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This painting consists of a portrayal painted with tempera on a linden board, with the addition of silvering and glazes. Saints with dark hair, turned slightly to the side, dressed in long tunics and coats, are holding palms in their hands. At the top, on a white stripe in the background, there is a black inscription, written in majuscule...

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This painting consists of a portrayal painted with tempera on a linden board, with the addition of silvering and glazes. Saints with dark hair, turned slightly to the side, dressed in long tunics and coats, are holding palms in their hands. At the top, on a white stripe in the background, there is a black inscription, written in majuscule (uppercase letters): [SANCTA C]A[THE]RINA S[ANCTA A]GNE[S]; the inscription was preserved as a frieze.
The portrayal of the two Saints is a fragment of a larger whole, probably an altarpiece, on which the Madonna and Child were painted together with the saintly virgins heading towards them, four on each side. The version with the reredos is also possible, in which the central part was much higher, with two rows of male and female martyrs marching towards it.
There are many theories about the original location of the painting: Dębno itself has been proposed, as has one of the Romanesque churches in Kraków, and even the Red Monastery in Spisz. The painting was created in the 1770s or 1780s. In the literature, it is assumed that its author may have been of Kraków origin; however, it is also associated with Spisz (the altar in Vojňany, paintings with the legend of St. Nicholas in Veľká Lomnica). “The Saints from Dębno” were used as a material for the construction of what were originally called “soboty” (low arcades covered with a roof, surrounding wooden churches) in the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie and were found in 1949 during their conservation. The so-called “Dębno Board” is the oldest known example of panel painting in Lesser Poland.


Elaborated by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła Archdiocesan Museum in Kraków, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Painting “Saints from Dębno” representing St. Catherine and St. Agnes

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Obraz „Święte z Dębna” przedstawiający św. Katarzynę i św. Agnieszkę [audiodeskrypcja] Tells: Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Audiodeskrypcji KATARYNKA
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Obraz „Święte z Dębna” przedstawiający św. Katarzynę i św. Agnieszkę Tells: Piotr Krasny
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