adam styka the dancer
4 min

Idyllic Moroccan Couples In The Paintings Of The Polish Artist Adam Styka

4 min

As known, European people often dream of exotic locations. Longing for travel was especially popular in times of romanticism. One of the characters of Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship dreams of a faraway coast "where lemon trees blossom; where golden oranges glow amid dark leaves." Yet, art not only raises a thirst for travel but also allows us to change our location, at least virtually.

 Adam Styka by Jan Styka

Fig. 1. Adam Styka by Jan Styka (

Desert Roses And Remedies

Happy Moroccan dancers blossoming under the southern sky like desert roses make us wonder what land can produce these vital females with pearl teeth, crimson lips, and full breasts. Adam Styka (1890-1959), the author of numerous exotic portraits, referred to the long-term dream of exhausted European Child Harolds by creating a literally hot image of Arabic concubines, the last possible cure for the "English disease." (Isn't it funny that, in times of Byron, English disease could be healed only by French disease?)

 adam styka Moroccan Girl

Fig. 2. Young Moroccan Girl (

 adam styka dancer

Fig. 3. Dancer (

 adam styka  Resting In The Sunshine

Fig. 4. Resting In The Sunshine (

 adam styka Zohra, a Moroccan Dancer

Fig. 5. Zohra, a Moroccan Dancer (

Prominent Portrait Artist

Styka was a descendant of a family of artists. His father, painter Jan Styka, who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with a Golden Medal, became his first mentor. Adam's gifted older brother Tade was destined to be a painter as well. While Tade grew up to be a prominent portrait artist depicting influential figures such as Maurice Maeterlinck, Caruso, Chaliapin, and Pola Negri, Adam achieved recognition for his orientalist paintings. The artist's professional way began at the French Academy of Fine Arts, where he attended the studio of Fernand Cormon.

Van Gogh

Among the students of Cormon's atelier were iconic masters such as van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Matisse. Besides, this artist was also a teacher of erotic painter Andrè Lambert, to whom one of our previous articles is devoted. As a student, Styka submitted his paintings to the most prestigious Parisian galleries, such as the Salon. In addition to artistic studies, he also underwent military training in Fontainebleau shortly before the break of WWI. When the war started, the artist joined French forces as an artillerist and distinguished himself in a battle, which allowed him to receive French citizenship.

 adam styka Native Maiden And A Camel At Waters Edge

Fig. 6. Native Maiden And A Camel At Waters Edge (

adam styka Three MoroccansFig. 7. Three Moroccans (

In The Moroccan Sun  Adam StykaFig. 8. In The Moroccan Sun (

 adam styka The Idyll

Fig. 9. The Idyll (

 adam styka  Moroccan Couple

Fig. 10. Moroccan Couple (

  adam styka Fatima in Front Of Her Door

Fig. 11. Fatima in Front Of Her Door (

recining dancer adam styka

Fig. 12. Reclining Dancer (

 adam styka  Lovers

Fig. 13. Lovers (

adam styka  Joy And Tambourine

Fig. 14. Joy And Tambourine (

adam styka the dancer

Fig.15. The Dancer (

In the extended Premium version of the article you can discover more about the aesthetics of Styka's women portraits, his inclination towards orientalism and working method. And of course many more sensual pics.

Click HERE for the art pf love as portrayed in of the Swiss Artist André Lambert