Final Moments

Final moments (Kwiatkowski)


The last moments of Fryderyk Chopin

Teofil Kwiatkowski, oil on cardboard, 1849–1859, signed on the back: ‘Fait par Theophile Kwiatkowski; 1849–1850’, 250 x 345.

Collection: Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, Warsaw [M/749].


The composer is seated on a four-poster bed, resting on a pillow. Standing next to him is Marcelina Czartoryska, on the right sits Wojciech Grzymała, on the left Chopin’s sister, Ludwika Jędrzejewicz, behind her stands Revd Aleksander Jełowicki, behind Grzymała, Teofil Kwiatkowski.

Kwiatkowski was at Chopin’s side during his illness and death. He produced four oil paintings and one watercolour of the composer during his final illness. This is presumed to be the only one to have come down to us. The first oil painting and the watercolour sketch depicted Chopin alone and were made from nature; the remainder were made to commission from interested parties.