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- Author Lucjan Wędrychowski (1854–1934)
- Date of production before 1934 (a copy of the painting from the 17th century)
- Dimensions height: 66 cm, width: 86 cm
- Author's designation signed in the lower right-hand corner: “pinx Wendrychowski”
- ID no. M 1118
- Availability Senate Hall, Main Building of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow
- Object copyright Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
The presented image from the collections of the Museum of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts is untypical of Wędrychowski. It presents an unspecified Polish legation in audience at the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The characters costumes and interior refer to the 17th and 18th centuries. The scene takes place in a faithfully devoted real interior – Arz Odası, the auditorium of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. MEPs according to the Turkish custom have their own costumes put on special caftans in which the deputies were dressed before visiting the grand vizier or sultan. This richly decorated attire was highly desirable by Polish visitors.more
Lucjan Wędrychowski (1854–1934) during the period 1879–1880 studied at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts under the supervision of Izydor Jabłoński and Feliks Szynalewski. Then for 6 years (1881–1887) he was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where Alexander Strähuber and Sándor Wagner (Alexander von Wagner) were his professors. Wędrychowski returned to Kraków in 1887 and continued his education under the supervision of Jan Matejko. In 1900 he left for Nižna Olšava (today Slovakia). A few years before his death, he returned to Kraków.
Wędrychowski mainly painted religious paintings. His most famous work is the Temptation of Saint. Antoni (1886) exhibited at the National Museum in Kraków (inv. No. MNK II-a-173). In his sacred paintings, he used artistic activities typical of academics of the second half of the 19th century – he tried to depict scenes in accordance with the historical realities of a given era. Thus, he refrained from codified, modern iconographic types.
The presented image from the collections of the Museum of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts is untypical of Wędrychowski. It presents an unspecified Polish legation in audience at the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The characters costumes and interior refer to the 17th and 18th centuries. The scene takes place in a faithfully devoted real interior – Arz Odası, the auditorium of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. MEPs according to the Turkish custom have their own costumes put on special caftans in which the deputies were dressed before visiting the grand vizier or sultan. This richly decorated attire was highly desirable by Polish visitors. In the 16th century, caftans were put on MPs after the meeting – as a sign of the satisfaction of the High Port with the effects of negotiations. Later lush attire was given to members before the audience, which meant that the non-Muslim barbarians would submit to the civilized order of the Islamic power of the padishah – the king of kings.
It seems that the prototype although not necessarily direct, for the image of Wędrychowski is the work of Jean-Baptiste Vanmour titled The Audience of Cornelis Calkoen located at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Wędrychowski slightly changed the composition of the characters of Turkish dignitaries, and the emissaries wear Polish costumes in his painting. It is possible that the painter wanted to allude to a specific Polish legation to the Sublime Porte. Perhaps an additional inspiration for him was the portrait miniature of Pierré-Paul Sevin in the Czartoryski collections in Kraków, which shows how Jan Gniński’s legation to Istanbul in 1677–1678 ended in a fiasco. It cannot be excluded that the source of inspiration for Wędrychowski was another work by Vanmour, copied or imitated by him, which the artist may have learned in Munich.Jean Baptiste Vanmour (1671–1737) was a French painter who was creating his works in the Ottoman capital for 37 years. He perfectly recreated the images from the lives of Turkish elites and repeatedly addressed the theme of the audiences of European ambassadors with Sultan Ahmed III. A couple of his paintings are worth mentioning:
- Ambassador Cornelis Calkoen at his Audience with Sultan Ahmed III, 1727-1730, Rijksmuseum, Inventory No. SK-A-4078.
- Réception de l'ambassadeur de France, le vicomte d'Andrezel, par le sultan Ahmed III, 1724, Bordeaux, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Inventory No. Bx M 5730.
- Sultan Ahmet III Receiving a European Ambassador, 1700-1737, Istanbul, Museum of Pera.
Vanmour’s works were copied many times:
- An Ambassador’s Audience with Sultan Ahmed III (Ambassador Cornelis Calkoen), 1737-1744, Rijksmuseum, Inventory No. SK-A-4080 (a copy of the original in the Rijksmuseum – see above).
- Réception d'un ambassadeur par le grand vizir, 1740, Palace of Versailles, Inventory No. MV 5297.
- Antonio Guardi, Audience of a European Ambassador with the Sultan, about 1740, Ankara, British Embassy.
- Anonymous painter, European ambassadors at the Audience, 2nd half of the 18th century, Istanbul, Sadullah Pasa Mansion.
-  The work is attributed to Vanmour. It seems more likely that it is a picture of an anonymous Italian painter.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.