Temporary exhibitions



Fear was born amongst man at the most obscure point in history.

G. Delpierre

Fear is one of the most difficult of human emotions. For centuries, its general aspect has fascinated thinkers, philosophers and psychologists, while its individual, personal dimension touches every one of us.

Artists, too, have attempted to face fear and reflect it in a “material” shape. Various forms of expression have been used to depict it over the centuries: from allegory to reflection in gesture and facial expression, to building an atmosphere of literal representation for situations that stimulate awe, to tension expressed by form and colour only. This visualisation of fear in works of art has become the starting point for the exhibition.

Through the works of art, the authors of the exhibition tell a story about fear: that which occurs in individual human lives, as well as that of a universal dimension.

The exhibition will present works by many artists, including: Pietro della Vecchio (1602–1678), Jacob de Backer (1540/1545–before 1600), Nicolas Verkolje (1673–1746), Jacob Isaacsz. van Swanenburg (1571–1638), Tommaso Dolabella (about 1570–1650), Francisco de Goya (1746–1828), Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski (1849–1915), Gustaw Gwozdecki (1880–1935), Witold Pruszkowski (1846–1896), Jonasz Stern (1904–1988), and finally Zdzisław Beksiński (1929–2005). The exhibition is enriched with the presentation of a film by Luis Buñuel and Salvadore Dali,
An Andalusian Dog, which becomes a unique motion exhibit, as well as the computer game Layers of Fear produced by the Bloober Team from Poland.

The exhibition is arranged to allow the viewer to follow the evolution of experiencing fear itself, as well as the transformation of its artistic expression. Passing through dark corridors, led by the lighting of individual exhibits, we become in a sense participants in an amazing spectacle arranged by Professor Leszek Mądzik.


The exhibition runs from 26th November 2019 until 29th March 2020 at the Former Palace of Cracow Bishops.






Curator: Joanna Kaczmarczyk

Coordinator: Anna Sychowska

Arrangement: Prof. Leszek Mądzik



Zdzisław Beksiński, Krajobraz cmentarny I, 1970, oil on massonite, collection of the National Museum in Warsaw



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