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The portrait shows a young woman in a blue, silken lace dress. She is leaning on a stone windowsill, on which a basket of flowers is situated. She is wearing a high, powdered hairdress, tied with a ribbon, as well as pearl jewellery. Her left hand is decorated with a bracelet with an engraved gem styled to resemble antique jewellery. In her right hand, the woman is holding an orange blossom.

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The portrait shows a young woman in a blue, silken lace dress. She is leaning on a stone windowsill, on which a basket of flowers is situated. She is wearing a high, powdered hairdress, tied with a ribbon, as well as pearl jewellery. Her left hand is decorated with a bracelet with an engraved gem styled to resemble antique jewellery. In her right hand, the woman is holding an orange blossom.
The painting deposited at the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków is a copy of the portrait of Anna Szaniawska née Scypion (1730–1795), whose authorship is attributed to Marcello Bacciarelli (1731–1818). The original painting is kept at the National Museum in Warsaw (MP 277 MNW). The canvas, kept in Warsaw, was created around 1758 and was repainted around 1780. The high hairstyle, which was formerly fashionable, was then painted, along with the dress and small details. The additions made in the process of repainting were removed during maintenance carried out in 1995. The original layer of the painting shows a woman in a costume worn in the middle of the 18th century, sporting a low hairstyle and a pink dress. The bracelet, made of pearls and decorated with an engraved gem, did not appear in the original painting either. The discovery of the painting’s original layer explained a question which had been posited for years: namely, why Szaniawska was portrayed as a young woman dressed in an attire fashionable in the 1780s if, at that time, she was already 50 years old? Until the discovery of the original form of the painting, it was sometimes said that she was characterised by an “infantile beauty”.
The portrait at the National Museum in Warsaw was created around 1758, and its later repainting was probably made based on a bust portrait of Szaniawska from the 1780s, also located in the National Museum in Warsaw (MP 5301 MNW).
It is impossible to ascertain when exactly the copy of the painting kept at the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts was made. The only thing which can be said with certainty, is that it was after the original had been repainted. It is also known that the painting was donated to the Academy by a painter from Warsaw named Józef Brodowski. It can therefore be assumed that the portrait was made in the capital of the Kingdom of Poland.
Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“Portrait of Anna Szaniawska née Scypion”

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