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The figurine comes from an Orthodox church in Dubno, a village located near the Slovakian border, to the south-east of Muszyna. It is one of the few examples of folk Orthodox church sculptures in the collection of the Museum in Nowy Sącz. It is worth noting that it was made by a highly skilled folk artist.

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The figurine has been in the Nowy Sącz collection since 1950. It arrived at the museum as a result of the action of securing the property formerly belonging to Lemko people. This action was carried out in 1947, by the Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Kraków, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and Art, in connection with the mass deportation of the Lemkos. At that time, a group of historians and conservators toured Lemko villages in the Nowy Sącz area, collecting objects found in attics and lean-tos. The artefacts left behind by the departing inhabitants – which had been exposed to destruction or theft – were deposited in the rented Museum Depot in Muszyna, after having been labelled with cards stating the name of the town.

This figurine shows the sitting figure of the Mother of God, placed on a high plinth, with Jesus’s extremely stiff body lying on her knees. The head, body and thighs are in one line, and the impression of rigidity is further intensified by the prominent, convex, princely crown placed on His head. Christ’s legs, bent at the knees, rest on the plinth; his right hand is hanging limp. Maria is wearing a red gown and a dark blue coat. She has a light blue headscarf on her head, which falls down over the shoulders and gently wraps around the sides of her face. Like Jesus, her head is crowned with a princely crown. The sculpture is characterised by shallow and soft modelling, especially visible in the parts of the delicately carved garments and in the noble expression of the faces of Maria and Jesus.

Elaborated by Edyta Ross-Pazdyk (Nowy Sącz District Museum), © all rights reserved

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Wall-mounted figure “Pietà”

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