This woman with a melancholic look on her face and her hair coveredh, gives the impression of being deeply immersed in her thoughts, which may reflect the passing and loss of a loved one. The manner of presenting the sitting, freely-posed figure derives from the works of Michelangelo, as well as later Roman sepulchral sculpture of the Baroque period, with which the author of the work — an artist educated in Kraków, Vienna and Rome — was very familiar.
The scene shows the goddess Aphrodite leaning her head towards a winged Cupid to listen to what he wants to say to her. The goddess’s enigmatic smile suggests the frivolous character of the conversation. The artistic virtuosity: flawlessly smooth moulding and details rendered carefully are the typical features of Wiktor Brodzki’s sculptures.
Alabaster amphora for storing perfumes, from the 18th century.
The sculpture was purchased by Artur Potocki in 1829 from Thorvaldsen’s atelier in Rome. In 1830, it was located in the palace in Krzeszowice, and since 1945 it has been in the National Museum in Kraków. Along with Antonio Canova of Italy, Bertel Thorvaldsen of Denmark was the most outstanding Neoclassical sculptors. The subject of this work was drawn from the Metamorphoses by Ovid (book I ).
The sculpture comes from the palace in Bobrek and represents one of the Potulicki Counts (the trouble is that it is unclear which one). The name “Kazimierz Count Potulicki” was used in the case of Kazimierz Ludwik Łukasz Count Potulicki of Więcborg, of the Grzymała coat of arms (1793–1871) and his son, Kazimierz Wojciech Count Potulicki of Więcborg, of the Grzymała (1820–1880) coat of arms.
Prince Józef Poniatowski — nephew of the last king of Poland, general commander of the army of the Duchy of Warsaw — died in the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. Death in the waters of the Elster River initiated the cult of his character, strongly associated with the legend of Napoleon. In 1817, the prince's body was placed in the St. Leonard's Crypt under Wawel Cathedral. The bust is an original copy of a study for the famous Warsaw monument of Prince Józef Poniatowski, sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Jakub Tatarkiewicz, who — like Konstanty Hegel and Paweł Maliński — was Thorvaldsen's student at the Roman Academy of St. Luke, successfully adapted the cold neoclassicism of his teacher here.
In the collection there is a bust sculpture depicting an image of Roman Damian Sanguszko (1832–1917). Roman Damian was the eldest son of Władysław and Izabela née Lubomirski, and a landowner in the Zaslav Region, an heir to the family property in Volyn. He managed property in the Slavuta Region and the famous horse stud in Chrystivka.
The sculpture presents a classicist bust of a young woman with a slightly bent head turned to the right. Admittedly, a faint resemblance of the artistic vision of the German sculptor to the actual figure raised doubts, but how many times have images been idealised, beautifying the portrayed individuals and making them look younger?