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Wooden sculpture “Pensive Christ”

A wooden polychrome sculpture of Pensive Christ by an unknown author from the 2nd half of the 19th century, coming from the village of Borowa in the district of Tarnów; it was originally located in a box roadside shrine.

Wooden sculpture “Pensive Christ”

Small-sized wooden sculpture of the 19th century from the area of the Polish Podtarze region, depicting Pensive Christ. It cost one crown and in 1914 it was purchased in Nowy Targ by Ksawery Prauss, a collector from Zakopane. In 1920, he donated his collection to the Tatra Museum and thus the sculpture, along with 93 other ethnographic objects from Podhale, became part of the museum collection.

Wooden sculpture “Madonna and Child” of Jan Kluś

The folk sculpture Madonna and Child was made in the 19th century by a village woodcarver Jan Kluś of Olcza (originally, Olcza was an independent settlement, now it is a district of Zakopane). It belongs to the most outstanding sculptures in the collection of the Tatra Museum.

Wooden sculpture “Highlander”

Full wooden sculpture depicting a man’s figure dressed in a folk outfit similar to outfits worn by Podhale highlanders in the 2nd half of the 19th century. It was purchased for the Tatra Museum’s collection in the 1990s. There is no information about its author, place, or time of completion.

Wayside shrine “Pensive Christ”

Until 1968, the shrine stood by a rural road. Its principal part was made of a thick pine trunk, and the figure of Pensive Christ of lime wood. The shrine is crowned with a sloping roof, its front supported with two columns. The pillar has been preserved only partially. Pensive Christ is represented here as Christ the King, as a royal crown sits on top of the sculpture rather than a crown of thorns.

Wall-mounted figure “Pietà”

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.

Vase with a dance circle motif

A vase with a flat bottom and a belly gradually widening upwards. Around the vessel a decorative ornament presenting a circle of dancing figures holding each other’s hands, also serving as a vase handle. The pottery and tile ware factory, J. Niedźwiecki and Co. in Dębniki, was also famous for the production of artistic faience in the years 1900–1910.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah 3

The third of the tomb steles found in the region of Lower Nubia, which belongs to the Archaeological Museum of Kraków. Similarly to the two remaining ones, the stele bears an inscription in the Old Nubian language. The inscription on the stele contains numerous grammar mistakes, mostly influenced by the Old Nubian language.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah 2

The stele comes from the Christian necropolis in Lower Nubia (present day Egypt). It is one of the three stelae from that region presented on our website and one of seven stelae stored in Poland. The inscription placed on the stele is written in the Old Nubian language, which is indicated, for example, by the use of colons for dividing numbers.

Tomb stele from Ginari Tafah

The sculpture was purchased in Cairo by soldiers of the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade during WW II. The stele comes from the Christian site in Lower Nubia (present day Egypt) in Ginari Tafah. The tombstone is topped with an imitation of a conch. Traces of dark red paint on the tombstone indicate that it must have been painted originally. The epitaph begins with the formula declaring the death of the person called Elisabeth.

Throne for a church monstrance

A Baroque architectural throne for a church monstrance. A Baroque framing decorated with an auricular style ornament as well as a radiant halo consisting of rays alternately straight or curved. At the sides are two allegorical figures, at the finial of the framing are two figures of angels.

The tombstone of king Władysław I the Short

The circumstances in which Władysław I Łokietek’s gravestone was founded remain unknown. The artistic form of the tomb was mentioned for the first time as late as in Annals of the Famous Kingdom of Poland by Jan Długosz : his body is buried in the cathedral church by the main altar, to the left, in a tomb of white marble adorned with sculptures and a canopy, in front of St. Władysław’s altar, which he, in his lifetime, ordered to be built and furnished. St. Władysław’s altar mentioned here was actually founded by Łokietek’s son – Kazimierz the Great – most likely soon after 1333.

The tombstone of king Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk

Kazimierz IV’s tomb is one of the most spectacular pieces of late gothic art. On the one hand, it clearly refers to a local tradition started by Władysław I Łokietek’s tombstone; on the other hand, it comprised of a number of unique iconographic solutions that exhibit erudition of local intellectual circles. The king lies on the top slab of the tomb, but his figure is presented in an utterly exceptional way. It is an extremely expressive and veristic image because the ruler was captured in agony. What is more, unlike the earlier royal tombs in Kraków, Kazimierz IV is dressed in a clergyman’s robe, which was used only for a coronation ceremony. The richly draped cope, clasped at the chest with a magnificent brooch, attracts special attention. It is a singular image with no analogical piece found so far. It is most often interpreted within the scope of patristics of the early Christian Church; the king’s physical death was juxtaposed with the birth of the soul to eternal life.

The tombstone of king Kazimierz III the Great

Kazimierz III’s (Casimir the Great’s) tombstone was sculpted in red limestone from the Hungarian town of Esztergom, which has been traditionally called ‘marble’. It may be assumed that the type of material was consciously selected, since the colour red had been associated with power and reserved for rulers since the time of the Roman Empire. The king’s tomb was sculpted on three sides only. On the top slab, there is a gisant supporting his legs on a lion, which most often symbolised valour in medieval times and was frequently used to propagate royal virtues. Comparing the ruler to a lion is one of the most recurring topoi of medieval culture. The king was depicted as an old man with long hair and a beard styled in tight curls. Works on this subject mistakenly claim this depiction to be a realistic study of the king’s face. In fact it is an example of a physiognomic type typical of the Middle Ages, which aimed at presenting the ruler as a wise and strict old man modelled after depictions of great ancient sages, Old Testament prophets, apostles, and other venerable figures from the past. The king was portrayed in a leather tunic and a loose cloak, garments which were characteristic of court fashion in the 3rd quarter of the 14th century. Especially of note is the magnificent belt comprising elements shaped as fortified buildings. It may be assumed that it carries an eschatological message via reference to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The tombstone of king Jan I Olbracht

The tomb of Jan I Olbracht is a milestone piece not only for Kraków artistic circles but for the entire country. It was sculpted in the years 1502–1505 and consists of two parts executed by two different artists of different backgrounds, education and experience. From the local tradition of commemorating dead rulers derives the tomb sculpted in red stone from the Esztergom quarry, placed in a very deep niche carved into the western wall of a chapel. The tomb is decorated on the front side only (the sides are not exposed), while figural representations were replaced by a rectangular inscribed plaque. This simple and sophisticated solution clearly refers to the art of ancient Rome, in which inscription plaques were the basic element of commemoration of the deceased (Lat. tabulae ansatae). The long inscription was carved in the humanist capitals that had been created based on ancient Roman letterforms and is one of the first instances where such a font was used in Poland.

The figurine of St. Kinga by Józef Janos

The sculpture was made by the folk artist Józef Janos from Dębno Podhalańskie, a known holy-image maker, author of numerous roadside shrines and church figures.

The "Christ in Gethsemane" sculpture

The sculpture Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is a depiction of the time when Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, just before he was taken captive. It may have been a fragment of a non-preserved composition showing Christ praying in the company of the sleeping apostles and an angel with a cup of bitterness, heralding future suffering.

Table clock with shape of Hungarian hussar

The characteristic feature of the presented clock is the unusual carved wooden and polychrome casing in the shape of a Hungarian hussar. The clockwork mechanism with a round clock face, made in Bochnia...

Stela of man from Kom Abou Billou

Banquet scene inside an aedicula consisting of two flat columns supporting a semicircular pediment, now lost. A papyrus capital is still visible on the column to the right. The deceased is depicted as a partaker in a banquet, reclining on a couch with two pillows and mattress. Horizontal engraved lines below the representation were intended for an inscription.

Statuette “Napoleon on a Horse” by Piotr Michałowski

Michałowski created a model (probably made of plaster) for this figurine between 1832 and 1835 in Paris while being part of the circle of the Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet's studio, at that time — as the painter's daughter will later put it — “a real hotbed of Bonapartism.” Drawing on the iconography of heroic leaders, he represented Napoleon on a galloping horse, his hand outstretched to point the direction of an attack; that is in almost the same way as in his other representations of the emperor of that time: the oil painting, Napoleon on Horseback Giving Orders (the National Museum in Wrocław) and a similar watercolour painting (National Museum in Kraków).