The representative room of the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace, known as the Room of Virtues, houses the gallery of old Polish portrait paintings that were common in the old Poland. For the nobility, their own images and depictions of their relatives and ancestors formed a vital factor for building family and social ties and documenting genealogy and affiliations.
The portrait depicts Seweryn Jan Rzewuski of the Krzywda coat of arms, a son of Stanisław Mateusz, the Grand Crown Hetman, an older brother of Hetman Wacław Rzewuski, and of Ludwika née Kunicka.
Brocading (from the French word brocher) is a technique involving the introduction of an additional metal thread (gold or silver) or silk thread into the fabric. This thread passed through the width of the fabric only at the spot where the ornament appeared, thus creating a pattern.
The sashes worn with the kontusz by the nobility of the Republic of Poland are of Eastern origin. In Poland they became popular by the agency of Armenians, who first brought them from Persia and Turkey, and later initiated their production in the workshops set up in Poland. The best-known manufacturing factory was located in Słuck.
This outfit, comprising the kontusz, żupan, trousers, kalpak, boots and karabela sabre, belonged to the Drohojowski Family from Czorsztyn. A full Polish national costume consists of an external part known as the kontusz and the żupan, the part which is worn underneath the kontusz. The kontusz was made of velvet. The back was cut in a characteristic manner with the so-called pillar, flared with a system of deep pleats highlighted with the sewn-in silk haberdashery.
The statue is modelled on a portrait painted in 1737 by Louis de Silvestre, the court painter of Augustus III. The sculpture was designed by Johann Joachim Kändler in 1740, on the request of Heinrich, Count von Brühl; the sculpting work was completed in the autumn of 1741 and was carried out in cooperation with Johann Friedrich Eberlein and with the assistance of Johann Gottlieb Ehder.
According to popular opinion, the Order of the White Eagle is the oldest Polish decoration. Perhaps not everyone knows about this, but it was preceded by not just one but two other orders...