Marcin Kromer’s old print, being one of the oldest book relics, is entitled De origine et rebus gestis polonorum (On the origin and deeds of Poles). The printed book by Kromer (in Latin) shows the 16th-century researcher’s state of knowledge about history and it is also an interesting source in the field of research contemporary to him on the oldest history of Poland.
The presented image from the collections of the Museum of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts is untypical of Wędrychowski. It presents an unspecified Polish legation in audience at the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The characters costumes and interior refer to the 17th and 18th centuries. The scene takes place in a faithfully devoted real interior – Arz Odası, the auditorium of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. MEPs according to the Turkish custom have their own costumes put on special caftans in which the deputies were dressed before visiting the grand vizier or sultan. This richly decorated attire was highly desirable by Polish visitors.
Although, in the opinion of specialists, the term “hangman” does not reflect the actual purpose of the weapon, according to legend, it was used to punish two gargoyles who, while wanting to rob the church of the Blessed Virgin (part of the Augustian abbey partly destroyed in the 19th century), violated the stability of the building.
Authenticity has become a growing need of the contemporary world. Although the concept itself is hard to define, it has become one of the main criteria of quality with respect to cultural heritage issues. We think about authenticity while appreciating a historic object. We want to know what is genuine and authentic, we strive for a tangible connection with the past. Over the last two centuries, conservators, historians and architects have tried to respond to this need by defining, in different ways, the concept of historical truth present in architecture. From Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879), who strived to achieve stylistic purity, though frequently followed his own idea of the medieval form, to those who opposed him: Alois Riegl (1858–1905) of the Viennese school and Max Dvořák (1874–1921), the future head of the Central Commission, who negated any interference in historic layers, recognising their equal value to one another.
John I Albert, son of Casimir IV Jagiellon and the grandson of Władysław II Jagiełło, became the King of Poland on the 27th of August 1492.
The events took place in Paris, near the famous big wheel – a huge Ferris wheel – called La Grande Roue (later immortalised in the picture Fencing). It was Sunday, 6 April 1914. At 11:15, Leon Chwistek and Władysław Dunin-Borkowski faced each other, along with peers and colleagues from their studies at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. They had both found themselves in Paris to continue their studies: Chwistek – drawing, and Borkowski – painting. Both were also involved in the activities of the Paris-based paramilitary division of the Polish Riflemen’s Association, which was the basis of the Polish Legions of Józef Piłsudski, which they both soon joined.
How were autochromes made? It was a process that consisted in producing colour photographs on glass plates, as diapositives invented on 17 December 1903 by Louis and August Lumière who improved the technology in the following years and launched the mass production of autochrome plates...
Among the four mounds in Krakow, the Piłsudski Mound is the youngest and the biggest. It was raised on the top of Sowiniec Hill, situated in the Wolski Forest. In 1934 the Association of Polish Legionnaires put forward the idea of raising a mound-statue of the nation’s fight for independence.
Biecz is a town that evokes longing for past times. Traces of the past can be found here almost at every step. In 1311, Biecz became the royal city. Then, King Władysław I the Elbow-high joined it permanently to the royal property. In parallel, the bourgeois Biecz, the Biecz of merchants and craftsmen, was also developing...
Who was Martin Kromer, author of 16th century work on Polish history, which two editions we present on our website?
What is the meaning of the well-known saying “the city air makes you free”? What is its origin? Freedom in the city? In this thicket of streets, in the ever-bustling crowd and within the space limited by the infinity of the buildings? Is freedom not associated with a rural landscape? This saying was coined in the Middle Ages, in connection with the flourishing of cities as centres of trade exchange. Initially, people dealing with trade and handicraft did not differ from peasants in any way. They were equally subject to the feudal lord whose land they used.
The first source of information about Koszyce is contained in the data on Peter’s pence from the year 1328, where a record states: “Peter’s pence was donated jointly by the parish of Witów–Koszyce”. A breakthrough in written sources regarding the city took place in 1374. That year, a city charter under Magdeburg law was granted to Koszyce by Elizabeth, daughter of Władysław I the Elbow-high.
The exhibit comes from a rich collection of patriotic jewellery in the Chrzanów museum. Such jewellery is often called mourning jewellery as it often came from the period of national mourning that followed on Polish territory the defeat of the January Insurrection of 1863.
A large urn in the form of a cylinder, on a round flat plinth, supported on three stylised animal paws. At the edge of the urn is a crowned eagle with outspread wings. On the external wall of the urn is a map of the Second Republic of Poland on which all the airports are marked; above the map is a flying airplane, further to the right the marshal’s baton and a relevant inscription. The urn contains ground collected from 40 airports.
The painting shows Henryk Dembiński (1791–1864), a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, an outstanding commander and strategist in the November Uprising, and one of the leaders of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848–1849, sitting thoughtfully, in a staff tent. Under a veiled curtain, a battle scene is visible in the distance. The painting symbolically refers to the work of the master Rodakowski, Léon Cogniet (1794–1880), who — after the failure of the November Uprising — painted the picture Prague 1831, showing a fresh battlefield and an officer standing in front of it, whose attitude and facial expression were marked by determination and a desire for revenge.
One of a few preserved specimens from 1792. An even-armed cross with slightly arched arm edges. On the obverse the arms are covered with black enamel with a golden rim left on the edges. The arms feature the order’s motto of VIR/ TUTI/ MILI/ TARI. At the intersection of the cross’s arms there is a round central shield covered with green-enamelled laurel leaves on the rim. In the central field there is an enamelled image of a white eagle with a golden crown, with a sceptre in its beak and an orb in its claws.
The presented pencil drawing by Jan Matejko is a sketch for the painting entitled Długosz and St. Kazimierz which was eventually left unpainted. On his paintings, Matejko often presented historical topics from the reign of the Jagiellonians. One can mention, among others, such paintings as: Stańczyk during a ball at the court of Queen Bona, in the face of the loss of Smolensk (1862), Union of Lublin (1869), The Hanging of the Sigismund bell (1874), or Prussian Homage (1880–1882).
The presented old print is the most complete issue of one of the best known works by Marcin Cromer with the Polish title: O pochodzeniu i czynach Polaków ksiąg trzydzieści [About origins and deeds of Poles in thirty books] (the first Polish translation of the work written in Latin came out in 1611).
Józef Szujski (1835–1883), born in Tarnów, was permanently associated with Kraków because of his life, academic work, and political activity. A pupil of the Saint Anna Junior High School in Kraków, he had shown many abilities since he was a child. He knew six foreign languages, wrote poetry, and, in later years...
Two curved and crossed cobalt swords are the hallmark of the porcelain factory in Meissen and have marked its products for over three hundred years. The Meissen Royal Factory first started the production of European porcelain. Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, in collaboration with Johann Friedrich Böttger, discovered the closely guarded secret of its production in 1708. Under Böttger’s supervision, pursuant to the Royal Decree, in 1710, Kursächsische Manufaktur started to function in the castle of Albrechtsburg in Meissen.