Józef Szermentowski (born 16 February 1833) is an outstanding landscape painter representing Polish realism. He graduated from Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He took part in many sightseeing tours where he could admire the beauty of Polish land, history and monuments. Landscape and architecture are prevailing elements in his paintings. In 1860 he moved to Paris where he started his studies. He met there French artists who painted landscapes near Fontainebleau. Soon he became a member of the French Barbizon group. During his life he had many exhibitions in Kraków, Warsaw, Paris, Vienna and London where in 1857 he got a silver medal for the painting ‘A village church after Sunday mass’.
He died on 6 September 1876. He is buried at the Montmorency cemetery in France. The Szermentowski Family tombstone is made from limestone and it has already been renovated twice by the teachers and students in 2000 and 2007.
The biggest collection of his works (about 34 oil and watercolour paintings) can be found in the National Museum in Kielce. His paintings are also in the National Museum in Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław (Poland).
As one of the greatest artists of the Kielce region he was chosen as a patron of our school.