Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski (September 13, 1841 – March 23, 1905) was a Polish painter, illustrator, teacher of fine arts and photographer active during the foreign Partitions of Poland.
Walery Eljasz (second name Radzikowski adopted later in life) studied painting in 1856-62 at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków (known today as the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts) mainly at the atelier of famous Władysław Łuszczkiewicz. He continued his studies in Monachium for three years in 1862-65 before his return in 1866. While in Munich, after convalescing from typhoid fever, Eljasz worked on behalf of the Polish insurrectionist Rząd Narodowy helping volunteers heading back to Poland for the January Uprising against the foreign yoke. After his return to Kraków, Eljasz served as teacher of fine arts at local schools including at the Gimnazjum of St. Anne in 1872-91.
Eljasz painted church frescos (Chochołów, 1871), illustrated books and magazines, have designed historical costumes for theatre stage productions, and exhibited his works internationally including in Kraków, Warsaw, Lwów and in Vienna. His second monograph about the Tatra Mountains called Szkice z podróży w Tatry illustrated with lithographs was published in 1874.
Eljasz-Radzikowski, an avid outdoorsman and mountain climber, was a cofounder of one of the oldest tourist societies in Europe, the cultural Polish Tatra Society in 1873. He wrote the first ever tourist guide to Tatra Mountains in 1870 called the Ilustrowany przewodnik do Tatr, Pienin i Szczawnic (reprinted in 1886, 1891, 1896, 1900) which he himself illustrated with lithographs and woodcuts initially, and eventually with his photographs also. In 1901 he published Krakow dawny, a detailed guidebook to the historic monuments of Krakow.
The Pratulin Martyrs
The death of
at the Battle of Cecora
Consecrating the sabers of Tadeusz Kościuszko and Józef Wodzicki