Private Collection, United Kingdom
Born in Krasow in 1906, he trained with Stanislaw Batowski before studying philosophy and history at the University of Lwow. He first found success with a one-man exhibition in 1936 at Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw, where the author Zofia Kossak-Szczucka became a collector by buying the first picture sold at the exhibition thus establishing his reputation as an artist. After serving with the Polish army in Scotland during the Second World War, Kratochwil remained in Britain.
In 1951, he had the good fortune to inherit the estate of the artist Dame Ethel Walker. Dame Ethel, who was in her seventies at the time, had met the young artist on his arrival to London and had seen promise in his work. Unbeknownst to Kratochwil, she had made him her beneficiary so that he could concentrate on his painting. In 1961 Kratochwil married the artist Kathleen Browne and later in life published an insightful monograph on her work. In 1994, he shared a retrospective with his wife at the Polish Cultural Institute, showing his drawings of life and places on Poland’s pre-war eastern borders. After his death, much of Kratochwil’s collection was passed to his pupil and fellow artist Robert Knight.
His works can now be found in leading institutions across the globe including the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art amongst others.