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It is believed that this church sculpture, probably dating from the seventeenth century, represents the saintly Ludowika from Kęty, who lived from 1563 to 1623. Ludowika was born into a family of poor townsmen, and she spent the first period of her life in Kęty. At the age of 30, she joined a group of pilgrims heading for Rome. She remained in the Eternal City, where she joined the community of the Third Order of St. Francis.

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It is believed that this church sculpture, probably dating from the seventeenth century, represents the saintly Ludowika from Kęty, who lived from 1563 to 1623. Ludowika was born into a family of poor townsmen, and she spent the first period of her life in Kęty. At the age of 30, she joined a group of pilgrims heading for Rome. She remained in the Eternal City, where she joined the community of the Third Order of St. Francis. As a Franciscan tertiary, she supported the poor by providing alms and helping people in need. By the time of her death, she had earned the reputation of being a saint and was buried in the Church of St. Stanisław: the temple of Polish pilgrims in Rome.
The sculpture of the saintly Ludowika was probably located in one of the churches in Kęty which are dedicated to the Holy Cross and All Saints until 1786, when both temples were demolished on the orders of the Austrian authorities. Her sculpture presents her in a standing position, with her arms crossed. The woman is dressed in a tertiary habit, reaching halfway down her thighs, and a coat with a collar; while her head is wrapped in a plaid draped around her face and loosely falling over her shoulders. Her face is expressive, with parted lips and large eyes fixed towards the distance. The woman is already elderly, as can be seen in the wrinkles that are noticeable on the forehead and on the cheeks. The silhouette of the figure remains stocky and static; the head is slightly turned to the left; the weight of her body is resting on her left leg, and the right is moved slightly forward. The folds of the garments—made from polychrome wood—are parallel and quite shallow.

Elaborated by the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty, © all rights reserved

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Sculpture “Ludowika from Kęty”

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