POLISH ARTIST SKETCHES THE WAR ALL THE WAY AROUND THE WORLD
Probably no artist has seen so much of this war as Feliks Topolski, a 37-year-old Pole who found himself in England at the invasion of Poland.
Since then he has drawn and painted the emotional essence of the London blitz, of reeling Russia in the autumn of 1941, of the American Army in
England, the Near East, India, Burma, China, East Africa and Italy. Seen on this page are some of his war sketches. Though Topolski is the official
war artist of the Polish government in London, he has been one of the most powerful interpreters for the Soviet war effort. His lines are wild,
whirling and deceptively wavering, but substantial, living, clearly seen figures emerge from behind the veil of emotion.
INDIA'S MOSLEM LEADER MAHOMED ALI JINNAH AT HIS HOME
YOUNG RAJPUT MAHARAJA OF JAIPUR (LOWER LEFT), IN LIFE GUARDS UNIFORM, WATCHES DANCING GIRL
Topolski, the Pole, is so far beyond nationality that each of these disparate peoples, separated by eons of fanaticisms, is seen as singly
as if each alone existed. The arrogant and humble of the world are rendered equally, without rancor or contempt, in the extraordinary sleight-of-hand
of his casual and subtle line. Only such an artist could draw the peoples of this war, seeing all their courage, terror, humor, and pathos.
Born in Warsaw in 1907, Topolski is a second lieutenant in the Polish Artillery Reserve, journeyed around the wartime world as the official artist
attached to Polish diplomatic missions. In London he was sketching an old church by Sir Christopher Wren when a bomb blew up both church and Topolski,
who survived. His work is now on exhibition in New York's Knoedler art galleries.
IN INDIA ARTIST SKETCHED JAIPUR'S ARMY OF RAJPUT HINDUS (LEFT) AND GANDHI, AFTER RELEASE, SITTING ON BEACH AT JULU (RIGHT) WITH ENGLISH FOLLOWER, MISS SLADE
IN THE BATHS OF CHUNGKING, TOPOLSKI SKETCHES A PROSPEROUS CHINESE ENJOYING STEAM BATHS AND MASSAGE, GREAT LUXURIES IN THE WAR-WRACKED CHINESE CAPITAL
CHINESE REFUGEES ON THE ROAD, SOLDIERS AND AN AMAZING RAGGED COOLIE FILL TOPOLSKI'S CHINA SKETCHBOOK WIDTH A CAST OF SHREWDLY PRECEIVED CHARACTERS
Adapted from the March 19, 1945 issue of
Portions copyright 1945 Time, Inc.