derived from his own experiences that depicts key events and figures of the twentieth century. Renamed as ‘Topolski’s century” the panorama, alongside many of his paintings and drawings, resides in his old studio on the South Bank and is open to the public. Topolski died in London on 24thAugust 1989. Interest in the artist has been resurrected in various museums and galleries that own his paintings including the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, The Tate and The British Museum.
Feliks Topolski - A5 Gicleé print on Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm