Dyngus by Zofia Stryjeńska - 1940s National Museum in Warsaw Dyngus by Zofia Stryjeńska - 1940s National Museum in Warsaw


gouache, paper •
  • Zofia Stryjeńska - May 13, 1891 - February 28, 1976 Zofia Stryjeńska 1940s

As you may know, the DailyArt core team is based in Poland. Today we have decided to tell you a little about our local tradition of Śmigus Dyngus—The Wet Monday. :)

Traditionally in Poland, Easter Monday is the day when boys are allowed to shower girls with water (and spank them with pussy willow, even if this part of the tradition is today less common). According to tradition, girls had to wait until the following day to launch similar attacks of their own. Today, however, Wet Monday is the one chance for all to set up an ambush.

The exact origins of the Śmigus Dyngus water games are disputed, but it seems clear that they form part of a celebration of spring and fertility. This part of the Easter tradition can also be seen as one of the ritualized ways in which boys and girls of the peasant society were able to legitimately look into the possibilities of future bonding.

And a little about the creator of today's masterpiece: Zofia Stryjeńska was a Polish painter, graphic designer, illustrator, stage designer, and a representative of art deco. Along with Olga Boznańska and Tamara de Lempicka, she was one of the best-known Polish women artists of the interwar period.

She made part of the decoration of the Polish pavilion at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925, a series of six paintings for the twelve months, showing rural village life and seasonal change. This work brought her Europe-wide fame and five World Trade awards. She made a series of paintings depicting Polish folk dance artists in 1927. In many works, she depicted the pre-Christian Slavic gods worshipped in Poland and local traditions.

So, Happy Śmigus Dyngus from the DailyArt Team! :)