The Old Baron Feeds a Goat Notes About Love | Collection Co–selection

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Marek Sobczyk, Jarosław Modzelewski

The Old Baron Feeds a Goat Notes About Love

painting; oil on canvas; 250x270 cm

Marek Sobczyk and Jarosław Modzelewski collaborated on their first painting while on a scholarship in Germany, and then repeated this experience in Poland. In the palace in Ryczów, they painted four works, including The Old Baron Feeds a Goat Notes About Love. The narrative focuses on one of the last owners of the palace, Mieczysław Błażowski a gambler who lost his wife fortune and eventually commited suicide. The painting shows the baron who, while searching for the meaning of existence, reads his notes on love, hoping that they will save him. However, he is already internally burned out and cannot find any sense in them; becoming more and more hopeless, he destroys his notes by feeding them to the goat.

It is worth noting the sparse composition of the painting a plan representation of the protagonists, the interior architecture lacking detail, colours limited to gold and black. All these elements allow us to treat painting as a symbolic parable with a universal message about the value of opening up to others before its too late.

Painting together was a challenge because it undermined the essential features of painting originality and individuality. As Modzelewski wrote: “Although these paintings were created together and are collaborative, they are thought of and experienced separately. It was, an inspiring experience that taught us humility, openness, and withstanding what seems insufferable in art the artistic presence of another person in your own work.

Marek Sobczyk is a painter, graphic artist, art theorist and teacher. In 1980, he graduated from painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In the 1980s, together with Jarosław Modzelewski, he was a member of Gruppa artistic formation. He edited and published texts in the journal published by the group, and also collaborated with other artists, including Ryszard Woźniak and Piotr Młodożeńc.


Jarosław Modzelewski, co-founder of Gruppa, is a painter, illustrator and educator. In 1980, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and in the 1990s, he ran a private art school with Sobczyk and Młodożeniec. Currently, he is a professor at the Faculty of Painting at his alma mater.