Czeslaw Slania was born 22nd October, 1921, close to Katowice in Poland.  He was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, which is recognized as one of Europe’s most reputed Art Graphic Centers. 

Already as a boy Slania showed exceptional talents for making miniatures and, still a student, he was offered employment with the Polish Stamp Printing House where he worked for 6 years.

As artist, the paintings by Jan Matejko, especially The Battle of Grunwald always exerted a fascination on him, like the sketches of horses by Piotr Michalowski.

  • Battle of Grunwald, 1410 (Slania Diploma submission, 1950) after an epic painting by Jan Matejko. Two printing exist, one with « SLANIA» at right of lower marging is a proof copy. When finally printed «PRACA DIPLOMOWA» was added at left, and «ASP KRAKOW» was added at center of lower margin.
  • Registered cover sold in auction, 2013m using the diploma «stamp».
  • Registered cover, as previous. Image kindly submitted by the owner, Mr. Roman Harmel, USA.

The Battle of Grunwald (or Battle of Tannenberg) took place on July 15 1410 between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania on one side (estimated 39,000 troops), and the Teutonic Knights on the other (about 27,000 troops).In the battle, the Teutonic Order was defeated and never recovered its former influence.The picture supposedly illustrates the moment when Ulrich von Jungingen, the 26th Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (left, dressed in white, with a black cross), is killed by infantry. Vytautas the Great is shown in triumphant position (center, dressed in red). And his bigger engraving, took 2 years of work. Date is engraved in the flag, upper right:  11.54 – 11.56.

At the right the paingint by Jan Matejko.

ArtistJan Matejko
TypeOil on canvas
Dimensions426 cm × 987 cm (168 in × 389 in)
LocationNational Museum, Warsaw