What tales were engraved on the surface of the goblet? Who are the characters depicted on the dish? Thanks to the 3D technique, by turning the goblet, you can read the entire biblical story recorded in the Old Testament Book of Judges. We invite you to read and wander through the details and secrets of this precious object.
In the late Middle Ages, popular romances and knight poems, as well as legends from the north, had an enormous influence on court culture. On their basis, court customs developed, an essential aspect of which was an image of ideal love. This was reflected in the ceremonies glorifying the figure of a lady. The decoration of a small case from the 2nd quarter of the 14th century is some kind of interpretation of the medieval world-view, centred around courtly love, which — interestingly — was an ethical problem. Its moralistic and didactic themes, having literary sources, evoked good and bad examples of behaviour, building the principles of proper behaviour.
It is a very massive stone sculpture made by a folk artist from Turza (a village) nearby Biecz. The figure is set on a square base. It depicts the figure of Christ sitting on a block of stone, shown en face, with his head resting on his right hand and his left hand resting on his knees.
The depiction of Christ in Gethsemane appeared three times in the works currently attributed to Veit Stoss. The theme itself is one of the scenes in the iconography of the Passion. It was widely used in the 2nd half of the 15th century in the art of South Germany. This event was described in the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. Christ is shown praying in Gethsemane (the olive garden) at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, accompanied by three sleeping apostles: St. John, St. Peter, and St. James.
Christ’s resurrection is a key event for Christians, while Easter is the most important celebration of the liturgical year. Interestingly, the image of Christ emerging from the grave only appeared in European art at the end of the 12th century. Earlier, the mystery of the Resurrection was hidden in other depictions, such as the Descent into the Abyss, Three Marys at the grave, or Noli me tangere. Sometimes, it also happened that all these themes appeared in a single work of art (an example of which is the Altar of the Basilica in Kraków by Veit Stoss), complementing each other and telling the whole story of the Resurrection.
The painting Adoration of the Child by Lorenzo Lotto presents a scene popular in the Renaissance, with the Mother of God and the Child on his knees and Saint John the Baptist, portrayed as a child, in the company of saints. This work — characterized by a deep passion symbolism — also has a political context, provided by the characters gathered on the painting.
The painting, Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene, from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz is preserved in a rare state of completeness. The essence of the retable can be investigated based on this example. At the end of the 15th century, the retable constituted an expanded structure composed of an immovable main panel, the movable wings attached to it; a predella, which served as a basis for the wings, the main panel, and a finial.
The Włocławek reliquary (also known as the Kruszwica reliquary) was created in the 2nd quarter of the 12th century, supposedly in Swabia. It is linked to the Zwiefalten workshop. The exhibit is in the form of a rectangular low chest on four legs made of oak wood and covered with a copper sheet decorated with champlevé (blue, fair blue, white and green), engraved and gilded.
The theme of a Pensive Christ is one of the most popular ones in folk art. The figure from the Pieniny Mountains Museum collection comes from the village of Sromowce Niżne, the population of which belongs to an ethnographic group of Pieniny highlanders. It was made in 1937 by Michał Plewa, a folk artist.
Until 1968, the shrine stood by a rural road. Its principal part was made of a thick pine trunk, and the figure of Pensive Christ of lime wood. The shrine is crowned with a sloping roof, its front supported with two columns. The pillar has been preserved only partially. Pensive Christ is represented here as Christ the King, as a royal crown sits on top of the sculpture rather than a crown of thorns.
The author of this sculpture is thought to be one of the most eminent amateur artists. The sculpture represents a Pensive Christ. This image alludes to the Passion and is one of the most popular themes used among amateur and folk sculptors, producing numerous sculptural variations on the Pensive Christ: seated on the throne, half-naked or covered with a royal coat, with a royal crown or with a crown of thorns, with a sceptre in his hand or Adam's skull at his feet.
Small-sized wooden sculpture of the 19th century from the area of the Polish Podtarze region, depicting Pensive Christ. It cost one crown and in 1914 it was purchased in Nowy Targ by Ksawery Prauss, a collector from Zakopane. In 1920, he donated his collection to the Tatra Museum and thus the sculpture, along with 93 other ethnographic objects from Podhale, became part of the museum collection.
The icon is of the “Our Lady of Care” type and is known as Pokrow, which is characteristic for Ruthenia. The proper source of the icon's theme was the vision of Andrzej the Mad (cs. Jurodiwyj), which he experienced at the Blatzne temple in Constantinople.
The icon comes from an Orthodox church in Maciejowa, a village located between Nowy Sącz and Krynica. This type of presentation named Pokrov depicts the Mother of God, who is extending a veil over the world, which is hanging from her outstretched arms over figures clustered at her feet. Two legends are the sources of this theme.
The figurine of the Pensive Christ was made of Pińczów limestone at the end of the 16th century. On the back of the sculpture, the date "1593" is engraved. Originally, it was placed in a chapel in Gorlice, at the intersection of important trade routes. In this chapel in 1854, the world's first street lamp was lit.
The relief with the scene of Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane is dated from 1493–1495. It came to the church in Ptaszkowa (erected in 1555), presumably in the first half of the 19th century, where it was also discovered. It is considered to be the handiwork of Veit Stoss. Today, this sculptor is considered to be the most famous Nuremberg-Kraków artist. He came from Horb am Neckar, situated in the then so-called Further Austria. Born in 1438, he died in 1533, at the age of 95. He created works in the late Gothic style, mainly around religious themes. In 1477, he resigned from Nuremberg citizenship and moved to Kraków – at that time, the capital of the Kingdom of Poland.
Shrines and roadside crosses have become a permanent feature of the Polish landscape. One of the most frequently taken up folk themes by sculptors and most frequently encountered figures was — and still remains — the Pensive Christ. The attitude of the suffering Christ — who is lost in reverie — was close to the faithful, recognizing the enormity of human affairs and miseries in his concerned face. The vitality and frequency of this image is an example of attachment to a certain representational tradition. In Christian terms, it was symbolic and carried deep passion, but now is no longer fully readable.
The evolution of iconography, from the instilling of an idea, its crystallisation in worship, to its materialisation in art is a long and complicated process. The example of the Protection of the Mother of God shows how creativity could develop a theme based on one idea; the idea in which the East and the West found a common source, and through the interpretation of which their paths diverged with time.