Adam Gorczyński

Biographical Outline

Adam Gorczyński (1805–1876) was a landowner, a translator and the author of plays and other minor literary productions. He is best remembered as a painter of landscapes, producing several hundred pictures of the Galician countryside in southern Poland, in particular the mountainous region of Podhale.


Gorczyński translated one play, Romeo and Juliet, into rhymed 11-syllable lines. Short excerpts appeared in 1843 and the whole play was finally published posthumously in 1885 in Gorczyński’s collected works, a publication financed by his family. From a historical perspective, it was one of the initial translations from Shakespeare’s original, but it was not widely known at the time of its appearance. In the published excerpts, the monologues of the lovers exhibit the stylistic influence of sentimental literature.


The belated publication of the translation locates it outside the mainstream of reception history. Above all the play completes a picture of Gorczyński as a man of letters and a painter. The translation has not been reissued and has never been staged.

Bibliography of translations

[William Shakespeare], Romeo i Julia, Tragedya w 5-ciu aktach Shakespear’a , tłum. A. Gorczyński, [w:] Adam Gorczyński, Dramata, Serya druga, B. Gorczyński (W.L. Anczyc), Kraków 1883, s. 290–447.

[William Shakespeare], Romeo i Julia, tragedya w 5ciu aktach tłum. A. Gorczyński [w:] Adam Gorczyński, Dramata, Serya druga, nakł. B. Gorczyńskiego, druk. W. L. Anczyca, Kraków 1885, s. 289–447.