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Fishskin jacket

A jacket sewn of tanned sea fishskin as protective wear for an Aleut child. Jackets and waterproof capes made of fishskin or intestines of sea mammals were worn over clothes made of seal or reindeer leather. The jackets provided protection against wind and water, being a necessary element during seal hunting trips.

Figurine of sitting ibis (small)

This well-made figurine represents a sitting ibis with big head on arched neck, long beak and claws. The details of the beak and legs, as well as of the feathers, are engraved. An ornamental collar (?) masks the junction of...

The Albino magpie

This bird has a very characteristic black and white plumage, black beak and legs. Its dark feathers have a metallic sheen, green-navy one on wings, as well as scarlet on the head and back, distinguishing it from the corvids. The presented specimen is unique, because of a very rare gene mutation that caused a lack of pigmentation in this individual and, as a result, its white plumage in places where magpies normally have black or light-brown feathers.

Zoomorphic vessel (Chancay Culture)

The vessel comes from the 1876 Peruvian collection of Władysław Kluger. The hollow, zoomorphic figurine most likely represents a llama. It was made of a ceramic material, then coated with a light-coloured slip and white paint, which is most noticeable on the muzzle of the animal.

Tapestry with the Monogram of Sigismund Augustus in Cartouche

This tapestry of a group of monogram grotesques with the initials of King Sigismund II Augustus placed under a crown in a decorative cartouche belongs to a series of seven drapes (door curtains). In four of them, the cartouche is accompanied by satyrs playing instruments while the other three depict nymphs sitting on thrones. The composition is a representative example of ornamentation called Netherlandish grotesque. It was modelled on a print of ca. 1546 by Cornelis Bos, one of the founders and pioneers of this type of decoration. The painted design for the tapestry was modified, but the set of motifs and the general outline remained unchanged.

Horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka

The horn of Salt Diggers Brotherhood of Wieliczka is a unique Renaissance work of art commemorating the past wealth of Kraków salt mines. It is the only historical object of such preserved in Poland — the genuine horn of an aurochs (the species that became extinct in Poland in the 17th century, the ancestor of cattle), precisely framed in silver embedded in various golden ornaments.

“A pastoral scene against the landscape” by Peter Philipp Roos

Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;}The present picture shows a pastoral scene typical of the painter. The work is kept in a warm, narrow colour range dominated by bronzes. The weather, captured perfectly by the painter, evokes the impression of hot and humid August afternoons: dark, stormy clouds are hanging over the hot, steaming earth below which birds are flying, escaping from the impending storm.

“Saint George slaying the dragon” – a plaster cast of a medieval sculpture

The bronze original is located in the National Gallery in Prague. Once, it was in the third courtyard of the Prague Castle, where a bronze copy is now located. The original was probably created in 1373 and was funded by the Bohemian King and Roman Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg, who was at the peak of his power at the time. Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;}

“Wild boar” – a plaster cast of an antique sculpture

The plaster statue of a wild boar in the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków is a copy of an ancient sculpture stored in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. This marble representation of a wild boar comes from Roman times and is a copy of the lost Hellenistic original probably made in Lysippos’circles. The Roman statue of a wild boar was presented to the Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de Medici (1519–1574) by Pope Pius IV (1499–1565). At the request of Cosimo de Medici, the sculptor Pietro Tacca (1577–1640) made a bronze copy, which contributed to the popularization of the statue. Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;}

“Grotta del Cane”

Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;}The present anonymous painting depicts the famous Grotta del Cane [it. Cave of Dogs]. It is located near Naples, by Lake Agname. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the cave was one of the tourist attractions of the region, visited by aristocrats and intellectuals travelling across Italy as part of so-called Grand Tour: a journey through the Old Continent, which was a traditional stage in the education of European elites.

“The album of plants and animals”

The preserved collection of paintings, called, The album of plants and animals, is identified as the representations of plants and animals which are known from a source text and were purchased for the School of Drawing and Painting by the painter Józef Peszka. A document has been preserved in the archives of the Jagiellonian University, in which Peszka enumerates the items purchased for the school in 1920. In the list, under number 7, he wrote: “A collection of oil-painted animals and birds and flowers on a thick folio paper 30 pieces PLN 540”.

Jagiellonian tapestry “Paradise Bliss” of the “History of the First Parents” series

The Jagiellonian tapestry Paradise Bliss is the first fabric of the History of the First Parents series, commissioned by Sigismund II Augustus and created in Brussels during the years 1550–1560. It depicts events of the beginning of the Biblical Book of Genesis (Gen 2.8.–3.20).

Piotr Lutyński, “Bird column”

The work The Bird Column was created in 2003 in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery and functioned as an exhibition in the process. The titular Bird Column, called by Lutyński “an animated sculpture” and “a large nest full of birds”, took the form of an installation: it was a developed construction, inside which there were paintings and objects made of wood and the birds, whose singing was heard throughout the Gallery from microphones placed nearby. In the next room, there was a goat with its kids. The whole exhibition was accompanied by texts referring to the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals, ornithologists, and bird breeders.

Bartosz Kokosiński, “Picture devouring a landscape painting”

Taking up the fight with the two-dimensionality of the painter’s medium, Bartosz Kokosiński inflates the structure of the canvases with foam, deforms them, and radically bends their stretched frames. He deconstructs the painting as an artistic medium. In his most famous series – paintings devouring reality (2010–2015) – the canvases have been transformed into expanded objects, drawing in collections of various things, found by Kokosiński at flea markets, attics, and in the studios of befriended artists.

Small bottle in the form of a bull

The small porcelain perfume bottle is in the shape of a figurine showing an anthropomorphized bull or cow. The figure has a human body and an erect posture. The head has the shape of a cow’s or bull’s head, proportional to the whole body. The figure is dressed in a wide green coat ending behind the knees, white trousers and black shoes.

Jagiellonian tapestry “Dragon Fighting with a Panther”

Imaginary animals are not predominant in tapestry presentations but sometimes appear there. Their presence usually has a symbolic meaning. In the tapestry Dragon Fighting with a Panther, this is derived from Physiologus, which is an ancient treatise on animals containing, aside from their description, an allegorical interpretation of animals, plants and minerals. According to it, the panther is loved by all animals, with the exception of the dragon. Such a presentation was interpreted as an allegory of Christ's struggle against Satan. Here, the dragon symbolises the forces of evil, and the panther the forces of good.

The European bee-eater

The former name of this bird (Merops apiaster Linnaeus, 1758)—the bee-eater—says a lot about its biology. The bee-eater (Merops apiaster is its full name according to the binominal nomenclature of species) is a bird from the bee-eater family (most species from this family occur in Africa and Asia). It feeds on insects, including bees and wasps caught in flight. bee-eaters establish nests in loess escarpments by drilling special tunnels in them (usually in high escarpments and banks).

Fish-shaped besamin box

Besamin boxes [heb. bassamim, psumin-byksy] served as containers for spices and were used during the end of the Sabbath and were usually tower-shaped, whereas the besamin box from Sącz was in the shape of a fish, whose head, connected with a trunk with a hinge could be opened and tilted.

Sculpture “Birds” by Jędrzej Wowro

Jędrzej Wowro (Andrzej Wawro) was the most famous folk artist of the interwar period. He was born in 1864 in Gorzeń Dolny near Wadowice. He came from a poor family and was used to working hard from an early age. He carved his first figurines while neglecting his shepherding duties.

“Roztruchan” decorative cup

Aside from its practical functions, the silver tableware collected and stored in Old Polish houses also had representative functions. There was also a separate group of dishes of a primarily decorative character, whose original, sophisticated form, perfection of composition, and materials used for their production were to dazzle and delight the guests.