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Coffin portrait of a young woman

The image of an unknown young woman is an example of a coffin portrait: a special genre of portraits that emerged in close relation with the funeral customs in the Baroque period.

Painting “Meditations” (“Ash-Wednesday”), from the Cycle: "Ceremonies" — VII

Witold Wojtkiewicz occupies a special position among the Young Poland painters. His paintings, typical of the decadent fin de siècle, were described by André Gide as the “personal fusion of Naturalism, Impressionism and grotesque.” The artist created his own painting world, astonishingly expressionistic, as if from some somnambulistic vision.

Woman’s fan

The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.

Costume of a Scythian princess from Ryzhanovka

Since 1887 the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Kraków has boasted the equipment of a rich Scythian female tomb situated under the mound of a kurgan, examined in Ryzhanovka near Zvenyhorodka in Ukraine by Gotfryd Ossowski, the first curator of the Museum of National Antiquities (from which today’s Archaeological Museum has originated) at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kraków.

Ivory casket decorated with scenes from chanson de geste

The casket is cubical in shape and consist of six rectangular ivory plates bound together with metal nails and fittings. The top plate is fitted with hinges and serves as the lid. The front side is fitted with a rectangular lock decorated with an image of a tower and two persons: a woman with a large key in her hand and a man on his knees with his hands joined together. On the lid, there is a metal handle engraved in a diagonal checked pattern filled with simplified flowers. On the side plates, there are twelve figural scenes from medieval chance de geste, while on the lid, there are three court scenes. Narration in all of these images follows from the left to the right. The front side features the following images: Conversation of Alexander the Great with Aristotle, Phyllis and Aristotle, Thisbe and lion, Death of Pyramus and Thisbe, while the back side features: Lancelot fighting a lion, Lancelot crossing the Sword Bridge, Gauvain on the Dangerous Bed and Damsels freed by Gauvain. The left side features: Tristan and Iseult’s Meeting in the Garden, the Hunt of the Unicorn, while the right side features: Enyas’ fight with a savage and Old Porter Welcomes Galahad. The lead features a Knight Tournament in the centre, flanked by two scenes which together depict the motif of Siege of the Castle of Love. The Kraków casket is one of seven so called complex caskets, which can be found in world’s most important collections of medieval art.

The Wilamowice folk costume

Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.

Katarzyna Górna, “Fuck me, Fuck you, Peace”

A photographic triptych, showing women in different stages of their lives – from youth, through maturity to old age. The adopted poses as well as the compositions with a static, altar-like quality point to the inspiration by Christian iconography, recurrent in the artist’s work. The work deals with the relationship between age and the attitude to life. A young woman wants to be loved, a mature woman is fed up with everything and the old woman craves peace.

Women’s folk — the Szczawnica highlanders

Today’s female folk costume of the Szczawnica highlanders consists of a corset made of black velvet with large floral patterns embroidered with silk threads on the back and the front, which is put on a white shirt, a skirt from green tybet fabric printed in large red flowers, an embroidered tulle apron and kierpce (hard-soled leather moccasins) put on white socks. In the past married women covered their heads with coifs and later with scarves. In the winter they wore cloth slippers and long sheepskin coats with sleeves.

Garden dress

Crinoline dress made of white muslin printed with motifs of water plants at the bottom of the skirt, and flying butterflies and other insects above. A short camisole lined with a white fabric with whalebones and fastened in the front with buttons. Slotted and flared long sleeves sewn with frills.

Sculpture “Schoolgirl with a Rose Wreath” of the “Wawel Heads” series by Xawery Dunikowski

The sculpture, one of the most interesting female portraits of Dunikowski, was created as part of the plan to restore the lost heads on the ceiling of the Envoys’ Room (also called the Room under the Heads) on the second floor of the eastern wing of Wawel Royal Castle. Originally, there were 194 heads created by Sebastian Tauerbach and his team before 1540. The ceiling was devastated in the early 19th century, when the castle was turned into the barracks of the Austrian army; only 30 heads were saved by Princess Izabella Czartoryska. It was decided in 1924 that the set was to be reconstructed.

Sculpture “Bust of Róża Loewenfeld”

The sculpture presents a classicist bust of a young woman with a slightly bent head turned to the right. Admittedly, a faint resemblance of the artistic vision of the German sculptor to the actual figure raised doubts, but how many times have images been idealised, beautifying the portrayed individuals and making them look younger?

Sculpture “Portrait Study”

The sculpture was made after 1900 by the artist-sculptor Henryk Hochman, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, a disciple of Florian Cynk and Konstanty Laszczka. Hochman continued his education in the workshop of August Rodin in Paris.

Sculpture “In the Theatre Box” by Luna Amalia Drexler

The sculpture represents a figure of a sitting woman depicted from the waist upwards. The woman is holding binoculars and slightly leaning out of the theatre box, assumedly to take a better look of the details of the artistic event in which she is participating. There is a satisfaction, or even reverie visible on her face. Is it because of the play?

Painting “Portrait of a Young Dutch Girl”

Portraits of the members of the Sanguszko family, one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the former Commonwealth, as well as of their closest relatives make a large group in the collection of the Museum in Tarnów. They were a part of the furnishing and decoration of palace interiors in numerous ducal mansions. The portrait presented here comes from Slavuta situated on the Horyn, one of the main rivers of Volhynia (Ukraine).

Painting “Portrait of Teresa Karolina Radziwiłłowa”

The portrait shows Teresa Karolina Radziwiłłowa, the daughter of the Grand Hetman of the Crown, Wacław Rzewuski and Anna née Lubomirska. From 1764 she was married to Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł, the voivode of Vilnius, popularly known as My Dear Sir [Panie Kochanku]. Divorced in 1781, she remarried Feliks Chobrzyński.

Painting “Portrait of Klementyna Sanguszko Ostrowska” of Vincenzo Camuccini

The portrait of Klementyna Countess Ostrowska, of the aristocratic Sanguszko family (1786–1841), was made around 1822. The author was Vincenzo Camuccini, a famous Italian artist, professor of the Academy of St. Luke in Rome. It comes from the palace of the Sanguszko family in Gumniska where, among a rich collection of works of art, there was also a collection of family portraits.

Cobalt-coloured bottle with gilding and a miniature painting depicting flowers

A pear-shaped porcelain perfume bottle decorated with fancy handles located on the sides of its body. The body of the vessel is coloured in cobalt. One side of the body features a small field with a miniature painting depicting a flower bouquet...

Perfume bottle in the form of a wineskin

The porcelain perfume bottle has the shape of a wineskin with the cross-section of a polygon. The vessel’s body is straight, without any narrowing, crowned by a spout with a flange expanding at the top, with a porcelain stopper inserted.

Sculpture “Maria Sobańska's bust” by Konstanty Laszczka

The bust of Maria, née Skrzyńska Sobańska, made in the Art Nouveau style, was carved out of Carrara marble. The object—acquired after the liquidation of a mansion—was transferred to the Regional Museum in Gorlice. Maria Sobańska came from the influential Skrzyński noble family, which had the title of “Count” .

Woman’s dress from Sudan

This women’s outfit from Sudan is probably dated to the 19th century. It is made of red silk embroidered with gold and silver threads and trimmed with a lace ribbon. The robe is 109 cm long, and measures 109 cm at its widest.