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Tournament armour

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

Thurible/censer

Jan Branicki from Ruszcza, district governor of Niepołomice in the years 1585–1611, took particular care of church paraments (vestments, liturgical vessels and all accessories indispensable for celebrating liturgy and cult). He funded chasubles, dalmatics, copes, albs, thuribles or cruets for the church in Niepołomice while his wife Anna was a founder of altar cloths, a veil, a monstrance and a black veil for the altar used during the Great Lent.

Sculpture “St. Anna” from 16th century

The Renaissance sculpture depicts a woman standing. Her right hand, which has not survived to this day, pressed a book to her chest; with the left one she holds a coattail.

“Stipo (studiolo, scrigno) a bambocci” writing cabinet with a table

The wall cabinet is made of nut wood, with an architectural structure referring to the façade of a Renaissance palazzo with artistic decoration of human figures and heads fully sculpted. A series of drawers and lockers in symmetrical arrangement are placed around the centrally located architectural construction door. It is placed on a secondary adjusted table, made in the 2nd half of the 19th century — especially for this particular cabinet.

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.

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).

Renaissance plate

This plate was originally located above the entrance gate to the city of Biecz. It belonged to Mikołaj Ligęza from Bobrek (c. 1530–1603) who obtained the position of starosta (district governor) of Biecz in 1561, through his marriage to Elżbieta née Jordan, and in 1575 the position of the governor of Biecz Province from Jan Tarło.

Chasuble of the Lubomirski Foundation

A white chasuble with an embroidered purple column. The type of embroidery dates this back to around 1600. It was made, among the others, with a gold and silver thread and stitches partially on an underlay of silk fabric with a lancé of gold wire. At the bottom of the vestment, the Lubomirski-Szreniawa coat of arms was gently but legibly incorporated into the chasuble column. The jacquard side fabric with a damask effect is from the 19th century.

Renaissance apothecary mortar from 1562

In pharmacies, mortars were used to crush a variety of substances and to make certain forms of prescription drugs, such as: emulsions, ointments and powders. The presented mortar comes from 1562. It has a conical shape and is made of bronze. Its decoration is a plant motif – acanthus leaves – with the year 1562 placed among them. An additional ornament...

Monstrance of the Branicki foundation

The late-Gothic monstrance – silver and gilded – goes in harmony with the style of the church in Niepołomice, whose Gothic character was enriched with Renaissance Branicki’s chapel. The Renaissance motifs – floral and geometric ornaments, figures of saints, putti or coat of arms – look good on the medieval architectural design, decorated with delicate pinnacles and finials. The Branicki family was concerned about the church accessories of the parish church in Niepołomice, that is why church utensils, canonicals and liturgical vessels funded by them.

Short stole of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The short stole, like the longer stole from the same set of vestments, was made of red silk satin with a floral pattern brocaded with a gold thread. The end is trimmed with a gold 1.2 cm wide border (galloon) with a geometric pattern. It was decorated with crosses made of gold border at the ends and in the central part. In addition, in the 20th century, a collar made of a piece of lace was sewn in the middle.

Chasuble of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The chasuble evolved from a Roman outer garment, which was a kind of sleeveless coat with only one small hole for the head. The chasuble was worn during all priestly acts. Beginning in the 13th century, the chasuble began to be shortened on the sides, so that it would not constrict hand movement, until the 17th century, when only two sheets of fabric remained: front and back. At the same time, the chasuble came to be decorated with increasingly rich embroidery.

Dalmatic of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The dalmatic was worn by the Greeks and Romans as a loose garment extended to the feet worn by lay people with long, wide sleeves and two vertical purple stripes, also known as clavi. In the 2nd century, it was adopted in Western Europe through Byzantium in today’s Dalmatia during the Merovingian and Carolingian period. The dalmatic has been functioning as a liturgical vestment since the 5th century, when it disappeared from lay people’s clothing.

Little sceptre of the Kraków's mayors

The sceptre was a symbol of the mayors of Kraków. The form of a sceptre symbolizes power, and this refers to royal sceptres or those of university rectors. It was made of silver, and some of the elements were gilded. The lower part of the handle has a hexagonal cross section, the upper part is round, separated by convex rings. The bead of the head is topped with a disc and finished with an openwork frieze of lilies.

Painting “Adoration of the Child” by Lorenzo Lotto

A joyful scene of the adoration of the Child (with saints: John the Baptist, Francis of Assisi, Joseph and Catherine of Alexandria) is a hidden allusion to Christ’s future fate. The Child’s deep sleep may be associated with the Redeemer’s martyr death through ancient references — Sleep (Hypnos) in the Greek mythology is the brother of Death (Thanatos).

Jagiellonian tapestry “The Spread of the Nations” from the “Story of the Tower of Babel” series

In front of us, the last act of the history of the Tower of Babel takes place – The Spread of the Nations. On a meadow at the foot of the hill, a group of people can be seen, with two men standing and five women sitting next to them on the grass. All attempts to communicate with one another have been in vain, the evidence of which is a tablet in the hands of the woman in a blue dress.

Jagiellonian tapestry “The Confusion of Tongues” from the “Story of the Tower of Babel” series

The Confusion of Tongues is the third tapestry of the Story of the Tower of Babel series. Unable to comunicate, the people begin to disperse leaving the construction unfinished. Two men in the foreground attempt to interact by using gestures, but it seems that this is in vain. Next to them, two women and a man are sitting in a boat. The man is loading a large package wrapped with string onto the boat. Behind them, resigned people are leaving the construction site; workers with pack animals are going in different directions. The tower itself looks as if it had been abandoned long ago; trees are growing on its lower storeys. God hovers above the tower.

Jagiellonian tapestry “Turkeys”

Verdures – tapestries presenting animals in a lanscape setting – are a large subset within the collection of Sigismund II Augustus. They can be divided into three groups. Turkeys is a part of a set of sixteen textiles in the shape of a horizontal rectangle. Central area is framed only by a narrow border of interweaving ribbons and flowers. They present animals commonly known in Europe, as well as exotic ones, such as turkeys, which were brought to Europe from America at that time. All the creatures are depicted amid the scenery of a Central European forest, in which, apart from the oaks, ivies and reeds typical of this region, there are fig trees and grapevines can.

Chair Upholstery Tapestry with a Bouquet of Flowers

This small tapestry belongs to a group of textiles intended as chair upholstery. It shows a colourful bouquet of flowers in a vase decorated with animal masks and small golden garlands. The flowers in the vase are probably large two-coloured irises interwoven with blooms of clematis with dark green leaves. The composition is complemented with blue periwinkles. In the corners of the tapestry, lion masks are placed on the border of interwoven ribbons filled with a floral ornament. The border ornament is characteristic of the entire collection.

Over-Window Tapestry with Figures Holding Cornuncopias

The tapestry has been preserved in two parts. Like other arcade tapestries of this type, which were designed to be put up above window recesses, it was damaged when it was kept in Russia in the nineteenth century. At that time, its central section was cut out. In both sections of the textile, a goddess is shown with a palm wreath on her head. The seated figure holds a cornucopia in her hands, which allows us to identify her as Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest.