The painting was purchased for the museum in 1945. It was created in the second half of the 18th century in one of the guilds in Stary Sącz. It is a very interesting and symbolic work of art which refers to the theme of death and transience so popular in Baroque art. The painting is divided into three parts: two of them are in the shape of a standing rectangle in the upper part and one is of an oblong shape in the lower part.
The gorget, deriving from a knight's armour bevor, was used in Poland in the 18th century, mostly by members of the Bar Confederation (1768–1772). Decorated with effigies of Madonna and saints, as well as religious scenes, the gorget served as a “spiritual buckler.”
Set on a profiled base with bar holes is a picture painted on both sides of a board, presented in a simple frame, flanked with a wavy ribbon on the sides and topped with a decoratively cut peak with a cross. The structure of the procession float is painted with oil based cobalt paint.
Nero’s Torches by Henryk Siemiradzki, also called Candlesticks of Christianity, initiated the collection of the National Museum in Kraków. On the painting, the artist immortalised one of the most tragic moments in the history of Christianity, which was the burning of alleged perpetrators of the fire which broke out in Rome during the reign of Nero in 64 AD, described by Suetonius and Tacitus.
The project Genderqueer was implemented by Lidia Krawczyk and Wojciech Kubiak in the period 2006–2008. The first comprehensive presentation of a series of paintings, photographs, films, and sculptures was the exhibition, Becoming, in Bunkier Sztuki Gallery (2008), which, at the same time, was the crowning touch for all the activities related to it. The themes of the exhibition focused on the topic of the constant need to declare one’s identity and sexuality. The subject of interest to the artists was an attempt to show the ambiguity of the relations formed between what is feminine and masculine. People who expressed their willingness to share their experiences, related to expressing their own gender identity that deviates from socially expected conventions and the traditional division of gender roles, have become the protagonists of images and photography.
The works by Marcin Maciejowski reveal interest in the present and everyday life of a human being. His pictorial commentaries on reality are the result of insightful and multifaceted observation of Polish society. The artist analyses customs, explores stereotypes and cultural patterns. He deals with media topics, presenting figures known from the first pages of newspapers (politicians, journalists, celebrities), topics of sensational events, as well as social and economic problems. He devotes much attention to the social reception of art and the role of the artist.
St. Kinga was presented in art in two ways – as a young person in a rich princess’s costume or as an older nun in the Poor Clare habit. Jan Matejko made a deliberate statement of both conventions and portrayed St. Kinga at the age of around 60, in the princess’s robe and with attributes referring to her life at the Poor Clares Monastery (prayer book, crosier, view of the Monastery in Stary Sącz). The model for the character was Countess Katarzyna Adamowa Potocka, known from another portrait painted by Matejko – this time in a contemporary outfit.
The collection of historical paintings on glass in the Tatra Museum includes 459 paintings. Most of them are paintings on sacral themes that performed religious and decorative functions in the highlanders’ rooms. Only thirteen of them are secular images. Nine of them are devoted to the scene drawn from the bandit’s legend when Janosik’s fellowship receives a new companion who shows off his agility and, while jumping over a bonfire, simultaneously cuts the tip of a spruce with a shepherd’s axe and shoots off the tip of a fir–tree with a pistol held in the other hand.
Our Lady of Mariazell is one of the most broadly used images of St. Mary that can be found in paintings on glass. Legend has it that in 1157 a Benedictine monk from the abbey in St. Lambrecht set out with his pastoral mission to the vicinities of this Austrian town. He was accompanied by the figure of Our Lady with Baby Jesus sculpted in the lime-tree wood.
The picture of Wilhelm Sasnal presents a view of the burning Concorde aircraft. The artist recreated the frame from an amateur film made from a car window, which was the only video recording of the disaster at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in 2000. Presented for the first time at the exhibition, Scene 2000, at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, the picture is part of a series of canvases by this artist connected with the subject of disasters and accidents. Despite the fact that Sasnal created a few pictures concerning the subject of the Concorde catastrophe (shown in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery at the exhibition POPelita), each of them should be perceived as a separate work, and not a specific work cycle. Sasnal’s deep fascination with recordings showing the course of the catastrophe may indicate the artist’s desire to reach the “truth”, to spot what was hidden under the layer of words, descriptions, and interpretations. This pursuit is driven by the awareness of the impossibility of achieving the goal.
Wilhelm Sasnal’s painting depicts, in a one-to-one scale, a 43-cm metal object, which comes from the hull of the continental aircraft which caused the crash of the Air France Concorde in 2000. Presented for the first time at the exhibition, Scene 2000, at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, the picture is part of a series of canvases of the artist, connected with the subject of disasters and accidents. A few of them refer directly to the events related to the Concorde: apart from the two paintings belonging to the collection of the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, the canvas is also divided into nine sections presenting the individual stages of the plane’s explosion.
Helena Dąbczańska is a famous Lviv collector of incunabula, engravings, books, drawings, fabrics and furniture; the owner of a private museum organized in her own villa and the hostess on artistic Sunday mornings for representatives of the Lviv elite at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.