“Lady with an Ermine” by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most precious painting you can see in Cracow’s galleries (it is located in Czartoryski Museum). It is also one of only four female portraits painted by Leonardo. But who said one Ermine is enough? For sure it wasn’t Ottmar Hörl.

Professor Hörl is a German artist as well as rector of Nuremburg’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste, famous of his former projectc, including Berlin-Baeren (2000), Gnomes on Max Joseph Square in Munich (1998), Hares in Nuremburg marking the 500th anniversary of Albrecht Dürer’s A Young Hare (2003), Richard Wagner for the 21st century in Bayreuth (2005) and Owls in Athens (2005).

But what does he have to do with a Lady, an Ermine and Cracow? A lot of.

For three long weeks of September (from 5th to 25th) over 200 ermines (made of plastic-like materials) have seized Cracow’s St. Maria Magdalena Square (between Grodzka and Kanonicza Streets) and Ottmar Hörl has been the one who tell them to do it. And ermines are obeyed.

What is an idea of such a strange and funny instalation? Let the artist speak: “Art for me is not a conception subject to a hierarchy, on the contrary – I struggle to ensure that it reaches the largest number of people. Let’s go out into the community with our works!” – Hörl says (cited by “Karnet”).

Yeah, why not? It is interesting. Let them go out and let’s go to see!

After closing the instalation (the day is today) all ermines will be put for sale. Looking for an absolutely unique souvenir from Cracow? Look for an ermine. The event is organised under the auspices of the Polish Culture Congress.

Artist’s website:

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