Maria Wnęk grew up in her native village, surrounded by eight siblings. She attended primary school for only four years. Religious, she was convinced that God saved her several times from death and devoted her entire life to the saints. From the age of fourteen, she began to paint. The theme of motherhood, always treated in a floral or bird environment is a constant part of her work. Increasingly prone to hallucinations, Maria Wnęk believed that she was being persecuted, which led her entourage to have her committed. In 1978 the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow organized a retrospective of her work.