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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).

“Herbarium of Tatra mosses” of Tytus Chałubiński

Tytus Chałubiński’s herbarium of Tatra mosses is the most valuable botanical collection at the Dr Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum. Doctor Tytus Chałubiński (1820–1889), a man of broad horizons and multiple interests, a great physician with a passion for botany, is one of the legendary figures of Zakopane.

Simon Syrenius’s “Herbarium”

Autorem Zielnika... jest Szymon Syreniusz (ok. 1540–1611), lekarz i botanik, profesor Akademii Krakowskiej. Dzieło zawiera opisy 765 roślin leczniczych wraz z ich leczniczym zastosowaniem. Monografia zawiera drzeworytnicze wizerunki roślin. Jak wynika z tytułu, był on przeznaczony lekarzom...

Bennettitales (a fossil plant) “Cycadeoidea polonica Wallisch”

The presented object is a fragment of the trunk of a cycad — a fossil plant. Bennettitales (Cycadeoidopsida) is a class of extinct gymnosperms which could be found all over the world in the Mesozoic era. In Poland only several specimens of the silicified sprouts of these plants, which belong to the family of Cacadeoidaceae, are known.

“Hydria” apothecary vase

A hydria type apothecary vase. Majolica. Savona (Italy). The 2nd half of the 17th century. Handles in the shape of (fantastic) animal heads on massive bent necks. In the front, at the bottom, there is a relief of a gargoyle. In its mouth there is an opening to pour out the content of the vase, plugged with a standard cork. There are smaller gargoyles without openings on the sides of the vessel, under the handles.

Bennettitales (a fossil plant) “Cycadeoidea Niedźwiedzki Rac.”

The presented object is a trunk of a cycad — a fossil plant. Bennettitales (Cycadeoidopsida) is a class of extinct gymnosperms which could be found all over the world in the Mesozoic era.

“Flower” calligraphy by Chuei Sekiguchi (alias Kyōso)

From the dawn of history, the Japanese have observed nature carefully. The elements of nature, including various flowers with their symbolic meaning, became frequent motifs used in art and ornamentation. To this day, these natural phenomena are reflected in Japanese customs and traditions. An old custom hanami (in Japanese watching flowers) is still hugely popular when, in spring, whole families have picnics under blossoming cherry trees.

Jagiellonian tapestry “God Conversing with Noah” from the “Story of Noah” series

The textile depicts one of the episodes of the Book of Genesis and is one of eight tapestries of the Sigismund collection forming a series dedicated to the figure of Noah. The Latin inscription in the upper border perfectly desribes the scene taking place below: “Noah walks with God. God reveals to Noah the future flood and commands him to build an ark for salvation”. God warns Noah – the only righteous inhabitant of the earth – that because of mankind’s sins, he intends to flood the earth. He tells Noah to build an ark in order to save Noah’s family. Noah is also to bring a pair of animals of each species into the ark (Genesis 6:13–21).

Longcase clock

One of the two twin longcase clocks, decorated with the imitation of green Far Eastern lacquer, comes from the castle in Podhorce, belonging originally to the Rzewuski family and subsequently purchased together with its furnishings by the Sanguszko family. The clock cases distinguish themselves with the pseudo-Chinese decoration painted in gold, enriched with European motifs and “Chinese” figural scenes and landscapes.

Apothecary majolica vessel — “albarello”

Majolikowe naczynie apteczne typu albarello, eliptycznie wklęsłe, powstało w Faenzie (Włochy) w połowie XVI wieku. Dekoracja figuralno-roślinna w kolorach niebieskim, zielonym, żółtym i pomarańczowym; postać ludzka to zielarka z chustą na zioła na plecach. Napis na banderoli: Aloe patico...

Tree of life “Gunungan” — shadow theatre figure “wayang kulit purwa” from Indonesia

Gunungan is one of the most important figures that opens a traditional performance of the Indonesian shadow theatre wayang kulit purwa. It depicts a tree of life representing the five elements making up the universe: earth, air, fire, wind and water. It also symbolises a palace, forest, and sea, as well as the above-ground and underground worlds.

Orava clock

This is a domestic wall clock with a pendulum, having an escapement with a drive and a signalling mechanism chiming the hours. It is also equipped with a weight drive. The whole mechanism is placed in a wooden casing with a bell and a hammer at the top.

Painted wooden folk cupboard

The painted cupboard consists of a base in the form of a low cabinet, equipped with shelves covered with a door and two drawers as well as a shallower cabinet with a glazed door. The interior of the adjustment with a shelf is painted dark blue and the background is also decorated with yellow and red stars. The adjustment is equipped with a back that isolates it from the wall. The “crown” at the top, which is also called a comb, is profiled and ornamented. The bottom of the base functions as the legs of a cupboard.

“Ise-katagami” dyeing stencil with a motif of “momiji” maple leaves and branches

A kimono is one of the first things that comes to mind when we think of Japan. We always see those traditional dresses exquisitely decorated with painted or embroidered designs. Each of them is decorated with the most beautiful and elegant patterns. However, there are also everyday kimonos with repeating, small patterns of flowers, birds, fans and other motifs. They are made using stencils such as the Ise-katagami, which the Japanese have been creating for centuries.

Painting “Girl with Chrysanthemums” by Olga Boznańska

Above all, Olga Boznańska is a portraitist, an artist of portraits painted in muted colours, sometimes almost monochrome. The figures in her paintings are usually represented indoors, against a neutral background constructed with diffused and subdued lighting, subtly defining the space and imparting her paintings with an aura of the unreal.

Teresa Murak, “Third Crop”

The work visualises the process of growth, maturing and decay. Simultaneously, it carries a natural association with the traditional Polish Easter custom of growing from seed water cress, which thus becomes a symbol of new life. The work is also permeated with the longing to be at one with nature, also present in the artist’s other works.

Majolica apothecary vessel

The maiolica pharmacy jug is decorated with an orange, blue, and green plant ornament. It is worth noting the unusual handle – parallel (not perpendicular) to the jug’s body – thanks to which it was possible to lift and carry such a large and heavy vessel using a lowered hand. Under the handle, there is a mascaron head, resembling that of a lion.

Percolator

Perkolator jest przyrządem służącym do ekstrakcji surowców roślinnych metodą polegającą na ciągłym, powolnym przepływie rozpuszczalnika przez warstwę surowca. Metoda ta nazywana jest perkolacją (łac. percolo, przepływać) lub rzadziej deplasacją. Dzięki niej otrzymuje się ekstrakty znacznie...

Painting “Bouquet” by Felicja Curyłowa

This painting represents the Zalipie culture which is closely connected with the Dąbrowa district. The fact that it was painted by Felicja Curyłowa, one of the most talented artists from Zalipie, makes this exhibit even more valuable. Enjoying great authority and endowed with organisational skills, being conscious of the value of local decorative traditions, Curyłowa made Powiśle famous not only in Poland but also outside the borders of the country.

Etrog tin

An etrog tin in the shape of a pomegranate with three leaves, oxidised and open in the middle. The exhibit presumably belonged to rich Jews, as only they could afford such a decorated, silver container, used to carry the etrog to a synagogue on the holiday of Sukkot.