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- Date of production 1691
- Dimensions height: 151 cm, width: 104 cm
- ID no. MŻKW IV/16
- Object copyright Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska’s Virtual Museums project
The picture was painted with oils on a wooden board. On the background of a landscape with a low horizon, two figures are depicted: a Guardian Angel and a child which he leads by holding its hand.more
The picture was painted with oils on a wooden board. On the background of a landscape with a low horizon, two figures are depicted: a Guardian Angel and a child which he leads by holding its hand.
The angel takes up the entire height of the picture, walks to the right, turning simultaneously to the left towards the child. The angel’s legs are shown crossed. With his left hand, the angel is pointing to the sky; with the right, which is lowered, he is holding the child by the hand. There are “swan” wings spread behind him. The angel’s head is slightly tilted towards the child. The child on the left, reaching up to the angel’s hips, is standing with its legs apart, arms outstretched, its head tilted to the right, and eyes raised. The characters are dressed in airy, soft clothes: the angel has a green dress with a slit at the front, which, at the bottom, is joined by two bows. The third bow is tied on his arm. A piece of pink fabric is tied at the waist on the dress. A red overcoat (lined with a blue fabric) is flipped over the left arm and windblown on the back of the figure and on the left side of the Angel. He has “Roman sandals” (high boots with bare fingers) on the legs. The child is dressed in a white dress reaching half-way up his calf, with a blue strait jacket reaching his hips, with short sleeves and an open neck. Its legs are bare. The colour tone is closed, in its contrast of red and green, and the extensive range of ochre and browns.
The picture contains the following inscriptions: on the bottom left: “I.P.D.S.M.S”; on the bottom right: “L.P.D.” and in the right corner: “AN. Domini 1691”; in the upper right corner: letters stylized in Hebrew script (maybe it’s connected the Jewish name of God?).
Initially, the painting of the Guardian Angel was located in one of the oldest chapels of the Wieliczka Salt Mine — in the chapel of the Passion of the Lord (Holy Cross, Passionis Domini) — in the Royal Sidewalk, near the Konikion chamber, the first level of the mine. According to the oldest mention in the Royal Commission from 1710, this chapel was located in a dangerous place and there was a plan to transfer it to the Lizak chamberak. Eventually, around the year 1730, some of the equipment was moved, and the painting of the Guardian Angel was left in its place and the chapel – already with its new dedication (the Guardian Angel) – continued to function throughout the entire 18th century. Much later, the picture was placed in a specially carved frame in the transverse Kaniów, opposite the Saurau chamber, on the third level of the mine. Currently, there is a reproduction of the painting in this place, and the original Guardian Angel is displayed nearby: at the exhibition, Sacrum in the salt heritage, in the Russegger VIII chamber.
Elaborated by Marek Skubisz (Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka), © all rights reserved