Majority of confirmed effigies of the Last Polish-Lithuanian Jagiellons are official, popular portraits pertaining to northern school of painting. As in some countries today, in the 16th century, people wanted a portrait of their monarch at home. Such effigies were frequently idealized, simplified and inscribed in Latin, which was an official language, apart from Ruthenian and Polish, of the multicultural country. They provided the official titulature (Rex, Regina), coat of arms and even age (ætatis suæ). Private and paintings dedicated to upper class were less so direct. Painters were operating with a complex set of symbols, which were clear then, however, are no longer so obvious today.
In 1565 Flavio Ruggieri from Bologna, who accompanied Giovanni Francesco Commendone, a legate of Pope Pius IV in Poland, described the country in the manuscript preserved in the Vatican Library (Ex codice Vatic. inter Ottobon. 3175, Nr. 36):
"Poland is quite well inhabited, especially Masovia, in other parts there are also dense towns and villages, but all wooden, counting up to 90,000 of them in total, one half of which belongs to the king, the other half to the nobility and clergy, the inhabitants apart from the nobility are a half and a quarter million, that is, two and a half million peasants and a million townspeople.
Even the craftsmen speak Latin, and it is not difficult to learn this language, because in every city, in almost every village there is a public school. They take over the customs and language of foreign nations with unspeakable ease, and of all transalpine countries, they learn the customs and the Italian language the most, which is very much used and liked by them as well as the Italian costume, namely at court. The national costume is almost the same as the Hungarian, but they like to dress up differently, they change robes often, they even change up several times a day. Since Queen Bona of the House of Sforza, the mother of the present king, introduced the language, clothes and many other Italian customs, some lords began to build in the cities of Lesser Poland and Masovia. The nobility is very rich.
Only townspeople, Jews, Armenians, and foreigners, Germans and Italians trade. The nobility only sells their own grain, which is the country's greatest wealth. Floated into the Vistula by the rivers flowing into it, it goes along the Vistula to Gdańsk, where it is deposited in intentionally built granaries in a separate part of the city, where the guard does not allow anyone to enter at night. Polish grain feeds almost all of King Philip's Netherlands, even Portuguese and other countries' ships come to Gdańsk for Polish grain, where you will sometimes see 400 and 500 of them, not without surprise. The Lithuanian grain goes along the Neman to the Baltic Sea.
Apart from grain, Poland supplies other countries with flax, hemp, beef hides, honey, wax, tar, potash, amber, wood for shipbuilding, wool, cattle, horses, sheep, beer and some dyer's herb. From other countries they imports costly blue silks, cloth, linen, rugs, carpets, from the east precious stones and jewels, from Moscow, sables, lynxes, bears, ermines and other furs that are absent in Poland, or not as much as their inhabitants need to protect them from cold or for glamor.
The king deliberate on all important matters with the senate, although he has a firm voice, the nobility, as it has been said, has so tightened his power that he has little left over it."
Portrait of Royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio aged 47 receiving a medallion from the Polish Royal Eagle with monogram of King Sigismund Augustus (SA) on his chest by Paris Bordone, 1547-1553, Wawel Royal Castle.
Art collection of Prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa, attributed to Étienne de La Hire, 1626, Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Portraits of Isabella Jagiellon and John Sigismund Zapolya by Jacopino del Conte and Tintoretto
Just few months after her arrival to Hungary, on July 7, 1540 in Buda Isabella Jagiellon gave birth to her only son John Sigismund Zapolya. 15 days after his birth, his father died suddenly on July 22, 1540 and the infant John Sigismund was elected king by a Hungarian noble assembly in Buda and Isabella as his regent. The bishop of Oradea, George Martinuzzi (Frater Georgius), took over the guardianship. John Sigismund claim to the throne was challenged by Ferdinand I of Austria. Under the pretext of wanting to protect John's interests, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had his troops invade central Hungary in 1541 and occupy Buda.
After the Hungarian royal court had to leave Buda, Queen Isabella settled in Lipova and then from the spring of 1542 to the summer of 1551 in the former episcopal palace in Alba Iulia in Transylvania. Isabella was young, noted for her beauty, and scolded for her expensive tastes. She began reconstruction of the former bishop's palace in Alba Iulia in the Renaissance style. This decade was a period of unceasing hostilities and fierce disputes with Martinuzzi. Isabella kept a regular correspondence with her Italian relatives including her third cousin, Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara and her close advisor was Giovanni Battista Castaldo, an Italian mercenary leader (condottiere), First Marquis of Cassano, Imperial general and commander in the service of Emperor Charles V and his younger brother, Archduke Ferdinand I. Castaldo was a patron of arts and his preserved effigies were created by the best artists connected with the Spanish court - Titian (portrait in private collection), Antonis Mor (portrait in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum) and Leone Leoni (bust in the Church of San Bartolomeo in Nocera Inferiore and a medal in the Wallace Collection).
In July 1551, facing superior forces, Isabella surrendered and she agreed to give up Transylvania in exchange for Silesian duchies (Opole, Racibórz, Ziębice, Ząbkowice Śląskie) and other territories offered by Ferdinand. The Silesian duchies turned out to be ruined after the earlier rule of the Hohenzollerns, to whom Ferdinand handed them over for 20 years in exchange for a loan. There was not even a residence that could accommodate Isabella's court. She departed towards Poland where she lived with her family for the next five years. To provide her with income, her brother granted her Krzepice and Sanok, while her mother gave her Wieluń. She returned to Transylvania in 1556 with her son.
Isabella surrounded herself with foreigners - primarily Italians and Poles. Her secretary was Paolo Savorgnano of Cividale del Friuli and personal physician Giorgio Biandrata, who specialized in gynecology. In 1539 Biandrata published a medical treatise on gynecology entitled Gynaeceorum ex Aristotele et Bonaciolo a Georgio Blandrata medico Subalpino noviter excerpta de fecundatione, gravitate, partu et puerperio, a compilation taken from the writings of Aristotle and from Enneas muliebris by Ludovico Bonaccioli, dedicated to Queen Bona Sforza and her daughter, Isabella Jagiellon. In 1563 John Sigismund Zapolya made him his personal physician and councilor. Biandrata was a Unitarian and one of the co-founders of the Unitarian Churches in Poland and Transylvania.
According to "The Art of Love: an Imitation of Ovid, De Arte Amandi" by William King, published in London in 1709 (page XXI), "Isabella Queen of Hungary, about the year 1540, shewed to Petrus Angelus Barcæus [Pier Angelio Bargeo], when he was at Belgrade, a silver pen with this inscription, Ovidii Nasonis Calamus; denoting that it had belonged to Ovid. This had not long before been found amongst some old ruins, and the esteemed it as a venerable piece of antiquity" (also in: "The Original Works of William King", published in 1776, p. 114). This fragment give some impression of the quality of patronage and collection of Isabella.
Portrait of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest was painted in the style of Andrea Mantegna, an Italian painter and a student of Roman archeology born in Isola di Carturo in the Venetian Republic, who probably never visited Hungary. A portrait of Matthias' son, John Corvinus, in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich is attributed to Baldassare Estense, a painter who worked at the court of the Dukes of Este in Ferrara from 1471 to 1504 and who probably also never visited Hungary. Similar is the case of medal with bust of Queen Beatrice d'Aragona of Naples, Matthias's third wife in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, created in the style of Giovanni Cristoforo Romano, a sculptor born in Rome who later worked as medallist for the courts of Ferrara and Mantua.
After Isabella's death on September 15, 1559 John Sigismund took control of the country. He spoke and wrote in eight languages: Hungarian, Polish, Italian, Latin, Greek, Romanian, German and Turkish. He was a passionate lover of books, as well as music and dance and could play a number of musical instruments. Despite his slim build he adored hunting and made use of the spear on such occasions. He converted from Catholicism to Lutheranism in 1562 and from Lutheranism to Calvinism in 1564. Around five years later, he became the only Unitarian monarch in history and in 1568 he proclaimed freedom of religion in Turda.
In the Treaty of Speyer of 1570 between John Sigismund and the Emperor, Transylvania was recognized as an independent Principality under vassalage to the Ottomans and John Sigismund renounced his royal title. After John Sigismund's death on March 14, 1571, his uncle Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland, and his aunts inherited a portion of his treasures.
Papal nuncio Vincenzo dal Portico reported from Warsaw to Rome on August 15, 1571 about the enormous value of the inheritance valued by some at 500,000 thalers, which the king denied, claiming that it was worth only 80,000 thalers. Polish legation returning from Alba Iulia at the beginning of August 1571 brought only some of the valuables to Warsaw, including a great number of gold and silver objects and jewellery, including "1 crown with which the queen was crowned; 1 golden scepter; 1 golden apple" (1 corona, qua regina coronata est; 1 sceptrum aureum; 1 pomum aureum), "4 large, ancient and old-fashioned vases" (4 magnae, antiquae et vetustae amphorae), but also some paintings like "the golden altar, in which is the image of the Blessed Mary, valued at one hundred and forty-eight Hungarian florins" (altare aureum, in quo effigies Beatae Mariae, aestimatum centum quadraginta octo item Ungaricorum) or "portrait of Gastaldi - 4 fl. in the currency" (item Gastaldi effigies - 4 fl. in moneta), perhaps the effigy of Giacomo Gastaldi (ca. 1500-1566), an Italian astronomer and cartographer, who created maps of Poland and Hungary or Giovanni Battista Castaldo. "The image of Castaldi in gilt silver frame" (Imago Castaldi ex argento inaurato fuso), possibly even the same effigy by Titian sold by the Dickinson Gallery, was included in the list of items inherited by the king and his sisters. Among the inheritance, there was also an effigy of Queen Bona, mentioned in the letter of Queen of Sweden Catherine Jagiellon to her sister Sophia, dated August 22, 1572 in Stegeborg.
"The remains of the legacy of the infanta, which will soon be here, is worth 70 to 80 thousand thalers" (vi resta il legato, della infanta, che sara presto qua che e di valore di 70 in 80 millia tallari) added dal Portico in his message about the inheritance of Intanta Anna Jagiellon (after Katarzyna Gołąbek, "Spadek po Janie Zygmuncie Zápolyi w skarbcu Zygmunta Augusta").
The painting of Madonna and Child with Saint John and angels in the National Museum in Warsaw, attributed to Jacopino del Conte, was purchased in 1939 from F. Godebski. The effigy of the Virgin is identical with portrait of Isabella Jagiellon in the Samek Art Museum. The painting was therefore commissioned shortly after the birth of Isabella's son in 1540. Both paintings were painted on wood panel and are stylistically very close to Florentine Mannerist painters Pontormo, Bronzino or Francesco Salviati. In 1909 in the Przeworsk collection of Prince Andrzej Lubomirski, who also owned Marco Basaiti's Portrait of Nicolaus Copernicus, there was a painting (oil on wood, 53.5 x 39 cm) attributed to 16th century Florentine school, "maybe Jacopo Carrucci called Jacopo da Pontormo (1494-1557)", depicting Madonna and Child (after "Katalog wystawy obrazów malarzy dawnych i współczesnych urządzonej staraniem Andrzejowej Księżny Lubomirskiej" by Mieczysław Treter, item 34, p. 11).
In the National Gallery in London there is a portrait of approximately ten years old boy, also attributed to Jacopino del Conte, in a rich princely costume similar to that visible in a portrait of 19 years old Archduke Ferdinand (1529-1595), governor of Bohemia, son of Anna Jagellonica and Ferdinand I, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, painted by Jakob Seisenegger in 1548. It was also painted on wooden panel. According to Gallery's description, "although full-length portraits were common in Venice and its states, where pictures were normally painted on canvas, they were rare in Florence where painting on wooden panels persisted longer", it is therefore possible that it was created by a Florentine painter active or trained in Venice, like Salviati who created a portrait of Isabella's brother king Sigismund II Augustus (Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte). The portrait of a boy in London was initially attributed to Pontormo, Bronzino or Salviati and was purchased in Paris in 1860 from Edmond Beaucousin. It was formerly in the collection of the Duke of Brunswick, while in 1556 when Isabella returned with her son to Transylvania, her mother Bona departed through Venice to Bari in southern Italy, Isabella's younger sister Sophia Jagiellon, married Duke Henry V and departed to Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, taking a large dowry and undoubtedly portraits of the members of the royal family.
The same boy, albeit a little older, was also depicted in a painting which was before 1917 in Wojciech Kolasiński's collection in Warsaw, included in the catalogue of his collection sold in Berlin (item 102). It was painted against a green background and attributed to Jacopo Pontormo. The boy has an order on his chest, similar to the cross of the Knights Hospitaller (Knights of Malta), enemies of the Ottomans, like the cross visible on the coat of the 12-year-old Ranuccio Farnese (1530-1565), who was created prior titular of the Venice Priory of the Order in 1540, in his portrait by Titian, or to the cross of the Order of the Golden Spur, which was frequently awarded by Hungarian monarchs, like in 1522, when István Bárdi was made a knight of the golden spur by king Louis II in presence of several high ranked noble gentlemen.
He was finally depicted as a grown-up man in a painting by Jacopo Tintoretto, which was later in the collection of the Spanish Ambassador in Rome and later Viceroy of Naples, Don Gaspar Méndez de Haro, 7th Marquis of Carpio, as his initials D.G.H. are inscribed on the reverse of the canvas with a ducal crown. The painting was later in the collection of Prince Brancaccio in Rome and was sold at an auction in London in 2011. According to Catalogue Note (Sotheby's, 06 July 2011, Lot 58): "The unusual hat with its ornate brooch was not commonly seen on Venetian sitters of this period and has led some to suggest that the sitter was a visitor to Venice rather than a native of the city". If John Sigismund's uncle Sigismund Augustus, commissioned his effigies in Tintoretto's workshop in Venice, the same could John Sigismund. Another contender for the Hungarian crown, Ferdinand of Austria, also commissioned his effigies abroad, like a portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder in Güstrow Palace, dated '1548' or a portrait by Titian from Spanish royal collection, created in mid-16th century, both most probably basing on some preparatory, study drawings and not seeing the model.
In all three portraits the boy/man bears great resemblance to effigies of John Sigismund's paternal aunt, Barbara Zapolya, Queen of Poland, and his mother by Cranach and his workshop.
Portrait of Isabella Jagiellon (1519-1559), Queen of Hungary as Madonna and Child with Saint John and angels by Jacopino del Conte, ca. 1540, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of John Sigismund Zapolya (1540-1571), King of Hungary as a child by Jacopino del Conte, ca. 1550, National Gallery in London.
Portrait of John Sigismund Zapolya (1540-1571), King of Hungary as a boy from Kolasiński collection by Jacopino del Conte, ca. 1556, Private collection.
Portrait of John Sigismund Zapolya (1540-1571), King of Hungary by Tintoretto, 1560s, Private collection.
Portrait of royal courtier Jan Krzysztoporski by Bernardino Licinio
The interpretation of classical architecture by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), known as Palladianism, revived by early 18th century British architects, become the dominant architectural style until the end of the century. The work of the architect and his effigies become highly demanded goods.
That is why an owner of a portrait of an unkown nobleman by Bernardino Licinio, possibly a painter, decided to turn it into a portrait of the famous architect. He added an inscription in Latin (ANDREAS. PALADIO. A.) and a set-square and a compass in sitter's right hand to make his "forgery" even more probable. The portrait, today in Kensington Palace, was acquired in 1762 by king George III from Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice.
Wooden attributes of a simple architect contrast sharply with opulent costume of the sitter, crimson doublet of Venetian silk, gold rings with precious stones and a coat lined with expensive Eastern fur. Also the man depicted is more Eastern type than an Italian. Such expensive, usually metal instrument, as compass is clearly exposed in the portraits of architects by Lorenzo Lotto, while in Licinio's portrait is barely visible. The little finger is a proof that the attributes were added later, as its appearance is anatomically impossible to hold a set-square and a compass.
According to original inscription (ANNOR. XXIII. M.DXLI) the sitter was 23 in 1541, exactly as Jan Krzysztoporski (1518-1585), a nobleman of Nowina coat of arms from central Poland.
Between 1537-1539 he studied in Lutheran Wittenberg, under the direction of Philip Melanchthon, recommended to him by "the father of Polish democracy" Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski. Then he went for further studies to Padua (entred as loannes Christophorinus), where on May 4, 1540, he was elected a counselor of the Polish nation. In January 1541, he welcomed in Treviso, close to Venice, the Chancellor Jan Ocieski (1501-1563) on his way to Rome. After returning to Poland, he was admitted to the royal court on 2 July 1545 and in 1551 he was made the royal secretary. He was an envoy of king Sigismund Augustus to Pope Julius III in 1551, to Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg in 1552 and to Isabella Jagiellon, Queen of Hungary in 1553.
As a follower of Calvinism, he founded a congregation of this religion in his estate in Bogdanów, near Piotrków Trybunalski. He also had a large library in his brick fortified manor in Wola Krzysztoporska, which he built, destroyed during subsequent wars.
Portrait of royal courtier Jan Krzysztoporski (1518-1585) by Bernardino Licinio, 1541, Kensington Palace.
Portraits of Jan Krzysztoporski, Jan Turobińczyk and Wandula von Schaumberg by Hans Mielich
Around 1536, a German painter Hans Mielich (also Milich, Muelich or Müelich), born in Munich, went to Regensburg, where he worked under the influence of Albrecht Altdorfer and the Danube School. He stayed there till 1540, when he returned to Munich. At that time, from 1539 to 1541, Regensburg was a place of meetings between representatives of the various Christian communities and debates between Catholics and Protestants, climaxing in the Regensburg Colloquy, also known as Diet of Regensburg (1541). Among the people vividly interested in the debates were Jan Łaski (Johannes a Lasco, 1499-1560), a Polish Calvinist reformer, later involved in translation project of the Radziwill Bible, who studied in Mainz in the winter of 1539/40, and Wandula von Schaumberg (1482-1545), the Princess-abbess of the Imperial Obermünster Abbey in Regensburg from 1536, who had a seat and vote in the Imperial Diet. In 1536 Mielich created a painting of Crucifixion of Christ with his monogram, date and coat of arms of the von Schaumberg family, today in the Landesmuseum in Hannover, most probably commissioned by Wandula.
A portrait of a wealthy old woman in a black dress, white cap and a wimple by Hans Mielich in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, deposit of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, comes from the collection of a mysterious Count J. S. Tryszkiewicz in his French castle of Birre. No such person and castle are confirmed in sources, however Count Jan Tyszkiewicz, who died in Paris on June 9, 1901, was owner of the Birzai Castle in Lithuania and a son of renowned art collector, Michał Tyszkiewicz. Both the family as well as the castle were known differently in different languages of the multicultural nation, hence the mistake is justified. Before the Tyszkiewicz family, Birzai Castle was the main seat of the Calvinist branch of the Radziwill family. According to inscription in German, the woman in the painting was 57 in 1539 (MEINES ALTERS IM . 57 . IAR . / 1539 / HM), exactly as Wandula von Schaumberg, who like the Radziwills was the Imperial Princess.
In 1541 the artist went to Rome, probably at the instigation of Duke William IV of Bavaria. He remained in Italy till at least 1543 and after his return, on 11 July 1543 he was admitted to the Munich painters' guild. Hans was a court painter of the next Duke, Albert V of Bavaria and his wife Anna of Austria (1528-1590), daughter of Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547) and younger sister of Elizabeth of Austria (1526-1545), first wife of Sigismund II Augustus. Albert and Anna were married on 4 July 1546 in Regensburg.
On his way to Rome, Mielich most probably stopped in Padua, where in 1541 Andreas Hertwig (1513-1575), a member of patrician family from Wrocław, obtained the degree of doctor of both laws at the age of 28. Hertwig commissioned his portrait, today in the National Museum in Warsaw.
On December 10, 1540 Jan Ocieski of the Jastrzębiec coat of arms (1501-1563), secretary of king Sigismund I set off on a diplomatic mission from Kraków. It is possible that he was accompanied by Jan Turobińczyk (Joannes Turobinus, 1511-1575), an expert on Cicero and Ovid, who after studies in Kraków in 1538 became the secretary of the bishop of Płock and other secretary of the king, Jakub Buczacki, and for two years he moved to the bishop's court in Pułtusk. When Buczacki died on 6 May 1541, he lost his protector and moved to Kraków, where he decided to continue his studies. Jan was later ordained a priest in about 1545, he lectured on Roman law and he was elected rector of the Kraków Academy in 1561.
A portrait of a man holding gloves in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg is very similar to the portrait of Andreas Hertwig in Warsaw. According to inscription on the back, the man depicted is also Andreas Hertwig, hence the portrait is attributed to so-called Master of the Andreas Hertwig Portrait. Facial features, however, do not match and according to original inscription in Latin the man was 30 on 8 May 1541 (M D XXXXI / D VIII MAI / AETATIS XXX), exactly as Jan Turobińczyk when the news of the death of his protector could reach him in Italy and when he could decide to change his life and return to studies.
Another similar portrait to the effigy of Andreas Hertwig in Warsaw is in private collection. The young man in a rich costume was depicted against a green background. According to inscription in Latin he was 25 on 22 November 1543 (M. D. XLIII. DE. XX. NOVEMBE / .AETATIS. XXV), exactly as Jan Krzysztoporski, who around that time was still in Italy. His facial features are similar to the portrait by Bernardino Licinio created just two years earlier, in 1541 (Kensington Palace). The difference in eye color is probably due to technique and style of painting. Rings on his finger are almost identical on both paintings and coat of arms on the signet ring visible on the portrait from 1543 is very similar to Nowina coat of arms as shown in the 15th century Armorial de l'Europe et de la Toison d'or (Bibliothèque nationale de France). The letters on the signet can be read as IK (Ioannes Krzysztoporski).
At the beginning of the 17th century, the court painter of the Polish-Lithuanian Vasas was Christian Melich, who, according to some sources, came from Antwerp. This, however, does not exclude the possibility that he was a relative of Hans Mielich. He created one of the oldest views of Warsaw, now in Munich, most probably from the dowry of Anna Catherine Constance Vasa.
Portrait of Princess-abbess Wandula von Schaumberg (1482-1545) aged 57, from the Radziwill Castle in Birzai by Hans Mielich, 1539, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.
Portrait of Jan Turobińczyk (1511-1575) aged 30 by Hans Mielich, 1541, Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.
Portrait of Jan Krzysztoporski (1518-1585) aged 25 by Hans Mielich, 1543, Private collection.
Portraits of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny by Hans Besser and workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger
Streets, houses, temples, public baths and other edifices of Antient Greece and Rome were full of statues, frescoes and mosacis showing naked gods and rulers. Surely in such temperatures in the south of Europe, where Bona Sforza was raised, it was easier to undress than to get dressed. More to the north the situation was quite opposite, to protect from cold, people dressed up and rarely could see any nudity, thus become more prudish in this regard. Renaissance redisovered the nude statues and paintings of the ancient and today some televison programs reinvented the concept that is good to see a potential partner naked before any engagement, at least for some people.
In 1549 Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) commissioned a bronze statue of himself as a naked ancient god and the detachable armour, so the statue could be dressed. The sculpture created in Milan by Italian sculptors Leone and Pompeo Leoni was presented to the Emperor in Brussels in 1556 and later transported to Madrid, today in the Prado Museum (inventory number E000273).
In 1535 Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny, a daughter of Count Charles I of Ligny and Charlotte d'Estouteville, married Bernhard III, Margrave of Baden-Baden. Françoise was a Countess of Brienne and Ligny and heiress of the County of Roussy. She was about 15 years old and the groom 61 at the time of their marriage. Almost a year after the wedding she bore her husband a son Philibert, born on 22 January 1536. Bernhard died on 29 June 1536 and their second son Christopher was born on 26 February 1537, posthumously.
Next years were filled with disputes over the custody of the children, which was claimed by their uncle Ernest, Margrave of Baden-Durlach who favored Lutheranism and Duke William IV of Bavaria, husband of Bernhard's niece Marie Jakobaea of Baden-Sponheim, a staunch Catholic. In agreement with Françoise, her eldest son Philibert spent part of his youth at the court of Duke William IV in Munich.
Françoise remarried on 19 April 1543 to Count Adolf IV of Nassau-Idstein (1518-1556), who was more of her age, and she bore him three children.
In 1549 Hans Besser, court painter of Frederick II, Elector Palatine created a series of portraits of Françoise's eldest sons Philibert and Christopher (in Munich, from the collections of the Dukes of Bavaria and in Vienna, from the Habsburg collection). In 1531 Frederick of Palatine was a candidate to the hand of Princess Hedwig Jagiellon, he must have received her portrait, most probably in the popular "guise" of Venus and Cupid.
A painting showing Venus and Cupid in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich from about 1540 is painted in the form typical for Cranach's Venuses. Its style, however, is not typical for Cranach and his workshop, hence this painting is also attributed to a Cranach's copist from the early 17th century Heinrich Bollandt. The painting was acquired in 1812 from Bayreuth Palace. In 1541, a grandson of Sophia Jagiellon, sister of king Sigismund I of Poland, Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach received Bayreuth. He assisted Emperor Charles V in his war with France in 1543 but soon deserted Charles, and joined the league which proposed to overthrow the Emperor by an alliance with French king Henry II. He spent the last years of his life in Pforzheim with the family of his sister Kunigunde, who was married to Charles II of Baden, nephew of Bernhard III. Albert Alcibiades was unmarried, so the match with a widowed Margravine of Baden, and a French noble, would be perfect for him.
Slightly different and somewhat smaller repetition of the motif in Munich was sold in Brussels on November 7, 2000.
Similar painting, from the Rastatt Palace, was cut into pieces before 1772 and preserved fragments are now in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (Venus with a tiara and Cupid with an arrow). The Rastatt Palace was built between 1700 and 1707 by an Italian architect for Margrave Louis William of Baden-Baden, a direct descendant of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny.
The same woman as in the above mentioned paintings was also depicted in a series of portraits by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger. Most probaly all depicted her as Salome and some of them were cut later, so that the upper part could be sold as a portrait and the lower part as Saint John the Baptist. Basing on the woman's outfit they should be dated to late 1530s or early 1540s, however one of these portraits from the old collection of the Friedenstein Palace in Gotha, where there is an effigy of Hedwig Jagiellon as the Virgin, is dated 1549. A copy of the latter painting from the collection of the Dukes of Brunswick is in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum. The portrait now in the State Gallery in Johannisburg Palace in Aschaffenburg, comes from the art collection of Hermann Goering and other, sold in 2012, was in the collection of Prince Serge Koudacheff in St. Petersburg, before 1902. Another, signed with monogram HVK, was before 1930 in the inventory of Veste Coburg. There is also a version as Judith with the head of Holofernes in the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam and several paintings where the woman was depicted in the satirical scene of the ill-matched couple, some of which are attributed to another 17th century copist of Cranach, Christian Richter. Facial features in all these effigies greatly resemble portraits of sons of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny by Hans Besser and stylistically some of these works are very close to portraits by this court painter.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden as Venus and Cupid by Hans Besser or workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1540, Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden as Venus with a tiara by Hans Besser or workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1540, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1535-1549, Johannisburg Palace in Aschaffenburg.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1535-1549, Private collection.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden by monogramist HVK, 1535-1549, Private collection.
Portrait of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden as Salome by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1549, Friedenstein Palace in Gotha.
Ill-Matched Couple, caricature of Françoise de Luxembourg-Ligny (d. 1566), Margravine of Baden-Baden and her husband by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger or Christian Richter, 1535-1566 or early 17th century, Private collection.
Portraits of Barnim IX of Pomerania-Szczecin, his wife and his three daughters by Lucas Cranach the Elder, his son and workshop
In 1543 three daughters of Barnim IX, Duke of Pomerania-Szczecin and his wife Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Maria (1527-1554), Dorothea (1528-1558) and Anna (1531-1592), reached the legal age of marriage (12). That same year on May 6, 1543, Barnim's young cousin, king Sigismund Augustus of Poland married Elizabeth of Austria (1526-1545).
Three of Sigismund Augustus' sisters Sophia, Anna and Catherine were also unmarried and Barnim's uncle Sigismund I hoped to find a suitable husband for each of them. Due to the kinship of the ruling families of Poland-Lithuania and Pomerania, they undoubtedly exchanged some effigies.
Almost a year later on July 16, 1544 Maria, the eldest daughter of Barnim, married Count Otto IV of Holstein-Schaumburg-Pineberg (1517-1576). Dorothea had to wait ten years more to marry Count John I of Mansfeld-Hinterort (d. 1567) on July 8, 1554 and Anna married three times, first to Prince Charles I of Anhalt-Zerbst (1534-1561) in 1557, then to Burgrave Henry VI of Plauen (1536-1572) in 1566 and then to Count Jobst II of Barby-Mühlingen (1544-1609) in 1576.
A small painting of Hercules and Omphale by Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop in the National Museum in Warsaw is very similar to the painting from the Mielżyński collection in Poznań, showing the family of Sigismund I in 1537. Dimensions (48.7 x 74.8 cm / 48 x 73 cm), the composition, even the poses and costumes are very similar. This painting was most probably transferred during the World War II to the Nazi German Art Repository in Kamenz (Kamieniec Ząbkowicki), possibly from the Silesian Museum of Fine Arts in Wrocław. Around 1543 the ruler of nearby Legnica was Frederick II, like Barnim a strong supporter of the Reformation and his distant relative. Both dukes had close ties with nearby Poland-Lithuania. Frederick's younger son George, future George II of Legnica-Brzeg, was unmarried at that time. It cannot be excluded that the ruling family of Legnica received this fashionable portrait of Barnim's family in guise of mythological heroes. The work match perfectly the ruling house of Pomerania-Szczecin in about 1543 and face features of Hercules and Omphale are very similar to other portraits of Barnim IX and his wife.
The above described painting is a reduced version of a larger composition which was in the Stemmler collection in Cologne, now in private collection. It is very similar to the portrait of Barnim's family as Hercules and Omphale from 1532 in Berlin (lost). The effigy of Maria of Pomerania-Szczecin with a duck above her, a symbol of marital fidelity and intelligence, is almost identical with the effigy of her mother Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg from the earlier painting.
The whole composition is based on a preparatory drawing that preserved in the Museum of Prints and Drawings in Berlin (Kupferstichkabinett, inventory number 13712), signed with a monogram L.G., most probably created by Cranach's pupil who was sent to Szczecin or Barnim's court painter.
All of Barnim's daughters, including the youngest Sibylla, born in 1541, were depicted in a large painting created by Cornelius Krommeny in 1598 and showing the Family tree of the House of Pomerania, today in the National Museum in Szczecin.
A portrait of a young lady as Salome in the bridal crown on her head in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, is almost identical with the effigy of Maria of Pomerania-Szczecin in both of mentioned paintings of Hercules and Omphale. This portrait was recorded in 1770 in the Bratislava Castle, the formal seat of the kings of Hungary, and later transferred to the imperial collections in Vienna. The same woman was depicted as Lucretia in the painting by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, which was before 1929 in private collection in Amsterdam, today in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and as Venus with Cupid as the honey thief from the collection of the Princes of Liechtenstein in Vienna, today in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.
A portrait of a lady as Judith in green dress in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, purchased in 1879 from the collection of Mr. Cox in London, match perfectly the effigy of Dorothea of Pomerania-Szczecin in described paintings. Her pose and outfit is very similar to that of Dorothea's mother in both paintings of Hercules and Omphale. Two representations of Lucretia attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger, one from the Galerie Attems in Gorizia, today in the Eggenberg Palace in Graz and the other purchased in 1934 by the Kunstmuseum Basel, are also very similar to the effigy of Dorothea.
Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist in the bridal crown, which was formerly in the collection of the King of Württemberg, now in the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery in Greenville is identical with the effigy of the youngest daughter of Barnim in the Warsaw's painting. The painter evidently used the same template drawing to create both miniatures. Another very similar Salome, attributed to Cranach the Younger, comes from the collection of the Ambras Castle built by Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (1529-1595), the second son of Anna Jagellonica and Emperor Ferdinand I. It was offered in 1930 by Gustaf Werner to the Gothenburg Museum of Art. The painter added a fantastic landscape in the background. Finally there is a painting of Venus and Cupid as the honey thief from the same period in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, also atrributed to Cranach the Younger. Venus' face is identical with the portrait of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin in the painting from Stemmler collection. The painting comes from the residence of the Catholic Bishops of Freising, where it was known as Saint Juliana. It cannot be excluded that it was originally in the Polish-Lithuanian royal collection and was transferred to nearby Neuburg an der Donau with the collection of Princess Anna Catherine Constance Vasa or brought by some other eminent Polish-Lithuanian lady.
In the National Museum in Warsaw there is also a painting showing a moralistic subject of the ill-matched couple by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder or his son from the third quarter of the 16th century. It was aquired by the Museum in 1865 from the collection of Henryk Bahré. The woman has slipped her hand inside the old man's purse, which leaves no doubt as to the basis of this relationship. Her face and costume is based on the same set of template drawings which were used to create portraits of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin. The painting is of a high quality, therefore the patron who commissioned it was wealthy. While Georgia of Pomerania (1531-1573), daughter of George I, brother of Barnim, married in 1563 a Polish nobleman and a Lutheran, Stanisław Latalski (1535-1598), starost of Inowrocław and Człuchów, her cousin Anna opted for titular and hereditary German princes in her subsequent marriages. It is therefore possible that this painting was commissioned by the royal court or a magnate from Poland-Lithuania.
Preparatory drawing for a portrait of Barnim IX of Pomerania-Szczecin, his wife and his three daughters as Hercules and Omphale by Monogrammist L.G. or workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1543, Museum of Prints and Drawings in Berlin.
Portrait of Barnim IX of Pomerania-Szczecin, his wife and his three daughters as Hercules and Omphale by Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop, ca. 1543, Private collection.
Portrait of Barnim IX of Pomerania-Szczecin, his wife and his three daughters as Hercules and Omphale by Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop, ca. 1543, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of Maria of Pomerania-Szczecin (1527-1554) as Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist by Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1539-1543, Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
Portrait of Maria of Pomerania-Szczecin (1527-1554) as Lucretia by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1543, Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
Portrait of Maria of Pomerania-Szczecin (1527-1554) as Venus with Cupid as the honey thief by Lucas Cranach the Elder or his son, ca. 1543, Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.
Portrait of Dorothea of Pomerania-Szczecin (1528-1558) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1543-1550, National Gallery of Ireland.
Portrait of Dorothea of Pomerania-Szczecin (1528-1558) as Lucretia by Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1543-1550, Eggenberg Palace in Graz.
Portrait of Dorothea of Pomerania-Szczecin (1528-1558) as Lucretia by Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1543-1550, Kunstmuseum Basel.
Portrait of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin (1531-1592) as Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist by Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1543, Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery in Greenville.
Portrait of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin (1531-1592) as Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist by Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1543-1550, Gothenburg Museum of Art.
Portrait of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin (1531-1592) as Venus and Cupid as the honey thief by Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1543-1550, Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
Ill-matched couple, caricature of Anna of Pomerania-Szczecin (1531-1592) by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder or his son, third quarter of the 16th century, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill, Elizabeth of Austria and Sigismund Augustus as Flora, Juno and Jupiter by Paris Bordone
Ovid in Fasti V relates the story of Juno, queen of the gods, who annoyed with her husband Jupiter for producing Minerva from his own head by the stroke of Vulcan's axe, complained to Flora, goddess of fertility and blossoming plants. Flora, gave her secretly a flower, by only touching which women immediately became mothers. It was by this means that Juno gave birth to the god Mars. The Renaissance represented Flora under two aspects, Flora Primavera, embodiment of genuine marital love, and Flora Meretrix, prostitute and courtesan whom Hercules won for a night in a wager.
Because Hercules' mother was mortal, Jupiter put him to the breast of his wife, knowing that Hercules would acquire immortality through her milk and according to the myth the droplets of milk crystallized to form the Milky Way. As Juno Lucina (Juno the light-bringer) she watched over pregnancy, childbirth, and mothers and as Juno Regina (Juno the Queen) she was the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire.
In the painting by Paris Bordone in the Hermitage Museum, Flora receives flowers and herbs from Cupid, the god of desire and erotic love and son of Mars and Venus. Cupid is also crowning the head of Juno with a wreath. The queen of the gods is taking the herbs from the hand of Flora, hoping she was unnoticed by her husband Jupiter Dolichenus, the "oriental" king of the gods holding an axe, who stands behind her.
The message of the painting is clear, thanks to the mistress the queen is fertile. The protagonists are therfore "oriental" king Sigismund Augustus as Jupiter, his first wife queen Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of King of the Romans as Juno, and Sigismund Augustus' mistress Barbara Radziwill as Flora.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill, Elizabeth of Austria and Sigismund Augustus as Flora, Juno and Jupiter by Paris Bordone, 1543-1551, The State Hermitage Museum.
Portrait of Stanisław Karnkowski by Jacopo Tintoretto
Stanisław Karnkowski of Junosza coat of arms was born on May 10, 1520 in Karnkowo near Włocławek, as a son of Tadeusz vel Dadźbog, heir of Karnków and Elżbieta Olszewska from Kanigów. As a young man, he left his family home and went to his uncle, the bishop of Włocławek, Jan Karnkowski (1472-1537). It was him who owes Karnkowski his early education.
In 1539 he began studies at the Kraków Academy. After graduating, in 1545, he went to Italy for further education - first to Perugia, and then to Padua, where he completed his studies with a doctorate utriusque iuris. He also studied in Wittenberg, where he became acquainted with the teachings of Luther. After returning from studies in 1550, he became the secretary of the bishop of Chełmno and then of Jan Drohojowski, bishop of Włocławek. In 1555 he became the secretary of King Sigismund Augustus, from 1558 he was the Grand Referendary of the Crown and in 1563 he became the Grand Secretary, and later Bishop of Kuyavia from 1567, Archbishop of Gniezno and Primate of Poland from 1581. He served as regent of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Interrex) in 1586-1587, after death of king Stephen Bathory.
Karnkowski amassed one of the wealthiest Polish libraries in the late 16th and early 17th century, comprising according to some estimates 322 books, some of which he acquired during his studies abroad, like Consilia Ludouici Romani by Lodovico Pontano, published in 1545 (Archdiocese Archives in Gniezno).
The portrait of young man in a black costume buttoned to a high collar and holding his right forearm on a column-base, was first recorded in the Great Cabinet at Kensington Palace in 1720 as Titian. It is now thought to be Tintoretto's earliest dated work. According to inscription in Latin on a column-base the man was 25 years old in 1545 (AN XXV / 1545), exactly as Stanisław Karnkowski, when he began his studies in Italy. He resemble greatly Karnkowski from his portrait when bishop of Włocławek, created between 1567-1570 by unknown painter (Higher Seminary in Włocławek), and as Primate of Poland in green cassock (Archbishop's Palace in Gniezno), painted in 1600 by Monogrammist I.S.
In private collection in Switzerland, there is reduced copy of this effigy also attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto.
Portrait of Stanisław Karnkowski (1520-1603), aged 25 by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1545, Kensington Palace.
Portrait of Stanisław Karnkowski (1520-1603), aged 25 by Jacopo Tintoretto, ca. 1545, Private collection.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in a blue dress, known as La Bella by Titian
In May 1543 22-year-old king Sigismund Augustus married his 16-year-old cousin Elizabeth of Austria. During the entry into Kraków for her coronation, the lords and knights of the Kingdom were dressed in all sorts of costumes including Italian, French and Venetian. The young Queen died just two years later failing to produce an heir to the throne. Sigismund Augustus commissioned for her a magnificent marble tomb monument from Paduan sculptor trainded in Venice, Giovanni Maria Mosca called Padovano. The king was hoping that his mistress, Barbara Radziwill, whom he intended to marry, would give him a child.
Portrait of a lady in a blue dress by Titian, known as La Bella is very similar to effigies of Barbara Radziwill, especially her portrait in Washington. The gold buckles on her dress in the form of decorative bows, although painted less diligently, are almost identical. Her garments are epitome of the 16th century luxury - a dress of Venetian velvet dyed with costly indigo blue, embroidered with gold thread and lined with sables, of which Poland-Lithuania was one of the leading exporters at that time. She holds her thick gold chain and pointing at weasel pelt, a zibellino, also known as flea-fur or fur tippet, on her hand, a popular accessory for brides as a talisman for fertility.
Contemporary bestiaries indicate that the female weasel conceived through the ear and gave birth through the mouth. "This 'miraculous' method of conception was thought to parallel the Annunciation of Christ, who was conceived when God's angel whispered into the ear of the Virgin Mary" (after "Sexy weasels in Renaissance art" by Chelsea Nichols). Inclusion of the zibellino represents the hope that the woman would be blessed with good fertility and bore many healthy children to her husband. This symbolism excludes the possibility that the portrait represents a Venetian courtesan ("woman wearing the blue dress"), secretly painted by Titian for Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, who was already married and had three daughters and two sons, in about 1535.
As early as 1545 Pope Paul III wanted to marry his granddaughter Vittoria Farnese to widowed Sigismund Augustus, whom however wed in secret his mistress sometime between 1545 and 1547 (according to some sources they were married since 25 November 1545). Vittoria finally married on 29 June 1547, Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino (son of Francesco Maria), who at this time was in the service of the Republic of Venice. It is highly probable that the Duke or Vittoria received a portrait of the royal mistress, which was later transferred to Florence.
A copy of the portrait by Titan's workshop, most probably by Lambert Sustris, painted with cheaper pigments without highly expensive ultramarine, is a proof that as in case of portraits of Empress Isabella of Portugal the sitter was not in the painter's atelier and the portrait was one of a series. There were also mistakes and inadequacies, her gold buckles were repleaced with simple red ribbons. Comparison with portraits of Empress Isabella confirms that Titian loved proportions and classical beauty. Just by making the eyes slightly bigger and more visible and harmonizing their features, he achieved what his clients expected of him, to be beautiful in their portraits, close to the gods from their Greek and Roman statues, it was renaissance.
The miniature by unknown miniaturist Krause, probably an amateur, from the late 18th or early 19th century in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, indicate that a version of the painting was also in Poland, possibly in the collection of king Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski.
From 1545 the young king Sigismund Augustus spared no money for his mistress. Jewish and Florentine merchants Abraham Czech, Symon Lippi and Kasper Gucci (or Guzzi) were delivering to the royal court enormous quantities of expensive fabrics and furs. Between 1544-1546, the young king emloyed many new jewelers at his court in Kraków and Vilnius, like Antonio Gatti from Venice, Vincenzo Palumbo (Vincentius Palumba), Bartolo Battista, Italian Christophorus, Giovanni Evangelista from Florence, Hannus (Hans) Gunthe, German Erazm Prettner and Hannus Czigan, Franciszek and Stanisław Merlicz, Stanisław Wojt - Gostyński, Marcin Sibenburg from Transilvania, etc. Not to mention Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio, who in about 1550 created a cameo with Barbara's divinely beautiful profile. In just one year, 1545, the king bought as many as 15 gold rings with precious stones from Vilnius and Kraków goldsmiths.
According to sources Barbara was a beauty, hence the title in Italian, La Bella, is fully deserved. "The composition of her body and face made her so beautiful that people out of jealousy disparaged her innocence", she was "gloriously wonderful, like a second Helen [Helen of Troy]" as was written in a panegyric, she had white alabaster skin, "sweet eyes, gentleness of speech, slowness of movements".
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in a blue dress, known as La Bella by Titian, 1545-1547, Pitti Palace in Florence.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill, known as La Bella by workshop of Titian, most probably by Lambert Sustris, 1545-1547, Private collection.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in French costume
On 15 June 1545 died Elizabeth of Austria, first wife of Sigismund II Augustus, who continued his affair with his mistress Barbara Radziwill, whom he met in 1543. Already in September 1546 rumors were circulating in Kraków that Sigismund was going to marry "a private woman of the worst opinion". To prevent this and to strengthen the pro-Turkish alliance (the eldest daughter of Bona, Isabella Jagiellon, was established by Sultan Suleiman as a regent of Hungary on behalf of her infant son), it was decided to marry Sigismund to Anna d'Este (1531-1607), daughter of the Duke of Ferrara and related to the French ruling house.
The miniature of a lady in Italian costume, said to be Bona Sforza d'Aragona from the 1540s, which was in the Czartoryski collection, cannot depict Bona as the woman is much younger and features are different, it is very similar though to effigies of Barbara Radziwill. The features of this lady, on the other hand, are very similar to these visible in a portrait of a lady holding a chalice and a book in the National Museum in Warsaw, once in the collection of art dealer Victor Modrzewski in Amsterdam, therefore most probably originating from some magnate collection in Poland.
The latter painting is attributed to circle of Master of the Female Half-Lengths, a Flemish or French court master painter who frequently depicted ladies in guise of their patron saints and who also worked for other European courts (e.g. portrait of Isabella of Portugal in Lisbon). The woman is dressed according to French fashion, very similar to the outfit in the portrait of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France from about 1547 in the Uffizi (Inv. 1890: inv. 2448). She is holding a prayer book and a chalice, an attribute of Saint Barbara, who was considered to provide protection against sudden and violent death (the scene on the chalice shows a man killing other man) and patron saint of pregnant women (together with Saint Margaret of Antioch).
Both paintings are most probably workshop copies from a larger commission of state portraits, but the resemblance is still visible.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in French costume by circle of Master of the Female Half-Lengths, ca. 1546-1547, National Museum in Warsaw.
Miniature of Barbara Radziwill by circle of Jan van Calcar, ca. 1546-1547, Czartoryski Museum (?), published in Aleksander Przeździecki's "Jagiellonki polskie" (1868).
Miniature of Bona Sforza d'Aragona by Jan van Calcar, ca. 1546, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portrait of Jan Firlej by Jacopo Tintoretto
In 1546 or at the beginning of 1547, Jan Firlej (1521-1574) of Lewart coat of arms, later Grand Marshal of the Crown, voivode of Kraków and the head of the Calvinist camp, married the incredibly wealthy Zofia Bonerówna, daughter of royal banker Seweryn Boner (1486-1549), receiving a huge dowry of 47,000 florins and the Boner property near Ogrodzieniec Castle. Jan was the eldest son of Piotr Firlej (d. 1553), voivode of Ruthenia from 1545 and a trusted adviser of Queen Bona Sforza and King Sigismund Augustus, and Katarzyna Tęczyńska. Concluded on the initiative of his father, who used the money from Jan's wife's dowry to pay off his debts, this marriage turned out to be very beneficial from the point of view of the family's interests.
Piotr was a patron of arts, he extended his Janowiec Castle and built a Renaissance palace in Lubartów. At his expense a beautiful tombstone was created in about 1553 by Giovanni Maria Mosca, called il Padovano in the Dominican church in Lublin. In his great estates in Dąbrowica, a village a mile from Lublin, he had a magnificent palace, whose stairs carved in marble were admired by poet Jan Kochanowski.
Thanks to his father's efforts, Jan received an education at the highest level. He studied at the University of Leipzig for two years, then continued his education at the University of Padua for the next two years. From there with his relative count Stanisław Gabriel Tęczyński (1514-1561), chamberlain of Sandomierz, and Stanisław Czerny, starost of Dobczyce, he went to the Holy Land, visited Egypt and Palestine. They set off on a journey from Venice in the second half of 1541 - on June 16 that year he participated in the solemn procession in Venice, as the Lord of Dąbrowica (dominus de Dambrouicza) among the group of pilgrims of Jerusalem (peregrinorum Hierosolimitanorum). He also traveled to Rome. Around 1543, he returned to Poland, and in 1545, he entered the service of King Sigismund I. In the same year, he was sent on a mission to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in Worms. According to Stanisław Hozjusz (Hosius, Op. I, 459) in 1547, as an envoy, he participated in diplomatic activities at the court of Ferdinand I of Austria, possibly concernig the king's marriage with Barbara Radziwill or the plans to marry him to Anna d'Este (1531-1607), daughter of the Duke of Ferrara.
In January 1546, Giovanni Andrea Valentino (de Valentinis) the court physician of Sigismund the Old and Queen Bona, was sent from Kraków with a confidential mission to Sigismund Augustus residing in Lithuania, concerning the marriage with Anna d'Este. Around that time, a separate letter was sent by the envoy of Duke of Ferrara, Antonio Valentino, staying in Poland from August 30, 1545 to September 1546, to Bartolomeo Prospero, the secretary of Duke Ercole II, to speed up the delivery of the bride's portrait. "He recommended that the parcel be exported to Venice not by royal mail, but by a private route in the hands of Carlo Foresta, one of the agents of Gaspare Gucci from Florence, a merchant in Kraków" (after Danuta Quirini-Popławska's "Działalność Włochów w Polsce w I połowie XVI wieku", p. 87). It possible that the portrait mentioned in the letter was created in Venice, as Dukes of Ferrara also commissioned ther effigies there, e.g. portrait of Alfonso II d'Este (1533-1597) by Titian or workshop in Arolsen Castle, identified by me (Marcin Latka).
In 1909 in the collection of Prince Andrzej Lubomirski in Przeworsk there was a small painting (oil on tin plate, 26 x 35 cm) attributed to 16th century Venetian school depicting "Madonna and Child surrounded by people who, according to tradition, represent the family of princes d'Este; the golden-haired woman depicts probably the famous Eleonora d'Este" (after "Katalog wystawy obrazów malarzy dawnych i współczesnych urządzonej staraniem Andrzejowej Księżny Lubomirskiej" by Mieczysław Treter, item 36, p. 11).
In 1547 a painter Pietro Veneziano (Petrus Venetus), created a painting to the main altar of the Wawel Cathedral and Titian was summoned to paint Charles V and others in Augsburg.
The painting in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto, shows a wealty nobleman in a black coat lined with tremendously expensive lynx fur. His proud pose and gloves also indicate his position. This painting was acquired by Helene Kröller-Müller in 1921 and earlier it was in the collection of Count of Balbi in Venice and possibly in the Giustinian-Lolin collection in Venice. According to inscription in lower left corner, the man was 26 years of age in 1547 (ANN·XXVI·MEN·VI·/·MD·XL·VII·), exactly as Jan Firlej, when he was sent on a mission to Austria and possibly to Venice and Ferrara.
Portrait of Jan Firlej (1521-1574) aged 26 by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1547, Kröller-Müller Museum.
Portrait of Nicolaus "the Red" Radziwill by workshop of Giovanni Cariani
In 1547 Nicolaus III Radziwill (1512-1584), Great Royal Deputy Cup-bearer of Lithuania, the son of Grand Hetman of Lithuania George "Hercules" Radziwill and Barbara Kolanka, received the title of Prince of the Roman Empire in Birzai and Dubingiai from the Emperor Charles V. He received it together with his cousin Nicholas (1515-1565), then the Grand Marshal of Lithuania, who become the Prince in Nesvizh and Olyka. In order not to confuse him with his namesake, the cousins were given the nicknames on account of the color of their hair. Nicolaus III is best known as "the Red" and his cousin as "the Black".
About the same year king Sigismund II Augustus married secretly Nicolaus' younger sister Barbara, thinking she was pregnant. Nicolaus "the Red" was henceforth brother-in-law and confidant of the king. Thanks to the king's protection he became a Lithuanian Master of the Hunt in 1545 and from 1550 he was a voivode of Trakai. Nicolaus was a famous military leader, he participated in the war with Muscovy between 1534-1537, including in the siege of Starodub in 1535.
The portrait of a member of the Radziwill family, said to be John Radziwill (d. 1522), nicknamed "the Bearded", father of Nicolaus "the Black", in the National Art Museum of Belarus in Minsk, comes from the gallery of portraits in the Radziwill castle in Nesvizh. Due to the style of the costume and technique, this work is generally dated to the beginning of the 17th century. It is, however, stylistically very close to another portrait from the same collection, the portrait of of Prince Nicolaus II Radziwill (1470-1521) by Giovanni Cariani, created in about 1520. The sitter's face was created in Cariani's style, most probably by the master himself, the rest, less elaborate, was undoubtedly completed by painter's pupil. Cariani, though he worked often in Bergamo near Milan, died in Venice. The date of the artist's death is not known, his last presence is documented on November 26, 1547 in the will of his daughter Pierina, making his death coincide in the following year.
The man's pose and sash is very similar to the effigy of Nicolaus III Radziwill in the Hermitage Museum (ОР-45840) signed in Polish/Latin: "Nicolaus Prince in Birzai, Voivode of Vilnius, Chancellor and Hetman / Evangelical, called the Red" (Mikołay Xże na Birżach, Wda Wilenski, Kanclerz y Hetman / Evangelik, cognomento Rufus), from the first half of the 17th century. The man is holding a military baton. His black armor is almost identical with the black armor of Nicolaus III Radziwill in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. This armor, created by an Italian workshop in about 1545, was offered to Ferdinand II (1529-1595), Archduke of Further Austria, son of Anna Jagellonica, in 1580 by Nicolaus himself. The sword swinging from his belt is similar to golden rapier of Archduke Maximilian, the eldest son of Anna Jagellonica, created by Antonio Piccinino in Milan and by Spanish workshop in about 1550 (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna). The man bears finally a resemblance to the effigy of Nicolaus' mother Barbara Kolanka by Cranach (Wartburg-Stiftung in Eisenach) and his sister Barbara-La Bella by Titian (Pitti Palace in Florence).
Portrait of Nicolaus "the Red" Radziwill (1512-1584) by workshop of Giovanni Cariani, ca. 1547, National Art Museum of Belarus in Minsk.
Portraits of pregnant Barbara Radziwill
In a letter of 26 November 1547, Stanisław Andrejewicz Dowojno (d. 1566) reported to king Sigismund Augustus about miscarriage of Barbara Radziwill, whom he wed secretly sometime in 1547. Having a large number of mistresses before, during and after being married, the king remained childless. At some time the parliament was willing to legitimize and acknowledge as his successor any male heir who might be born to him.
The portrait of a lady with a servant by Jan van Calcar from the collection of Prince Leon Sapieha, sold in 1904 in Paris, was said to depict pregnant Barbara Radziwill (possibly lost during World War II). It shows a woman in red dress in Italian style with emerald pendant on her chest accompanied by a midwife. The bill of a royal embroiderer, who charged the treasury for "a robe of red velvet" that he embroidered in 1549 for Queen Barbara with pearls and gold thread for 100 florins, confirms that similar dresses were in her possesion.
The portrait by Calcar is very similar in comosition to the portrait known as effigy of Sidonia von Borcke (Sidonia the Sorceress) (1548-1620) and attributed to workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder. This portrait was before World War II in the Von Borcke Palace in Starogard (destroyed), owned by a wealthy Pomeranian family of Slavic origin, along the effigy of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) and her husband. The sitter costume is in German style and similar to costume of Sigismund Augustus' relative Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1502-1568) (as a wife of Barnim XI of Pomerania) from about 1545 or a portrait of Agnes von Hayn from 1543, both by Cranach or his workshop, hence it cannot be Sidonia, who was born in 1548.
The woman in the painting is holding a chalice, an allusion to her patron, Saint Barbara, as in a triptych by Cranach from 1506 in Dresden (the hand is almost identical). Both paintings, by Calcar and by workshop of Cranach, were undoubtedly then a part of Jagiellonian propaganda to legitimize the royal mistress as the Queen of Poland.
Portrait of pregnant Barbara Radziwill with a midwife by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1546-1547, Von Borcke Palace in Starogard, most probably destroyed during World War II.
Portrait of pregnant Barbara Radziwill with a midwife by Jan van Calcar or circle, 1546-1547, collection of Prince Leon Sapieha, sold in 1904 in Paris, possibly lost during World War II.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill by Moretto da Brescia or Jan van Calcar
The portrait of unkown lady in white by Moretto da Brescia, a painter from the Republic of Venice who may have apprenticed with Titian, can be compared with a portrait by Jan Stephan van Calcar, a pupil of Titian, from the Sapieha collection in Paris. The latter painting, most probably lost during World War II, was said to depict pregnant second wife of Sigismund Augustus, Barbara Radziwill. Both face features as well as costume style and details are very much alike. The sitter's dress in Moretto's painting is also very similar to that visible in a miniature of a lady with a pearl necklace, wich can be identified as effigy of Bona Sforza d'Aragona, Queen of Poland, from the second half of the 1540s.
The bill of a royal embroiderer of Sigismund Augustus, who charged the treasury for "a robe of white tabinet" that he embroidered in 1549 for Queen Barbara "with a wide row of goldcloth and green velvet" for 15 florins, confirms that similar dresses were in her possesion. The Queen's taylor was an Italian Francesco, who was admitted to her service in Vilnius on 2 May 1548 with annual salary of gr. 30 fl. 30. In May 1543 during entry to Kraków for coronation of Elizabeth of Austria, the lords and knights of the Kingdom were dressed in all sorts of costumes, including Italian, French and Spanish, while the young king Sigismund Augustus was dressed in German style, probably as a courtesy for Elizabeth. The inventory of dowry of Sigismund Augustus' sister Catherine Jagiellon from 1562 includes 13 French and Spanish robes.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill (1520/23-1551) in white by Moretto da Brescia or Jan van Calcar, ca. 1546-1548, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Portraits of Sigismund II Augustus by Jan van Calcar or Moretto da Brescia
Sometime in 1547, in spite of his mother's disapproval and nobility's animosity, Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania secretly wed his mistress Barbara Radziwill, a Lithuanian noblewoman whom he met in 1543.
The portrait attributed to Jan van Calcar shows a young man (Sigismund Augustus was 26 in 1546) against ancient buildings similar to a reconstruction of the Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus in Rome published in 1575 (the king born on 1 August was named after the first Roman Emperor Gaius Octavius Augustus) and the king's castrum doloris in Rome in 1572 or obelisk visible in the portrait of royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio from about 1553.
The presumed author Jan van Calcar, a pupil of Titian in Venice, moved to Naples in about 1543, where he died before 1550. Sigismund's mother Bona Sforza was a granddaughter of Alfonso II, King of Naples and from 1524 she was a Duchess of nearby Bari and Rossano.
According to the accounts of Sigismund Augustus by a courtier Stanisław Wlossek from 1545 to 1548, the king had "robes lined with lynx, short Italian", robes of black velvet and stockings of "black ermestno silk", black suede shoes, etc. The register of his clothes from 1572 includes Italian, German and Persian robes valued at 5351 zlotys.
The portrait could be a pendant to a portrait of Barbara Radziwill in similar dimensions attributed to Moretto da Brescia, which could also be attributed to Calcar, just as previously the portrait of the man described here was attributed to Moretto da Brescia, and inversely.
The man is holding in his right hand a red carnation flower, a symbol of passion, love, affection and betrothal.
The same sitter is also depicted in the portrait in Vienna, signed by Calcar (. eapolis f. / Stephanus / Calcarius), and in the painting attributed to Francesco Salviati, who stayed for a brief time in Venice, in the Mint Museum.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) by Jan van Calcar or Moretto da Brescia, ca. 1546-1548, Private collection.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) with gloves by Jan van Calcar, 1540s, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) with gloves, attributed to Francesco Salviati, 1540s, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte.
Portraits of Sigismund Augustus and royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio by Paris Bordone and workshop
In 1972 the portrait of royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio was offered to the Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków by Julian Godlewski. After 1795, when Poland lost its independence, the castle, which was consumed by destructive fire in 1702 and ransacked several times by different invaders, was converted into barracks and a military hospital and almost no traces of the former royal splendor have been preserved in it. Before 1664 the painting was in the Muselli collection in Verona.
Caraglio was born in Verona in the Venetian Republic around 1500 or 1505. He was active in his hometown, as well as in Rome and Venice. In Italy he was known mainly as a copper engraver and medalist. He came to Kraków around 1538 as a recognized artist. After arriving at the Jagiellonian court, he probably parted with graphic art and devoted himself exclusively to goldsmithing and jewellery, making mainly gems with images of members of the royal family. In recognition of his merits, Sigismund Augustus ennobled him in 1552. Caraglio was also a citizen of the capital city of Kraków, and together with his wife, Katarzyna, born there, he lived in a house he bought outside the city walls - in Czarna Wieś. He had a son Ludwik and a daughter Katarzyna.
During his long stay in Poland, the artist certainly made many trips to Italy. This is evidenced, among other things, by Vasari's fairly good knowledge of his life and work. We learn about one of his trips to Italy - probably on business - from the accounts prepared by Justus Decius. The bill from April 1553, apart from listing the expenses for the ores by Caraglio, contains inter alia, the entry referring to him: pro viatico itineris in Italiam (provision for a journey to Italy) (after "Caraglio w Polsce" by Jerzy Wojciechowski, p. 29).
The portrait of Caraglio was in the 17th century attributed to Titian and later to Bordone, who lived in Venice from October 1552 and earlier in Milan between 1548-1552. Caraglio receives or humbly offers a medallion with king's effigy (probably made by himself) to the Polish Royal Eagle with monogram SA of Sigismund Augustus on his chest. The eagle is standing on a gold helmet among other works and utensils necessary to the goldsmith. In 1552 Caraglio went to Vilnius to make a gilded shield for the king encircled with golden roses with a cross in red enamel and three other silver shields decorated with an ornament of eagles' heads (Exposita pro ornandis scutis S.M.R. per Ioannem Iacobum Caralium Italum 1553), together with three other goldsmiths Gaspare da Castiglione, Grzegorz of Stradom and Łukasz Susski. In the background there is an obelisk and Roman amphitheatre, identified as symbol of Verona - Arena di Verona. According to the inscription in Latin on the base of the column, he was 47 years of age (ATATIS / SVAE / ANN[O] / ХХХХ / VII) at the time when the painting was created, however his face seems to be much younger. Based on this inscription, it is generally believed that the painting was painted between 1547-1553, possibly during his confirmed stay in Italy in 1553, however, it cannot be ruled out that it was based on a drawing or miniature sent from Poland. Caraglio probably gave this portrait to his sister Margherita, who lived in Verona.
In the vicinity of Parma, in the town of Sancti Buseti, the artist bought a house with land and vineyards. Caraglio intended to leave the court of Sigismund Augustus in his old age and return to Italy. However, he did not fulfill his intentions, he died in Kraków around August 26, 1565 and was buried in the Carmelite Church of the Visitation, which was largely destroyed during the Deluge (1655-1660). He bequeathed the house in Verona to Elisabetta, his sister's granddaughter. The artist's wife, Katarzyna, remarried to an Italian shoemaker, Scipio de Grandis.
The same man as in the Wawel painting was depicted in the work sold in Vienna in 2012 (Dorotheum, 13.12.2012, Lot 12, oil on canvas, 61.5 x 53 cm). He wears similar costume, there is a similar column behind him and the fabric in the background and the style of whole painting is very close to Paris Bordone and his workshop, comparable to portrait of a man in the Louvre, identified as effigy of Thomas Stahel, which is dated '1540'.
The portrait was sold in Austria, while Caraglio travelled to nearby Slovakia in 1557, where he stayed at the court of Olbracht Łaski (1536-1604), a Polish nobleman, alchemist and courtier, in Kežmarok. At the age of twelve, Łaski was sent to the court of Emperor Charles V, who recommended him to his brother Ferdinand of Austria. He returned to Poland in 1551 and in 1553 he went to Vienna, where he became the secretary of Catherine of Austria, who became the third wife of King Sigismund Augustus. In 1556 he visited Poland again, where he met the rich widow Katarzyna Seredy née Buczyńska. Their wedding took place in 1558 in Kežmarok. It is possible that either Łaski or the Habsburgs received a portrait of the famous jeweller of the Polish king.
Caraglio undoubtedly also acted as an intermediary in commissions for effigies of his patron king Sigismund Augustus. In 2011 a small portrait of a bearded man from the collection of Château de Gourdon near Nice in southern France was sold at auction in Paris (oil on canvas, 39.8 x 31.5 cm, Christie's, 30 March 2011, lot 487). It was initally attributed to follower of Moretto da Brescia, and later to Paris Bordone, and dated to the 1550s. Its previous provenance is not known. Collections of the medieval Gourdon Castle were spared during the French Revolution. Extanded by the Lombards in the 17th century, the castle was bequeathed by Jean Paul II de Lombard to his nephew the Marquis de Villeneuve-Bargemon, whose heirs sold the residence in 1918 to an American, Miss Noris, who opened a museum in 1938. Occupied during the Second World War by the Germans, then restored by Countess Zalewska, it was later acquired by French businessman Laurent Negro (1929-1996). It is therefore possible that the painting was sent from Venice to France already in the 16th century or brought from Poland by Countess Zalewska or her ancestors.
Bordone painted a second, slightly larger version of this portrait (oil on canvas, 57.2 × 41.9 cm) which was in the collection of Marquess of Ailesbury in England and later with the Hallsborough Gallery in London.
"The dress of both figures is understated but clearly luxurious, and conveys the sitters' importance without the need for opulence" (after Sphinx Fine Art catalogue entry). The man's facial features, red beard and dark hair correspond perfectly with other other effigies of king Sigismund Augustus by Bordone, Moretto da Brescia or Jan van Calcar, Francesco Salviati and Tintoretto, identified by me.
Like in the case of portrait of Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1502-1568), wife of Barnim XI of Pomerania by Lucas Cranach the Elder and portrait of John III Sobieski with the Order of the Holy Spirit by Prosper Henricus Lankrink, the artist may not have seen the model at all, but with detailed drawings with descriptions of colors and fabrics, he was able to produce a work with a great deal of craftsmanship and resemblance.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572), from the Château de Gourdon, by Paris Bordone, 1547-1553, Private collection.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572), from the Ailesbury collection, by Paris Bordone, 1547-1553, Private collection.
Portrait of royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio (1500/1505-1565) by workshop of Paris Bordone, 1547-1553, Private collection.
Portraits of Barbara Radziwill and Sigismund Augustus by circle of Titian
In the 18th century, with the growing popularity of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, the portrait of an unknown lady, so-called Carleton Portrait in Chatsworth House, was identified as her effigy due to great similarity with a print by Hieronymus Cock from about 1556 and history of the Chatsworth House. Numerous prints and copies of this portrait were made. Today, however, researchers reject this identification.
The style of the painting is close to the circle of Titian and Venetian portrait painting as well as composition with a chair (Savonarola chair), a window and rich fabrics, Venetian velvet and gold cloth. The costume however, a mixture of French, Italian, Spanish and German patterns from the 1540s is not typical for Venice. Also the sitter is not a typical, a bit plump "Venetian beauty".
In 1572 the royal embroiderer charged the royal treasury for dresses he embroidered for Queen Barbara in 1549 including one, the most expensive, for which he charged 100 florins: "I embroidered a robe of red velvet, bodice, sleeves and three rows at the bottom with pearls and gold". Similar puffed sleeves at the shoulders are visible in portraits of Barbara by Moretto da Brescia (Washington), Jan van Calcar (Paris, lost) and by circle of Lucas Cranach the Younger (Kraków).
In February 1548 a long battle begun to recognize Barbara as Sigismund Augustus' wife and crown her as Queen of Poland. Almost since her wedding in 1547 Barbara's health began to decline. Sigismund Augustus personally tended to his sick wife. He also possibly seek a help from the only possible ally - Edward VI of England, a boy king, who like Sigismund was crowned at the age of 10 and a son of Henry VIII, who broke with the Catholic Church to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. In 1545 to cure his first wife Elizabeth of Austria from epilepsy, Sigismund wanted to obtain a coronation ring of the English king, that supposedly was to be an effective antidote.
In 1549 arrived to London Jan Łaski (John à Lasco), a Polish Calvinist reformer, secretary of king Sigismund I and a friend of the Radziwlls (Barbara's brother converted to Calvinism in 1564) to became Superintendent of the Strangers' Church. He undoubtedly mediate with the king of England in personal affairs of Sigismund Augustus and possilby brought to England a portrait of his wife.
The octagonal tower in the portrait is very similar to the main landmark of the 16th century Vilnius, the medieval Cathedral Bell Tower, rebuilt in Renaissance style during the reign of Sigismund Augustus after 1544 (and later due to fires and invasions) and close to Barbara's residence, Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
The woman is holding two roses, white and red - "white roses became symbols of purity, red roses of redeeming blood, and both colors, together with the green of their leaves, also represented the three cardinal virtues faith, hope, and love" (after Colum Hourihane's "The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iconography", 2016, p. 459).
The portrait of a man sitting by a window with "a Northern town beyond" is very similar to other effigies of Sigismund Augustus, while the landscape behind him is almost identical with that visible in the Carleton portrait. It is almost like if the king was sitting in the same chair in the room at the Vilnius Castle beside his beloved wife.
The portrait of a general by Titian in Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel is identifed by Iryna Lavrovskaya as the effigy of influential cousin of Barbara Radziwill, Nicholas "The Black" Radziwill (Heritage, N. 2, 1993. pp. 82-84).
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill (1520/23-1551) by circle of Titian, ca. 1549, Chatsworth House.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) by circle of Titian, ca. 1547-1549, Private collection.
Portrait of Nicholas "The Black" Radziwill (1515-1565) by Titian, 1550-1552, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portraits of Barbara Radziwill by Flemish painters
The effigy, previously identified as Anne de Pisseleu, Duchesse d'Etampes (modern scholars today reject this identification), is very similar in facial features and costume style to the Carleton Portrait at Chatsworth and to the portrait of Barbara Radziwill by Moretto da Brescia in Washington. It is known only through 19th century copies, as original from about 1550 (or 1549) from the French royal collection, most probably by a Flemish painter, is considered to be lost.
Anne de Pisseleu, was a chief mistress of Francis I, king of France and a staunch Calvinist, who counseled Francis on toleration for Huguenots. Even after her deposition, following Francis' death in March 1547, she was one of the most influential and wealthy Protestants in France. It cannot be excluded, that Sigismund Augustus and the Radziwills approached her with their cause - coronation of Barbara as a queen and her recognition internationally, and that the copy of effigy of Barbara offered to her was after the French Revolution mistaken for her portrait.
Around the year of 1548 or 1549, Sigismund Augustus commissioned in the Spanish Netherlands (Flanders) the first set of new tapestries for his residences (known as Jagiellonian tapestries or Wawel Arrasses). It is highly probable that as earlier his father in 1536, he also ordered some paintings there.
Also the details of sitter's garments find its confirmation in the bill of the royal embroiderer who charged the royal treasury for garments he embroidered for Queen Barbara in 1549: "I embroidered a red velvet beret with pearls; I earned from it fl. 6".
The portrait of a lady in Spanish-like costume, said to be Anne Boleyn from the Musée Condé and created in about 1550, is astonishingly similar to the series of portraits of Sigismund Augustus' eldest unmarried sister at that time, Sophia Jagiellon. It's almost like a pendant to Sophia's portrait, the costume is very similar and the portraits were undoubtedly created in the same workshop. It's largely idealized, like some portraits of Margaret of Parma after original by Antonio Moro, nevertheless the resemblance to Barbara's appearance is strong. Through his mother, Bona Sforza d'Aragona, Barbara's husband had claims to Kingdom of Naples and Duchy of Milan, both part of the Spanish Empire.
Likewise the previous portrait, black robes are also included in the same bill of the royal embroiderer for 1549: "a robe of black teletta, I embroidered a bodice and sleeves with pearls; I earned from this robe fl. 40." or "I embroidered a robe of black velvet, two pearl rows at the bottom; I earned from it fl. 60."
The portrait of a mysterious lady from the Picker Art Gallery in Hamilton was undobtedly painted by some Netherlandish master and is very close to a bit caricatural style of Joos van Cleve and his son Cornelis (e.g. portraits of Henry VIII of England). The woman however wears an Italian costume from the 1540s, similar to portrait of a lady with a book of music from the Getty Center. The jewel on her necklace has also adequate symbolic meaning, ruby is a symbol of both royalty and love, sapphire a symbol of purity and the Kingdom of God and a pearl was a symbol of fidelity.
Aprat from resemblance to other portraits of Barbara, whose husband was very fond of Italian fashion, and her taylor was an Italian, this is another indicator that this is also her portrait.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in a pearl beret, 1849 engraving after lost original by Flemish painter from about 1549, Private collection.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in a pearl beret, 19th century after lost original by Flemish painter from about 1549, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in Spanish costume by Flemish painter, ca. 1550, Musée Condé.
Portrait of Barbara Radziwill in Italian costume by Flemish painter, possibly Cornelis van Cleve, 1545-1550, Picker Art Gallery in Hamilton.
Portrait of Queen Bona Sforza by Lucas Cranach the Younger
Portrait of an old woman by Lucas Cranach the Younger from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston bears strong similarity with contemporary effigies of Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland. The Queen started to wear her distinctive outfit of a widowed elder lady in about 1548, after death of Sigismund I.
As for eye color and features the comparison with portraits of Emperor Charles V, her portraits by Bernardino Licinio and her daughter, proofs that different workshops differently interpreted royal effigies and as natural ultramarine (deep blue color) was an expensive pigment in the 16th century, cheaper pigments were used to make a copy (eye color). In a letter of 31 August 1538, Bona Sforza says about two portraits of her daughter Isabella, and complain that her features in the portrait that she has are not very accurate.
Like the Venetian painters, to meet the high demand for his works, Cranach developed a large workshop and "style of painting that depended on shortcut solutions and an extensive use of easily copied patterns and rote methods of producing decorative detail that could be successfully replicated by assistants". An epithet "the fastest painter" (pictor celerrimus), may still be read on his tomb in the city church in Weimar (after "German Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350-1600", p. 77).
Despite tremendous losses during many wars and invasions Cranach's name or paintings in his style appear in many books and inventories concerning historical collections of paintings in Poland-Lithuania.
Before his accession to the throne as a sole ruler Sigismund Augustus, through his cousin Duke Albert of Prussia, tries to obtain portraits of German princes painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder (after "Malarstwo polskie: Gotyk, renesans, wczesny manieryzm" by Michał Walicki, p. 36). Paintings were sent in February 1547 trough Piotr Wojanowski, tenant of Grudziądz and were hung in the royal gallery that was being created in Vilnius (after "Zygmunt August : Wielki Książę Litwy do roku 1548" by Ludwik Kolankowski, p. 329). The painting of Madonna and Child with two angels against the landscape by follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder, was probably offered to the Corpus Christi Church in Kraków by king Sigismund II Augustus. The first mention of the painting dates back to 1571 and was later reported by the chronicler of the monastery, Stefan Ranotowicz (1617-1694) in his Casimiriae civitatis, urbi Cracoviensi confrontatae, origo. Ranotowicz states that "we have a German painting in the pallatium from the royal donation representing Beatae Mariae Virginis" (after "Madonna z Dzieciątkiem w krakowskim klasztorze kanoników regularnych ..." by Zbigniew Jakubowski, p. 130). Nicolaus "the Black" Radziwill, cousin of the king's second wife Barbara, had a German tapestry based on Cranach's painting and in 1535, a Pomeranian, Antoni Wida, probably a student of Cranach, resides in Kraków and in 1557 he is recorded as a court painter of Sigismund Augustus in Vilnius (partially after "Dwa nieznane obrazy Łukasza Cranacha Starszego" by Wanda Drecka, p. 625).
Inventories drawn up in 1671 in Königsberg list the huge fortune inherited by the princess Louise Charlotte Radziwill (1667-1695) from her father Boguslaus Radziwill (1620-1669), whose estates were compared by contemporaries to "Mantua, Modena and other smaller states in Italy". Among over 900 paintings in the inventory, there were portraits, mythological and biblical scenes by Lucas Cranach (24 items) along "The Face of Jesus by Albert Duer", i.e. Albrecht Dürer, and a "painting of Pawel Caliaro", that is Paolo Caliari known as Veronese, about 25 Italian paintings, several portraits of unknown Italian, German, and French ladies and gentlemen, paintings with "naked" and "half-naked" women, Ruthenian and Russian icons, a Greek altar and one "Spanish Fantasy". Portraits of members of the Radziwill family, Polish kings from John I Albert (1459-1501), more than 20 effigies of the Vasas and their families, German emperors, kings of Sweden, France, England and Spain and various foreign personalities, collected over several generations, constituted the dominant part of over 300 pieces in the inventory (after "Galerie obrazów i "Gabinety Sztuki" Radziwiłłów w XVII w." by Teresa Sulerzyska, p. 90).
The inventory also lists many paintings that may be by Cranach the Elder and his son or 16th-century Venetian or Netherlandish painters: A lady in a white robe, with jewels, a crown on her head (71), A lady in a lynx coat in black, a dog by her side (72), A lady in a czamara, a diamond crown on her head with pearls, holding gloves (73), A beautiful lady in a pearl dress and a robe embroidered with pearls (80), A woman who stabbed herself with a knife (292), A woman, semi-circular picture at the top (293), A man of this shape, perhaps the husband of this woman (294), Dido who stabbed herself with a knife (417), A large image of Venice (472), Lucretia who stabbed herself, golden frames (690), A naked lady who stabbed herself, golden frames (691), A well-dressed lady with a child, on panel (692), A lady in a red robe who stabbed herself (693), Small picture: a German with a naked woman (embracing, naked boys serve) (737), A person with a long beard, in black, inscription An° 1553 etatis 47 (753), A lady under the tent showed her breast (840), Venus with Cupid bitten by bees (763), two portraits of Barbara Radziwill, Queen of Poland (79 and 115) and a portrait of King Sigismund Augustus of Poland, on panel (595) (after "Inwentarz galerii obrazów Radziwiłłów z XVII w." by Teresa Sulerzyska). The inventory also includes several nude and erotic paintings and this is only a part of splendid collections of the Radziwlls that survived the Deluge (1655-1660).
Perhaps the paintings owned by a citizen of Kraków Melchior Czyżewski (d. 1542): Tabula Judith et Herodiadis ex utraque parte depicta and by Kraków councilor Jan Pavioli in 1655: "bathing Bathsheba", "Judith", "portrait of Christian, king of Denmark", "the duke of Saxony", had something in common with the Wittenberg workshop. In the collection of King John II Casimir Vasa, Bona Sforza's grandson, sold at an auction in Paris in 1672, there was Cranach's Madonna and Child (Une Vierge avec un petit Christ, peint sur bois. Original de Lucas Cronus), possibly bearing features of his famous grandmother. King Stanislaus Augustus (1732-1798), had 6 paintings by Cranach and his workshop, one of St. Jerome, the other five on mythological subjects: Venus et l'Amour sur bois (no. 941), Pyrame et Thisbe (no. 912), Venus Couchee (no. 913), Venus surprise avec Mars (no. 914), Venus et Mars (no. 915). Other important paintings by Cranach and his workshop related to Poland and most likely the royal court include Stigmatisation of Saint Francis, created in about 1502-1503, today in the Belvedere in Vienna (inventory number 1273), in Poland, probably already in the 16th century and in the 19th century in the collection of the Szembek family in Zawada near Myślenice, comparable to paintings by Italian masters Gentile da Fabriano (Magnani-Rocca Foundation) or Lorenzo di Credi (Musée Fesch), the Massacre of the Innocents in the National Museum in Warsaw (M.Ob.587), which was in about 1850 in the Regulski collection in Warsaw, portrait of Princess Sibylle of Cleves (1512-1554) as a bride from the Skórzewski collection, signed with artist's insignia and dated '1526' (National Museum in Poznań, lost), portrait of George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony, husband of Barbara Jagiellon (Polish Academy of Learning in Kraków, lost), alleged portrait of Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony (Frąckiewicz collection, lost), miniature portrait of Katharina von Bora "the Lutheress" (collection of Leandro Marconi in Warsaw, destroyed in 1944) (paritally after "Polskie Cranachiana" by Wanda Drecka).
Portrait of Queen Bona Sforza by Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1549, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Portrait of Sigismund Augustus with a construction of a bridge in Warsaw by Tintoretto
"Sigismund Augustus built a wooden bridge over the Vistula River, 1150 feet long, which was almost unmatched in terms of both length and magnificence in the whole of Europe, causing universal admiration", states Georg Braun, in his work Theatri praecipuarum totius mundi urbium (Review of major cities around the world) published in Cologne in 1617.
In 1549, to facilitate communication with Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where Barbara resided, Sigismund Augustus decided to finance the construction of a permanent bridge in Warsaw. In 1549 he bought from Stanisław Jeżowski, a land writer from Warsaw, the hereditary privilege of transport across the Vistula River, giving him in return "two villages, a mill and a half of a second mill, 40 forest voloks and 200 florins."
The portrait of a man with a "Northern landscape" beyond showing a construction of a wooden bridge in The National Gallery of Art in Washington, created by Jacopo Tintoretto, is very similar to other effigies of Sigismund Augustus. It was purchased in 1839 in Bologna by William Buchanan.
The city of Bologna was famous for its university, architects and engineers, like Giacomo da Vignola (1507-1573), who began his career as an architect there and where in 1548 he built three locks or Sebastiano Serlio (1475-1554), an outstanding architect and theoretician of architecture, born in Bologna. In 1547 Queen Bona, wanted to involve Serlio, married to her lady-in-waiting Francesca Palladia, at her court. Since Serlio had already a position in France, he offered Bona his students. In a letter to Ercole d'Este, Bona asked for a builder who could build anything and in 1549 the Queen settled in Warsaw.
From 1548 the court physician of the king was Piotr from Poznań, who received his doctorate in Bologna and in 1549, a Spaniard educated in Bologna, Pedro Ruiz de Moros (Piotr Roizjusz), became a courtier of Sigismund Augustus and a court legal advisor (iuris consultus), thanks to recommendation of his colleague from the studies in Bologna, royal secretary Marcin Kromer.
From 4 June to 24 September 1547, master carpenter Maciej, called Mathias Molendinator, with his helpers, led the construction of a wooden bridge on brick supports covered with a shingle roof, which led through Vilnia River in Vilnius from the royal palace to the royal stables.
It is uncertain if the construction was actually started in 1549 or the portrait was only one of a series of materials intended for propaganda purposes, confirming the creativity and innovation of the Jagiellonian state. It is possible that due to the problems to find a suitable engeneer to help with the costruction of the largest bridge of the 16th century Europe, that the project was postponed. Only after 19 years, on 25 June 1568, ten years after the start of the regular Polish post (Kraków - Venice), the tapping of the first pile was initiated. The bridge was opened to public on 5 April 1573, a few months after the death of its founder, accomplished by his sister Anna Jagiellon, who also built the Bridge Tower in 1582 to protect the construction.
The 500 meters long bridge was the first permanent crossing over the Vistula River in Warsaw, the longest wooden crossing in Europe at that time and a technical novelty. It was made of oak wood and iron and equipped with a suspension system. The bridge was costructed by "Erasmus Cziotko, fabrikator pontis Varszoviensis" (Erazm z Zakroczymia), who according to some researchers was an Italian and his real name was Giotto, a surname carried by a family of Florentine builders.
Portrait of Sigismund Augustus with a construction of a bridge in Warsaw by Tintoretto, ca. 1549, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Portrait of Sigismund Augustus by Tintoretto or workshop, 1540s, Private collection.
Portraits of Sigismund Augustus in armour and in a black hat by Tintoretto
In the beginnig of 1549 Barbara Radziwill arrived from Vilnius via royal Radom (September 1548) to Nowy Korczyn near Kraków for her coronation and ceremonial entry into the city as the new queen. Eight times a year, large grain fairs were held in the city of Nowy Korczyn. The grain purchased there was floated down the Vistula to Gdańsk in large barges, similar to galleys, as visible in the View of Warsaw from about 1625. The lords of the Kingdom arrived to greet Barbara in Korczyn and on 12 February 1549 she embarked on a journey to the capital.
The river journey from or to Korczyn would be the easiest, however the sources does not confirm it. The accounts from 1535 inform nevertheless about boats owned by Sigismund I and his son Sigismund Augustus. The statue on the ship, visible in the painting, is clearly Saint Chrisopher a patron saint of travelers, hence it is not likely a battleship.
The effigy is in Vienna and Austrian Habsburgs were Sigismund Augustus' relatives through Anna Jagellonica, two of his wives were her daughters and portraits were often commissioned to be sent to distant relatives.
The portrait which could be dated to 1550, although idealized, bears a resemblance to other effigies of the king by Tintoretto and has an inscription ANOR XXX (year 30) on the base of the column. Sigismund Augustus reached his 30th year of age on 1 August 1550 and his beloved wife was crowned on 7 December 1550.
Finally his mother was described as a lovely light blonde, "when (oddly enough) her eyelashes and eyebrows are completely black", so was the anomaly in hair color inherited from her?
The same sitter was also depicted wearing a black hat in a portrait from private collection by Tintoretto and a workshop copy of it in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) with a royal galley by Tintoretto, ca. 1550, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) in armour by circle of Tintoretto, ca. 1550, Private collection.
Portrait of Sigismund Augustus in a black hat by Tintoretto, 1545-1550, Private collection.
Sigismund Augustus and Barbara Radziwill as Jupiter and Io by Paris Bordone
In Ovid's "Metamorphoses" Jupiter, King of the Gods noticed Io, a mortal woman and a priestess of his wife Juno, Queen of the Gods. He lusted after her and seduced her. The painting by Paris Bordone in Gothenburg shows the moment when the god discovers that his jealous wife is approaching and he raises his green cloak to hide his mistress. The myth fits perfectly the story of romance of Sigismund Augustus and his mistress Barbara Radziwill, a Lithuanian noblewoman whom he met in 1543, when he was married to Elizabeth of Austria (1526-1545), and whom he secretly married despite the disapproval of his mother, the powerful Queen Bona.
According to Vasari, Bordone created two versions of the composition. One for Cardinal Jean de Lorraine (1498-1550) in 1538, when he went to the court of Francis I of France at Fontainebleau, and the other "Jupiter and a nymph" for the King of Poland. Researchers pointed out that stylistically the canvas should be dated to the 1550s, therefore it cannot be the painting created for Cardinal de Lorraine.
The painting was allegedly brought to Sweden by Louis Masreliez (1748-1810), a French painter, hence it cannot be excluded that it was taken to France by John Casimir Vasa, great-grandson of Bona, after his abdiction in 1668, that Masreliez acquired in Italy a copy of painting prepared for the Polish king, possibly a modello or a ricordo, or that it was captured by the Swedish army during the Deluge (1655-1660) and purchased by Masreliez in Sweden.
The effigy of Io is not so "statuesque" as other effigies of the goddesses by Bordone, could be a courtesan, but could also be the royal mistress and can be compared with effigies of Barbara, while Jupiter with these of Sigismund Augustus. The painting should be then considered as a part of Jagiellonian propaganda to legitimize the royal mistress as the Queen of Poland.
Sigismund Augustus and Barbara Radziwill as Jupiter and Io by Paris Bordone, 1550s, Gothenburg Museum of Art.
Sigismund Augustus in guise of Christ as The Light of the World by Paris Bordone
The particluar taste of queen Bona for paintings in guise of the Virgin Mary and her son as Jesus, biblical figures and saints is confirmed by her effigies by Francesco Bissolo and Lucas Cranach. Such portraits were popular throughout Europe since the Middle Ages.
Examples include the effigy of Agnès Sorel, mistress of King Charles VII of France, as Madonna Lactans by Jean Fouquet from the 1450s, Giulia Farnese, mistress of Pope Alexander VI as the Virgin Mary ("la signora Giulia Farnese nel volto d'una Nostra Donna" according to Vasari) and his daughter Lucrezia Borgia as Saint Catherine by Pinturicchio from the 1490s, Mary of Burgundy in the guise of Mary Magdalene created in about 1500, Francis I of France as Saint John the Baptist by Jean Clouet from about 1518, Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal as Saint Catherine by Domingo Carvalho from about 1530, Albrecht Dürer's self-portraits as the Saviour or Leonardo's Salvator Mundi, possibly a self-portrait or effigies of his lover Salaì as Saint John the Baptist and numerous other.
Marble tondos decorating Sigismund's Chapel at the Wawel Cathedral, created by Bartolommeo Berrecci between 1519-1533 as a funerary chapel for the last members of the Jagiellonian Dynasty, shows king Sigismund I the Old as biblical king Solomon and king David (or his banker Jan Boner).
The print published in Nicolas Gueudeville's "Le grand theatre historique, ou nouvelle histoire universelle" in Leiden in 1703, after original drawing from 1548, depict king Sigismund I the Old on his deathbed giving a blessing to his sucessor Sigismund Augustus having long hair.
In February 1556, Bona departed Poland to her native Italy trough Venice with treasures she had accumulated over 38 years loaded on 12 wagons, drawn by six horses. She udoubtedly took with her some religious paintings, portraits of members of the royal family and of her beloved son Augustus. She settled in Bari near Naples, inherited from her mother, where she arrived on 13 May 1556.
Bona died just one year later on 19 November 1557, at the age of 63. She was poisoned by her courtier Gian Lorenzo Pappacoda, who falsified her last will and stole her treasures.
The paining showing Christ as The Light of the World (Lux mundi) in the the National Gallery in London (a copy in the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo) bears a strong resemblance to known effigies of Sigismund Augustus. It was given to the National Gallery in 1901 by the heirs of the surgeon, who in turn was offered the painting by a member of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, formed when the Kingdom of Sicily merged with the Kingdom of Naples in 1816, in thanks for his kindness to a Sicilian lady in 1819.
According to museum description "paintings of this type were kept in houses, especially in bedrooms", so has Bona had it at her deathbed in Bari?
This convention of historié portrait was undoubtedly well known to the Queen through portraits of Lorenzo de' Medici (1492-1519), Duke of Urbino by Venetian painters, depicted as Christ the Redeemer of the World (Salvator Mundi).
Some sacred images in Poland-Lithuania are also considered as effigies of the monarchs, like Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius, allegedly depicting Barbara Radziwill, mistress and later wife of Sigismund Augustus, or portrait of Queen Marie Casimire Sobieska (1641-1716) as Saint Barbara in the Bydgoszcz Cathedral. It is believed that the painting in Vilnius was commissioned as one of two paintings, one depicting Christ the Saviour (Salvator Mundi), and the other the Virgin Mary.
Other versions and workshop copies of the painting in London are today in the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo (offered in 1908), legacy of Countess Maria Ricotti Caleppio, widow of the Ancona patrician Raimondo Ricotti who died in his villa in Rome, in the Abbey of San Benedetto in Polirone near Mantua, possibly from the Gonzaga collection, and in the Musée Rolin in Autun in France, transferred from the Louvre, most probably from the French royal collection. Another reduced variant (61 x 50.5 cm) from private collection was sold in New York (Sotheby's, November 2, 2000, Lot 68). It is therefore highly probable that effigies of the king of Poland in guise of the Saviour were sent to different royal and princely courts in Europe shortly after creation in Venetian workshop of Paris Bordone, to Rome, Mantua and France, among others.
In one of the side altars of the Church of the Assumption in Kraśnik there is painting of Salvator Mundi by workshop of Paris Bordone from the mid-16th century. It is possible that it was offered to the temple by Stanisław Gabriel Tęczyński (1514-1561) or his son Jan Baptysta Tęczyński (1540-1563), owners of Kraśnik, and that it was originally given to one of them by the king.
Sigismund Augustus in guise of Christ as The Light of the World by Paris Bordone, 1548-1550, National Gallery, London.
Sigismund Augustus in guise of Christ as The Light of the World by Paris Bordone, 1548-1550, Accademia Carrara in Bergamo.
Sigismund Augustus in guise of Christ as The Light of the World by workshop of Paris Bordone, 1548-1550, Abbey of San Benedetto in Polirone.
Sigismund Augustus in guise of Christ the Saviour (Salvator Mundi) by workshop of Paris Bordone, 1548-1550, Private collection.
Christ as the Redeemer of the World (Salvator Mundi) by workshop of Paris Bordone, mid-16th century, Church of the Assumption in Kraśnik.
Portraits of Franciszek Krasiński and Piotr Dunin-Wolski by Lambert Sustris or workshop
Franciszek Krasiński, a nobleman of Ślepowron coat of arms, was born on April 10, 1525, probably in the village of Krasne in Masovia, north of Warsaw, in the family of Jan Andrzej Krasiński, Pantler of Ciechanów, and Katarzyna Mrokowska. He received his primary education at the Protestant gymnasium in Zgorzelec in Silesia (part of Bohemia), then studied under Philip Melanchthon at the University of Wittenberg, from where, on the advice of Bishop Mikołaj Dzierzgowski, he resigned. In 1541, he entered the University of Kraków, later went to Italy, where he studied at the University of Bologna, and on June 4, 1551, at the University of Rome, he became a doctor of both laws. After returning to Poland, he was most probaly ordained a priest and became a secretary of his distant relative, Primate Mikołaj Dzieżgowski, who helped him obtain several church benefits: the Kalisz archdeaconry and the canon of Łuck, Łowicz and Kraków. In 1560, Franciszek became the secretary of king Sigismund Augustus under the patronage of Primate Jan Przerębski. He performed diplomatic functions, in particular in Vienna, where he was an ambassador at the Imperial court between 1565-1568. He was later crown vice - chancellor between 1569-1574 and bishop of Kraków between 1572-1577. Being sick with tuberculosis, he often stayed in the castle of the Kraków Bishops in Bodzentyn. He died there on March 16, 1577 and according to his will, he was buried in the local church, where his marble tomb monument was created by Girolamo Canavesi's workshop in Kraków.
Facial features of a man wearing an elaborately embroidered doublet and a fur-trimmed black cape in a portrait attributed to Lambert Sustris are very similar to known effigies of Franciszek Krasiński, especially to his portrait by anonymous painter which was before World War II in the collection of Ludwika Czartoryska née Krasińska in Krasne, lost. Also the pose is very similar. The painting in Krasne was dated in upper right corner Ao 1576, however, it might possibly be a later addition as on this portrait he is much younger then on other known effigies (e.g. portrait in the Franciscan Monastery in Kraków from about 1572). The painting attributed to Sustris was sold in New York in 1989 and was painted on panel. According to inscription in Latin in lower right corner, the man was 25 years old in 1550 (.ET TATIS SVE../.ANNVS./.XXV./.P./MDL), exactly as Franciszek Krasiński, when he studied in Bologna and Rome.
At the Colonna Gallery in Rome there is a portrait of a man holding gloves (oil on canvas, 88 x 65 cm, inventory number Fid. n. 1477), who also resemble greatly Franciszek Krasiński from the portrait in Krasne and described effigy attributed to Sustris. It was earlier attributed to Lorenzo Lotto, Nicolas Neufchatel or Dirck Barendsz (rejected attributions) and now to anonymous painter from the Southern Netherlands. Previous attributions and style of this painting match perfectly paintings by Sustris, a Dutch painter who worked in Titian's studio and incorporated Italian Renaissance elements in his work. The costume of the man and the style is also very similar to the painting dated 1550.
The date when Krasiński was ordained a priest is unknown. He was a canon of Gniezno from 1556, however, like Copernicus or Jan Dantyszek, he might not have been ordained a priest. The sitter's costume and pose can be compared with effigies of Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle (1517-1586), a leading minister of the Spanish Habsburgs, who become a canon of Besançon and prothonotary Apostolic in 1529, when he was only 12 years old, later, in November 1538, aged only twenty-one, he was appointed bishop of Arras and took holy orders two years later (after "Les Granvelle et les anciens Pays-Bas" by Krista de Jonge, Gustaaf Janssens, p. 20). Granvelle also became the archbishop of Malines (1560) and a cardinal (1561), yet in majority of his portraits, like the one created by Frans Floris in about 1541, with blue eyes, by Titian in 1548, by Antonis Mor in 1549 and in about 1560, by Lambertus Suavius in 1556, all with dark eyes, there is no explicit reference to his priesthood. A number of preserved portraits of Polish-Lithuanian "princes of the Church" are official effigies dedicated to churches, where the patron was depicted in pontifical vestments. In private images, they could allow themselves, like Granvelle, to be depicted in less formal attire, more typical of a nobleman than a priest. According to Latin inscription at upper left, the man was 37 years old in 1562 (A° 1562 / AETATIS. 37), exacly as royal secretary Franciszek Krasiński. He could have ordered this likeness in Venice and then send it to Rome, although it is also possible that in 1562 he was in Italy.
Another portrait attributed to Lambert Sustris or his workshop shows a bearded man in black costume with a black hat, holiding a book and seated in a chair. This painting was sold in London in 2005. It bears inscription and date Roma Ano 1564 Etatis Mae 33 (Rome Year 1564 of My Age 33) above the man's head, as well as three other inscriptions in Greek (or Armenian), Hebrew and Italian. The inscription in Italian Non ognuno che mi dice signor / Signore entrata nel regno de cieli: / ma colui che fa la volunta del / padre mio che e ne' cieli (Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven) are verses of the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, part of the Sermon on the Mount, on True and False Disciples.
The age of a man match perfectly the age of Piotr Dunin-Wolski (1531-1590), the son of Paweł Dunin-Wolski, Great Crown Chancellor, and Dorota Wiewiecka of Jastrzębiec coat of arms, who after his initial studies at the Lubrański Academy in Poznań went to Bologna and Padua to complete his studies. In Bologna in 1554 he is mentioned as a student of Sebastiano Corrado (Sebastianus Corradus), professor of Greek and Latin, who translated Plato into Latin. He was a canon of Poznań since 1545 and after returning from Italy, he stayed at the court of king Sigismund Augustus, where he proved to be a man especially gifted in foreign languages and in diplomacy. He was threfore sent to Madrid in Spain in 1560 where he stayed for more than 10 years, trying to regain the so-called Neapolitan sums for the king.
His stay in Rome in 1564 is not mentioned in the sources, however his letters from Barcelona of March 4 to cardinal Stanisław Hozjusz and from Madrid of September 23 to bishop Marcin Kromer might indicate such journey. He returned to Poland in 1573. He was a collector of antiquities and collected a large library, which he donated to the Kraków Academy (approx. 1000 volumes) and the library of the Płock Chapter (130 books).
Dunin-Wolski died in Płock on August 20, 1590 and was buried in the cathedral church, where his tombstone has been preserved to this day as well as a portrait. This effigy, created after his death in the 17th or 18th century by a local painter, was undeniably copied from another effigy of the Bishop of Płock (since 1577), and it is astonishingly similar to the described painting by Sustris or his workshop.
Portrait of Franciszek Krasiński (1525-1577), aged 25, in embroidered doublet by Lambert Sustris, 1550, Private collection.
Portrait of royal secretary Franciszek Krasiński (1525-1577), aged 37, holding gloves by Lambert Sustris, 1562, Colonna Gallery in Rome.
Portrait of canon Piotr Dunin-Wolski (1531-1590), aged 33 by Lambert Sustris or workshop, 1564, Private collection.
Portraits of Sophia Jagiellon in Spanish costume
Daughters of Bona Sforza d'Aragona, Queen of Poland, Grand Duchess of Lithuania and Duchess of Bari and Rossano by her own right were descendants of Alfonso V, King of Aragon, Sicily and Naples.
The portrait of a blond lady in Spanish costume from the 1550s which exists in a number of copies, although idealized, bears a strong resemblance to the portrait of Sophia in French/German costume in Kassel by circle of Titian and her miniature in German/Polish dress by Cranach.
At least two paintings are preserved in Poland (one in Kraków acquired by Izabela Czartoryska in Edinburgh as a portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, the other in Warsaw from the Radziwill collection) and one of inferior quality, most probably lost during World War II, was traditionally identified as Sophia.
After marriage of Isabella Jagiellon in 1539, Sophia was the eldest daughter of Bona still unmarried. Three of Bona's younger daughters dressed identically, as evidenced by their miniatures by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger from about 1553 and inventory of dowry of the youngest Catherine includes many Spanish garments, like a black velvet coat with "53 Spanish buckles of 270 thalers worth", "buckles on (thirteen) French and Spanish robes", or "a robe of black velvet at the throat in Spanish style" with 198 buckles, etc. The fashion was udobtedly used in complex Jagiellonian politics and the portraits could be commissioned in the Spanish Netherlands and Italy.
A portrait from the private collection in Sweden, possibly taken from Poland-Lithuania during the Deluge (1655-1660), and created by the same workshop, showns Sophia in similar Spanish/French costume.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in Spanish costume by Flemish painter, 1550-1556, Czartoryski Museum in Kraków.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in Spanish costume by Flemish painter, 1550-1556, Private collection.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in Spanish costume by Flemish or Italian painter, 1550-1556, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in Spanish/French costume by Flemish painter, 1550-1556, Private collection.
Portraits of Sigismund Augustus and Catherine of Austria as Adam and Eve from the Paradise Bliss tapestry
"Adam and Eve, the parents of calamity, stood both painted according to true image and the word all over the tapestries woven with gold. And since those portraits of the first parents, in addition to the other things to be seen, were of admirable material and workmanship, I will show them like Cebetis, so that from thence the work itself of an excellent artist, as well as the genius of the best king, may be perceived [...]. In the first tapestry, at the head of the nuptial bed, we saw the bliss in the faces of our parents; in which, when they were happy, they were not ashamed to be naked. Moreover, the nakedness of both of them so moved the spirits, especially that of Eve's husband, that lascivious girls would smile at Adam as they entered. For when the man's womb was opened, the sex of a woman is fulfilled" (calamitatis parentes Adam et Eva ad effigiem veritatis stabant textu picti ambo per omnes Cortinas, auro praetextati. Et quoniam illae primorum parentum effigies praeter caeteras res visendas, admirabili fuerunt materia et opere, eas ad Cebetis instar demonstrabo, ut inde cum opus ipsum praeclari artificis, tum vero ingenium optimi regis pernoscatis [...]. In prima Cortina, ad caput genialis lecti, parentum nostrorum contextu expressa felicitatis cernebatur effigies; in qua felices illi cum essent, non erubescebant nudi. Porro utriusque nuditas ita commovebat animos, ut viri Evae, Adamo vero lascivae introingressae arriderent puellae. Aperta enim pube ille viri, haec foeminae sexum sinu ostendebant pleno), thus praises the veracity of effigies of the figures of Adam and Eve in the tapestry commissioned by king Sigismund II Augustus, Stanisław Orzechowski (1513-1566) in his "Nuptial Panegyric of Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland" (Panagyricus Nuptiarum Sigimundi Augusti Poloniae Regis), published in Kraków in 1553.
Orzechowski (Stanislao Orichovio Roxolano or Stanislaus Orichovius Ruthenus), a Ruthenian Catholic priest, born in or near Przemyśl, educated in Kraków, Vienna, Wittenberg, Padua, Bologna, Rome and Venice and married to a noblewoman Magdalena Chełmska, described the festivities and decorations of the Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków during king's wedding celebrated on July 30, 1553. The bride was a sister of Sigismund Augustus first wife and widow of the Duke of Mantua, Catherine of Austria, daughter of Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547). Wedding chambers were adorned with tapestries from the series of the Story of Adam and Eve, created in Brussels by workshop of Jan de Kempeneer after cartoons by Michiel I Coxcie, most probably on this occasion, including the described Paradise Bliss. The author emphasizes that they were depicted naked, while both Eve and Adam's womb on this tapestry are today covered with vine branches. "A closer look at the technique of the fabric in these places reveals that the vine covering Eve's womb, and the other vine covering Adam's womb, are woven or embroidered separately and applied to the fabric itself", states Mieczysław Gębarowicz and Tadeusz Mańkowski in their publication from 1937 ("Arasy Zygmunta Agusta", p. 23). Vine branches were probably added in 1670 when the tapestry was transported to Jasna Góra Monastery for the wedding of king Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki. Another intriguing aspect is the veracity of the images so underlined by Orzechowski. It is about the true image of the legendary first parents, a woman and a man or, most likely, the bride and groom?
Adam's facial features are very reminiscent of images of king Sigismund Augustus, especially the portrait by Jan van Calcar against the Mausoleum of Empeor Augustus in Rome (private collection), while the face of Eve is very similar to that of Queen Catherine of Austria, depicted as Venus with the lute player by Titian (Metropolitan Museum of Art). These two effigies can be compared to the naked effigies of French monarchs from their tombs in the Basilica of Saint-Denis - tomb of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany (1515-1531), tomb of Francis I and Claude of France (1548-1570), and especially the tomb of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici (1560-1573), all inspired by Italian art.
Portrait of King Sigismund Augustus (1520-1572) as Adam from the Paradise Bliss tapestry by workshop of Jan de Kempeneer after design by Michiel I Coxcie, ca. 1553, Wawel Royal Castle.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Eve from the Paradise Bliss tapestry by workshop of Jan de Kempeneer after design by Michiel I Coxcie, ca. 1553, Wawel Royal Castle.
Tapestry with Paradise Bliss by workshop of Jan de Kempeneer after design by Michiel I Coxcie, ca. 1553, Wawel Royal Castle.
Portraits of Sophia Jagiellon and Catherine of Austria by Titian and workshop
"My heart moves me to tell of forms changed into new bodies" (In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora), states Ovid in the opening lines of his "Metamorphoses" (Transformations). If gods could turn into humans, why humans (and especially royals) could not turn into gods? At least in paintings.
When in June 1553 Sigismund II Augustus married his distant cousin Catherine of Austria, widowed duchess of Mantua, his three younger sisters Sophia, Anna and Catherine were not married. At the same time Catherine's cousin, Philip of Spain (1527-1598), Duke of Milan from 1540, son of Emperor Charles V, was unmarried after death of his first wife Maria Manuela (1527-1545), Princess of Portugal. Philip undeniably received a portrait of his distant relative Princess Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575), the eldest of Bona Sforza's daughters, unmarried at that time.
At the end of 1553 Philip's wedding to his second aunt, the Queen of England, Mary I (1516-1558), was announced. It turned out, however, that Philip was only a duke and there could be no marriage between the queen and someone of lower rank. Charles V solved the inconvenience by renouncing the Kingdom of Naples in favor of his son, so that he would be king. On July 25, 1554 Philip married the Queen of England.
Painting of Salome with the head of John the Baptist by Titian in the Prado Museum in Madrid is dated to about 1550. Many authors underline an erotic dimension of the scene. The work was inventoried as part of the royal collection in the Alcazar of Madrid between 1666 and 1734, possibly acquired from the collection of the 1st Marquess of Leganés, between 1652-1655, who probaly bought it at the auction of collection Charles I of England. According to other sources "Salome, by Titian, painted around 1550, appears in an early inventory of the Lerma collection. In 1623 Philip IV gave it to the Prince of Wales, later Charles of England" (after "Enciclopedia del Museo del Prado", Volume 3, p. 805).
Titian's workshop created several replicas of this painting transforming Salome into a girl holding a tray of fruit, most probably representing Pomona, a goddess of fruitful abundance and the wife of the god Vertumnus (Voltumnus), the supreme god of the Etruscan pantheon. According to Ovid's "Metamorphoses" (XIV), Vertumnus, after several unsuccessful advances, tricked Pomona into talking to him by disguising himself as an old woman and gaining entry to her orchard. The best version of this painting, acquired in 1832 from the Abate Luigi Celotti collection in Florence, is today in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
In both paintings the girl is wearing a rich jewelled tiara, so she is definitely a princess and the main fruit on her tray is a quince (or Cydonian apple), similar to that visible in watercolour paintings by Joris Hoefnagel from about 1595, one with Venus disarming Amor (National Gallery of Denmark), or less probably a lemon, a symbol of fidelity in love associated with Virgin Mary. A yellow lemon- or pear-shaped fruit, evocative of the female body, was sacred to Venus, herself often represented holding it in her right hand, as being the emblem of love, happiness, and faithfulness.
"Both the Greeks and Romans used quince boughs and fruit to decorate the nuptial bedchamber. The fruit became an integral part of marriage ceremonies with the bride and groom partaking of honeyed quince. Eating the fruit was symbolic of consummating the marriage" (after Sandra Kynes' "Tree Magic: Connecting with the Spirit & Wisdom of Trees").
According to Columella (4 - ca. 70 AD), a prominent writer on agriculture in the Roman Empire, "Quinces not only yield pleasure, but health". "Romans would serve quince to their loved ones to encourage fidelity and those newly married would share a quince to ensure a happy marriage" (after Rachel Patterson's "A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food").
Around that time Titian's workshop created another version of this composition, which was before 1916 in the Volpi collection in Florence (hence both Pomonas were possibly initially in the Medici collection). The woman's face and pose is identical as in the Raczyński Herodias, which is the effigy of Queen Catherine of Austria.
The face of the princess in the Prado painting bears great resemblance to effigies of Princess Sophia Jagiellon by Cranach and in Spanish costume by Flemish painter.
Portrait of Princess Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) as Salome by Titian, 1550-1553, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of Princess Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) as Pomona by workshop of Titian, 1550-1553, Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Pomona by workshop of Titian, 1553-1565, Private collection.
Allegorical portraits of Queen Catherine of Austria by workshop of Titian
Another version of the Pomona in Berlin by workshop of Titian was before 1970 in private collection in Vienna, Austria (oil on canvas, 99 × 82.5 cm), however, her facial features are slightly different, the face is more elongated and the lower lip is more protruding, as in most of the portraits of Catherine of Austria's relatives in Vienna. Her features are very similar to Saint Catherine of Alexandria in the Prado (inventory number P000447) and in the Raczyński Herodias. The same face and pose was copied in a painting of a nymph and a satyr which was before 1889 in James E. Scripps collection in Detroit (oil on canvas, 99 × 80.6 cm), attributed to follower of Titian, possibly by his student Girolamo Dente. The nymph playfully tugs at the ear of the satyr, who probably has the features of a court dwarf. Satyrs were nature deities and part of Bacchus's retinue. They were considered symbols of natural fertility or virility and were frequently portrayed chasing nymphs, symbolizing chastity.
Similar paintings were in royal and magnate collections in Poland-Lithuania. Inventory of the Kunstkammer of the Radziwill Castle in Lubcha from 1647 lists a painting of a "Naked lady with a satyr" offered by king John II Casimir Vasa and in 1633 a painting of "Diana with her maidens, the fauns laugh at" presented by his predecessor Ladislaus IV (after "Galerie obrazów i "Gabinety Sztuki" Radziwiłłów w XVII w." by Teresa Sulerzyska, p. 96).
Inventory of paintings from the collection of princess Louise Charlotte Radziwill (1667-1695), drawn up in 1671, lists many nude and erotic paintings, some of which may be works by Titian: A lady half naked in sables (297, possibly a copy of a Girl in a fur by Titian in Vienna), Naked woman sleeps and two men watch (351), A naked woman sleeps and a lute and a flask with a drink is beside her and a man watches (370), A filthy image, Cupids and many naked people (371), Bacchanalia (372), Adonis wrestle with Venus (374, possibly a copy of Venus and Adonis by Titian in Madrid), A lady in flowers (375) and A lady with flowers (419, possibly a copy of Flora by Titian in Florence), Two naked women, one combs herself (420), A woman lying holding a glass, a man in front of her and Cupid embracing her (430), Three nymphs and Cupid (431), Two pictures on silver plates, one of Cupid with Venus, and the other with lustitia (628-629), Venus between two Cupids. A special image (762, most likely a painting from Bernardino Luini's workshop in the Wilanów Palace or a copy), A woman, naked, covered herself with cotton cloth, on a large panel (794, possibly a copy of a portrait of Beatrice of Naples as Venus by Lorenzo Costa in Budapest), Susanna and two old men, a large painting on canvas (815), Picture: a naked lady is sleeping and a satyr is next to her, this painting was given by King John Casimir (820), Three nymphs and Cupid (826), A lady with satyr, filthy (842), A lady lying. Small painting, golden frames (843), Naked lady with a swan, stone painting (844, possibly Leda by Alessandro Turchi, a pupil of Carlo Cagliari in Venice), A naked person in a red coat (863, possibly a copy of "Titian's Mistress" in Apsley House) (after "Inwentarz galerii obrazów Radziwiłłów z XVII w." by Teresa Sulerzyska). The inventory also includes several paintings which could be identified as Lucretia or Salome by Cranach and this is only a part of splendid collections of the Radziwlls that survived the Deluge (1655-1660).
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Pomona by workshop of Titian, 1553-1565, Private collection.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as a nymph with a satyr by follower of Titian, possibly Girolamo Dente, 1553-1565, Private collection.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon by circle of Titian
The portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575), Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg from the Von Borcke Palace in Starogard, which was lost during World War II, was most probably the only signed effigy showing her features the most accurately. It bears a strong resemblance to the features of a lady by a Venetian painter from the circle of Titian in Kassel.
The portrait in Kassel is tentatively identifed as effigy of Sophia's cousin Archduchess Eleanor of Austria (1534-1594), Duchess of Mantua (daughter of Anna Jagellonica, Queen of Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary), and a wife of Guglielmo Gonzaga, due to great similarity of garments and location, the Gonzagas of Mantua frequently commissioned their effigies in nearby Venice. However the face lacks an important feature, the notorious habsburg lip, allegedly stemming from Cymburgis of Masovia, a hallmark of prestige in the 16th century and inherited by Eleanor from her father, the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. The sitter's costume and features are very similar to these visible in a miniature showing Sophia's mother Bona Sforza (in the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków), who visited Venice in 1556, the year of Sophia's marriage with the 66-year-old Duke Henry V of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. It is highly possible that the painting was commissioned in Venice by Sophia's brother, king Sigismund II Augustus or her mother.
In the same collection in Kassel, there are also two other portraits from the same period by Venetian painters, which are linked to Jagiellons, a portrait of Sophia's sister Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) and a portrait of a general, which according to Iryna Lavrovskaya, could be an effigy of influential cousin of Barbara Radziwill (second wife of Sophia's brother), Nicholas "The Black" Radziwill (Heritage, N. 2, 1993. pp. 82-84).
The marriage of a 34-year-old princess with an old man was mocked in a painting, created by workshop or follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder, preserved in the National Gallery in Prague. The work was acquired in 1945 from the Nostitz picture collection in Prague (first probable record 1738, definite record 1818). The painter used earlier effigies of the Princess in the popular subject of the "grotesque marriage", dating back to antiquity when Plautus, a Roman comic poet from the 3rd century BC, cautioned elderly men against courting younger ladies. The inscription SMVST.A. on her bonnet should be therefore interpreted as a satirical anagram.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in a black dress by circle of Titian, ca. 1553-1565, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portrait of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) in black dress by circle of Titian, most probably Lambert Sustris, ca. 1553-1565, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Ill-Matched Lovers, caricature of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575) and her husband Henry V of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1489-1568) by follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1556, National Gallery in Prague.
Portraits of Zofia Tarnowska by Lambert Sustris and workshop of Titian
On January 18, 1553 the Sejm began in Kraków, but the proceedings were suspended immediately, as most of the deputies and senators went to Tarnów for the wedding of the nineteen-year-old daughter of Voivode of Kraków and Grand Hetman of the Crown. Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), the only daughter of Jan Amor Tarnowski and Zofia Szydłowiecka was marrying Constantine Vasily (1526-1608), son of Constantine, Prince of Ostroh and his wife Alexandra Olelkovich-Slutska.
In 1550, the twenty-five-year-old Constantine Vasily received from King Sigismund II Augustus the office of marshal of Volhynia. A year later he participated in the fight against the Tatars, who burned down the town and the castle in Bratslav, and probably met the Grand Hetman, Jan Amor Tarnowski, who came to the city with Polish reinforcements.
Since the groom was Orthodox and the bride Catholic, the couple was blessed by priests of both rites. The celebrations must have been very impressive since Tarnowski borrowed 10,000 Hungarian zlotys from Queen Bona for this occasion or the wedding of his son just two years later. Emericus Colosvarinus (Imre Kolozsvár) from Cluj-Napoca, wrote a special speech, entitled De Tarnoviensibus nuptiis oratio, published in Kraków (he also published a speech on the occasion of the third marriage of King Sigismund Augustus that year). Taking Zofia Tarnowska as his wife, Constantine Vasily became the son-in-law of the highest secular dignitary of the Kingdom of Poland, the largest landowner, and a renowned military commander and military theoretician. Immediately after the wedding, Constantine Vasily and his wife went to his castle in Dubno in Volhynia. A year later, in 1554, Zofia gave birth to a son in Tarnów, who was named Janusz.
Zofia's younger brother, Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski (1537-1567), become formal successor of his father, just few months after birth, after death of his brother Jan Amor (1516-1537). At the age of eleven, he was sent to Augsburg with his tutor Jakub Niemieczkowski, canon of Tarnów, where during the Diet of Augsburg on 25 February 1548, he witnessed the grand ceremony of inauguration of Duke Maurice (1521-1553) as Elector of Saxony. That same year also Titian and Lambert Sustris arrived to Augsburg. In December that year the young Tarnowski went to Vienna to continue his education at the court of King Ferdinand I. A year later, in November 1549, his father Hetman Jan Tarnowski bought Roudnice nad Labem estate in Bohemia for him. Between 1550-1556 Jan Krzysztof built the Renaissance eastern wing with arcades of the Roudnice nad Labem Castle. In 1553 he set off on another educational journey, which, according to Stanisław Orzechowski, was to cost his father a huge sum of 100,000 zlotys. He visited Germany, Brussels, where he was introduced to Emperor Charles V, and London. Then he went to Basel and to Italy, where he met a poet Jan Kochanowski. In Rome, he was a guest of Pope Julius III and in Parma of the Farnese princes.
On April 22, 1551, died Zofia Szydłowiecka and she was buried in the collegiate church in Opatów. Peter a Rothis published in Vienna a panegyric on the deceased.
A painting of a nude woman attributed to Lambert Sustris in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is very similar to the portrait of Princess Isabella Jagiellon (Venus of Urbino), created few years earlier. In 1854 the painting, as by Titian, was in the collection of Joseph Neeld (1789-1856) in Grittleton House, near Chippenham. As in Venus of Urbino, all alludes to the qualities of a bride and the purpose of the painting. The pose of the woman, although inspired by Titian's painting, find its source in ancient Roman sculpture (e.g. statue of a young Roman lady from the Flavian period in the Vatican Museums). This pose was repeated in tomb monument of Barbara Tarnowska née Tęczyńska (d. 1521), first wife of Jan Amor in the Tarnów Cathedral, most probably created by Giovanni Maria Padovano in 1536 or earlier, monument to Urszula Leżeńska in the Church in Brzeziny by Jan Michałowicz of Urzędów, created between 1563-1568, and in the tomb monument of Zofia Tarnowska, Princess of Ostroh, daughter of Jan Amor, also in the Tarnów Cathedral, sculpted by Wojciech Kuszczyc, a collaborator of Padovano, after 1570.
The face of a young woman with protruding ears greatly resemble the effigy of Zofia Tarnowska, Princess of Ostroh, most likely a 19th century copy of an original from the late 1550s (Museum of the Ostroh Academy), and portrait of Zofia's brother, mother and father.
Jan Amor Tarnowski, a world man, who on July 4, 1518 sailed from Venice to Jerusalem, who on February 20, 1536 organized a grand wedding in Kraków for Krystyna Szydłowiecka, a younger sister of his second wife, who was getting married to Duke of Ziębice-Oleśnica and who on July 10, 1537 hosted at his castle in Tarnów the king and queen Bona, he could be planning an international marriage for his only daughter.
A copy of this painting by workshop or circle of Titian, from the Byström collection, possibly taken from Poland during the Deluge (1655-1660), is in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. Another copy is in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, where there is also a portrait of Queen Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547) as Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder. According to 1650 inventory of the Borghese collection it was one of a pair of similar paintings of Venus located in the same room (the small gallery, now room XI). The inventory of 1693 records them as two overdoor paintings in the same room (the sixth) as "a horizontal large painting of a naked woman on a bed with flowers on it with five other figures one that plays the cimbolo and the other that looks inside a chest" (un quadro bislongo grande una Donna Nuda sopra un letto con fiori sopra il letto con cinque altre figurine una che sona il Cimbolo e l'altra che guarda dentro un Cassa, number 333) and "a large painting of a naked Venus on a bed with a little dog sleeping with two other figures with her hand between thighs, 5 hand-palms high" (un quadro grande di una Venere nuda sopra il letto con un Cagnolino che dorme con due altre figure con la mano tra le coscie alto di 5 palmi, number 322), which was another version of Venus of Urbino - portrait of Isabella Jagiellon.
The same woman was also depicted in similar composition, this time more mythological due to presence of the god of war Mars and the god of desire Cupid, the son of the love goddess Venus and Mars, and a dove. "Romans sacrificed doves to Venus, goddess of love, whom Ovid and other writers represented as riding in a dove-drawn chariot". A white dove is a symbol of monogamy and enduring love, but also the regenerating and fertile powers of the goddess "arose from the conspicuous courtship and prolific breeding of the birds" (after Dean Miller's "Animals and Animal Symbols in World Culture", p. 54). It is known from at least three different versions, one by circle of Titian, is in the royal Wilanów Palace in Warsaw. The painting was most probably purchased by Stanisław Kostka Potocki before 1798 as the work of Agostino Carracci, although it cannot be ruled out that it was added to the collection much earlier. A smaller version in the style of Lambert Sustris is in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg since 1792 and it comes from the collection of Prince Grigory Potemkin, who during his career acquired lands in the Kiev region and the Bratslav region, provinces belonging to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A miniature copy of the Hermitage version, painted on copper, was in private collection in Italy before 2015. Another two versions, also attributed to Sustris or his circle, are in private collections in Florence and in Rome, the version in Florence being close to the style of Bernardino Licinio (d. 1565). The shape of the castle in the distant background matches the layout of the Tarnowski Castle at the Saint Martin's Peak in Tarnów.
She was also depicted in a series of paintings depicting the biblical heroine Judith, exemplary in virtue and in guarding her chastity. In a version from private collection in Italy, she is depicted in a green dress with the raised sword in a composition close to the effigy of Zofia Szydłowiecka as Judith by workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder. Another version of this Judith was in private collection in Mönchengladbach in Germany. A version from the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park shows her in a blue dress before the naked body of Holofernes. It was recorded in the posthumous inventory of the collection of a Swedish businessman born in Stockholm, Henrik Wilhelm Peill (1730-1797), as "Italian, Judith with the head of Holofernes". In a version from the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille she is depicted in a red dress and accompanied by a servant. This painting was acquired by Louis XIV, in 1662, from a banker and collector Everhard Jabach, born in Cologne. A lower quality copy of the version in Lille is in the Münsterschwarzach Abbey. During the Middle Ages its influence reached as far north as Bremen and in the south to Lambach, near Linz in present-day Austria. Between 1631 and 1634 the abbot of Münsterschwarzach lived in exile in Austria, it is possible that he acquired the paining there from the collection of Queen of Poland, Catherine of Austria, who died in Linz on February 28, 1572.
Finally she was also depicted as another biblical heroine Susanna, epitome of female virtue and chastity, unjustly accused of sexual transgression. This painting was purchased in 1961 by the Museo de Arte de Ponce from the collection of the family Trolle-Bonde in the Trolleholm Castle in southern Sweden. The painter evidently used the same set of preparatory drawings to create the face of Susanna and Judith in Lille.
The popularity of "obscene" images in Poland-Lithuana before the Deluge (1655-1660) was apparently so great that some authors urged against them. "Lascivious paintings and statues, speeches and songs full of obscenity [...], whom will they not lead to all kinds of debauchery?" (Picturae & statuae lascivae, sermones & cantilenae obscoenitatis plenae [...], quam aetatem quem sexum non contaminant?), wrote in his treatise "Commentaries on the Improvement of Commonwealth" (Commentariorvm de rep[vblica] emendanda) dedicated to king Sigismund Augustus and published in Kraków in 1551, his secretary Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (1503-1572). Half a century later Sebastian Petrycy, professor of the Kraków Academy in his commentaries to Aristotle's Oeconomicum libri duo (Oekonomiki Aristotelesowey To Iest Rządu Domowego z dokładem Księgi Dwoie), published in Kraków in 1601, wrote that children and young ladies "looking at the painted naked people will easily learn to be shameful" and confirmed his opinion in a gloss to "Politics" by Aristotle (published in 1605), writing that "indecent images are to be hidden from the youth [...] so that young people would not be scandalized" (partially after "Ksiądz Stanisław Orzechowski i swawolne dziewczęta" by Marcin Fabiański, p. 57-58). The same Sebastian Petrycy also complains about the patricians, who in their newly built houses "put expensive pictures", depicting Vulcan, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Cupid. According to Wanda Drecka, this "expensiveness" of the images would indicate imported paintings. The inventories of the collection of Boguslaus Radziwill from 1656 and 1657 include such paintings as "Cupid, Venus and Pallas", "Venus and Hercules" and "Venus and Cupid" (after "Polskie Cranachiana" by Wanda Drecka, p. 26-27) by Cranach or Venetian painters.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) nude (Reclining Venus) by Lambert Sustris, 1550-1553, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) nude (Reclining Venus) by workshop or circle of Titian, 1550-1553, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) nude (Reclining Venus) by circle of Lambert Sustris, 1550-1553, Borghese Gallery in Rome.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Venus with a dove by circle of Titian, 1550-1553, Wilanów Palace in Warsaw.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Venus with a dove by Lambert Sustris, 1550-1553, The State Hermitage Museum.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Venus with a dove by Lambert Sustris, 1550-1553, Private collection.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Venus with a dove by circle of Lambert Sustris, 1550-1553, Private collection in Rome.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Venus with a dove by circle of Lambert Sustris or Bernardino Licinio, 1550-1553, Private collection in Florence.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, Private collection.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, Private collection.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, The Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Judith with the head of Holofernes by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, Münsterschwarzach Abbey.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570) as Susanna by Lambert Sustris, 1550s, Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Portraits of Catherine of Austria and Zofia Tarnowska by Titian
Family events that took place in 1553 brought a great revival in the monotonous existence of the Jagiellons. In the spring, Queen Isabella arrived to Warsaw with her 13-year-old son, John Sigismund Zapolya, to live with her mother and sisters. Soon, Sigismund Augustus also visited Warsaw, and in June the whole family went to Kraków for his wedding with Catherine of Austria, widowed Duchess of Mantua. The dynastic marriage of the king with a daughter of Ferdinand I, just few months after the wedding of the only daughter of Hetman Jan Amor Tarnowski, was decided to prevent the threat of an alliance of Tsar Ivan the Terrible with the Habsburgs against Poland-Lithuania. In July, Catherine's brother, Archduke Ferdinand, governor of Bohemia, escorted her to Kraków. The ceremony was attended by Duke Albert of Prussia, the Silesian dukes of Cieszyn, Legnica-Brzeg and Oleśnica, the papal legate Marcantonio Maffei from Bergamo (Republic of Venice), many foreign envoys and Polish magnates. The ceremonial entry to Kraków took place on July 29 and the coronation the next day. During the procession, Jan Amor Tarnowski, carried the royal crown.
During his visit the Archduke demanded that the Habsburgs should be granted succession in Poland-Lithuania in the event of king's death without a male heir. Sigismund Augustus seemed willing to agree to this request, however the senators, inspired by Tarnowski, were to answer him that this would not happen, because the king had no right to do so.
The same year, Francesco Lismanini, a preacher and confessor of Sigismund Augustus, was sent to Venice to procure books for his library. Before his return in 1556, he also visited Moravia, Padua, Milan, Lyon, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Strasbourg and Stuttgart, while among books published in this period were two dedicated to Hetman Tarnowski, both by Italian physician Giovanni Battista Monte (Johannes Baptista Montanus), Explicationes, published in Padua in 1553 and In quartam fen primi canonis Avicennae Lectiones, published in Venice in 1556.
In about 1553 died Giovanni Alantsee from Venice, a pharmacist from Płock, initially a supplier of the Dukes of Masovia and later of the court of Sigismund I, who remained in Bona's service (sent by her in 1537 on a secret mission to Vienna). One of the Italian envoys who traveled permanently to Venice on the orders of the Polish royal court was a certain Tamburino. On April 30, 1549, he received 1 ducat for an unspecified order. Before her departure for Italy, the Queen deposited in Venetian banks, and also borrowed at interest, her great income from Masovia, Lithuania and Bari. In November 1555 Queen Bona wrote to Hetman's wife, Zofia Tarnowska née Szydłowiecka, asking her to arrange for a mature lady (matronam antiquam) to accompany her daughter Sophia to her husband in Germany.
In 1559 Sigismund Augustus admitted to his service in Vilnius two goldsmiths from Venice, Antonio Gattis and Pietro Fontana. If Philip II could commission paintings in Titian's Venetian workshop, the same could the king of Poland and Polish magnates. Kraków and Tarnów are closer to Venice by land then Madrid.
Also some contacts of Princes of Ostroh with Venice and Italy are confirmed in sources. The teacher of Constantine Vasily's sons was, among others, a Greek, Eustachy Nathanael, from Crete. He was probably educated, like many Greeks from Crete, in Italy, probably in Venice. Other Greek, Emanuel Moschopulos, educated in Collegium Germanicum in Rome also settled in Ostroh. According to letters of Germanico Malaspina (ca. 1550-1604) from 1595, papal nuncio in Poland, Constantine Vasily even asked the Catholic patriarch in Venice to come to Poland: a riformare il suo dominio (to reform his domain).
Herodias with the head of Saint John the Baptist, also known as Salome, by Titian is known from several versions. The best, the so-called Raczyński Herodias, was in the 19th century in the possession of the noble Raczyński family, according to the label on the back (after Nicholas Hall's "Nemesis: Titian's Fatal Women", p. 19). The woman's face is identical with the face of Venus with the lute player by Titian in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Saint Catherine by Titian in the Prado Museum in Madrid, she is therefore Queen Catherine of Austria, third wife of Sigismund Augustus, in guise of the biblical temptress. A copy of this painting by Titian and workshop, which was by 1649 in the royal collection in England (Hampton Court), is today in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.
There is also another similar painting by Titian of other biblical heroine, Judith, in identical pose. This painting was by 1677 in Florence in the collection of Marchese Carlo Gerini (1616-1673), today in the Detroit Institute of Arts. According to X-ray examination it was painted upon other unfinished portrait of a monarch holding an orb and sceptre (after Nicholas Hall's "Nemesis: Titian’s Fatal Women", p. 18), possibly Sigismund Augustus. The woman depicted bears gret resemblance to other effigies of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), Princess of Ostroh by Lambert Sustris and workshop of Titian, especially her effigies as Judith.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Herodias (or Salome) with the head of Saint John the Baptist and servants (Raczyński Herodias) by Titian, 1553-1565, Private collection.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist and servants by Titian, 1553-1565, National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.
Portrait of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), Princess of Ostroh as Judith with the head of Holofernes and a servant by Titian, 1553-1565, Detroit Institute of Arts.
Portrait of Constantine Vasily, Prince of Ostroh by Jacopo Tintoretto
The man in a black costume lined with white fur in a portrait by Jacopo Tintoretto in the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, on loan to the Gallery since 1947, bears a strong resemblance to effigies of Constantine Vasily (1526-1608), Prince of Ostroh, including that visible in a gold medal with his portrait (treasury of the Pechersk Lavra and the Hermitage), and his mother Alexandra Olelkovich-Slutska from paintings by Cranach and his workshop. It is dated to about 1550-1555, the time when in 1553, at the age of 27, Constantine Vasily married Zofia Tarnowska. The painting comes from William Coningham's collection in London, exaclty as the portrait of Queen Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) with a dog by Francesco Montemezzano in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1559 Constantine Vasily became the voivode of Kiev. The economic power of his estates and his considerable political influence quickly earned him the title of "uncrowned king of Ruthenia". In 1574, he moved the princely residence from Dubno to Ostroh, where the reconstruction of Ostroh Castle began under the Italian architect Pietro Sperendio from Breno near Lugano. Cristoforo Bozzano (Krzysztof Bodzan) from Ferrara, called incola Russiae (resident of Ruthenia), who reconstructed the Ternopil Castle in 1566 for Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski, also most probably worked for Constantine Vasily.
Portrait of Constantine Vasily (1526-1608), Prince of Ostroh by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1553-1565, National Galleries of Scotland.
Portraits of Thomas Stafford, ambassador of the King of Poland by Giovanni Battista Moroni and workshop
The portrait of a man by Giovanni Battista Moroni presenting a letter dated in Italian September 20, 1553 (Di Settembre alli XX del M.D.LIII), is known from at least three versions. His left hand, holding another document, is very similar to Moroni's famous tailor in the National Gallery in London. One vesion, sold in 2015 in London, comes from the collection of Marquise de Brissac in France, the other in the Honolulu Museum of Art, was before 1821 in the collection of Edward Solly (1776-1844) in London and another from Scandinavian private collection, showing just the man's head, was auctioned in London (Sotheby's, 09.12.2003, lot 326). Two versions were painted on canvas and the smallest, attributed to Italian School early 17th century, was painted on wood.
Apart from the date and abbreviation D V S, which could be Dominationis Vestrae Servitor (Your Lordship's Servant) in Latin or Di Vostra Signoria (of Your Lordship) in Italian, the rest is illegible and could be either in Italian or in Latin. The man is therefore showing his letter, most probably a response, to someone very important.
On July 9, 1553, Mary Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII of England, proclaimed herself Queen of England. On August 3, she triumphantly entered London with her sister Elizabeth, and ceremonially took possession of the Tower. On September 27, she and Elizabeth moved into the Tower, as was the custom just before the coronation of a new monarch and on October 1, 1553, Mary was crowned in Westminster Abbey. While in a letter, in Portuguese, dated in Lisbon, September 20, 1553, king John III of Portugal announces the despatch of Lorenzo Piz de Tavora, a member of his council, as his ambassador to congratulate her Majesty on succeeding to the throne, Sigismund Augustus, king of Poland, sends a letter, in Latin, dated in Kraków, October 1, 1553, addressed to queen Mary. He despatches to Her Majesty's presence Thomas Stafford, grandson of the Most Noble Edward Stafford, late Duke of Buckingham, for that purpose. He prays the Queen to place unhesitating confidence in the said Stafford, of whom he speaks in the highest terms of praise, especially with regard to his cultivated and gracefully modest manners (Lat. State Paper Office, Royal Letters, vol. XVI. p. 9). Also king's newly wed wife, Queen Catherine of Austria, sends a letter on October 1, 1553 to queen Mary, congratulating her upon her accession, speaking in terms of high commendation of Thomas Stafford, and earnestly requests that he may be restored to the honours and possessions formerly possessed by his ancestors (Lat. State Paper Office, Royal Letters, vol. XVI. p. 11).
Shortly after Jan Łaski's departure from England, Hieronim Makowiecki came to London at the end of 1553 as an envoy of the Polish king, and in the following year Leonrad Górecki attended Mary's wedding to Philip II of Spain. According to a letter of Marc'Antonio Damula, Venetian ambassador to the Imperial Court, to the Doge and Senate, dated in Brussels, August 12, 1554: "It is being treated about, to give the government of the kingdom of Naples to the Queen of Poland [Bona Sforza], together with a council, and the Emperor has already said that he is content with this; and they are endeavouring to obtain the consent of the King of England, who is expected to give it readily, the kingdom of Naples being now weary and depressed by the many wrongs endured at the hands of the Spanish governors. The ambassador of the Queen aforesaid has purchased an organ at Antwerp for 3,000 crowns, as also goldsmith's work to the amount of 6,000, to give to the Queen of England, and will go thither to endeavour to arrange this business, which is supposed to be very near conclusion".
Thomas Stafford (ca. 1533-1557) was the ninth child and second surviving son of Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford and Ursula Pole. His maternal grandmother was Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and the last direct descendant of the Plantagenets. This lineage made Thomas and his family particularly close to the throne of England. In 1550 he went to Rome, where his uncle Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558) was nearly elected a pope in the papal conclave convened after the death of Pope Paul III, and where he remained for three years. He was resident in Venice in May of 1553 when the Signory permitted him to view the jewels of Saint Mark and to bear arms in the territories of the Republic. He arrived to Poland during the summer of 1553 when Sigismund Augustus was celebrating his third marriage with Catherine, daughter of Anna Jagiellonica. It was most likely on her initiative that Stafford became an envoy of Poland-Lithuania to England. The king's recommendation to restore him to the Dukedom of Buckingham appeared to have no effect, as in January 1554 he joined the rebellion, directed against Mary's plans to become the wife of Philip II. The rebels were defeated, Stafford was captured, but was able to escape to France, where he announced his claims to the crown of England. He returned to England in April 1557, but he was arrested and sentenced to death as a traitor. He was beheaded on May 28, 1557 on Tower Hill in London.
The date on a letter in mentioned portraits match perfectly the time when Stafford could receive an ambassadorial nomination and send a response expressing his appreciation to the king of Poland. Also previous locations of the works match Stafford's journeys - one was in England, one in France and one in Scandinavia, possibly taken from Poland during the Deluge. The sitter bears a strong resemblance to effigies of Thomas' uncle Cardinal Reginald Pole by Sebastiano del Piombo and workshop, in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and in the Hermitage Museum, and by unknown artist, in the Trinity College of the University of Cambridge.
Portrait of Thomas Stafford (ca. 1533-1557), ambassador of the King of Poland by Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1553, Private collection.
Portrait of Thomas Stafford (ca. 1533-1557), ambassador of the King of Poland by Giovanni Battista Moroni or workshop, 1553, Honolulu Museum of Art.
Portrait of Thomas Stafford (ca. 1533-1557), ambassador of the King of Poland by workshop of Giovanni Battista Moroni, ca. 1553, Private collection.
Portrait of Abraham Zbąski by Jacopo Tintoretto
In 1553 died Stanisław Zbąski, castellan of Lublin, the father of Abraham and Stanisław (1540-1585), and on the basis of his last will written in the Lublin town book, Abraham was to receive Kurów estate with a stonghold near Płonki, and Stanisław the town of Kurów and compensation of 1000 florins. The same year the Catholic church in Kurów was turned into a Protestant temple.
The castellan of Lublin, himself educated in Leipzig (1513/1514) and most probably in Italy, send his eldest son to a Protestant university in Wittenberg in February 1544, together with another Abraham Zbąski (D. Abrahamus / D. Abrahamus de Sbanski / poloni), identified as the son of Piotr Zbąski (d. 1543) from Greater Poland, the owner of Zbąszyń, who was most likely the same age as his friend Marcin Czechowic (born in November 1532) and the son of Stanisław. One Abraham Zbąski also studied in Królewiec (Königsberg) in Ducal Prussia in 1547 (as Abrahamus Esbonski. Polonus) and in Basel from May 1551. On November 30, 1550, Abraham Zbąski (the one from Kurów or from Zbąszyń) join the court of King Sigismund Augustus.
Perhaps under Abraham Zbąski's influence Celio Secondo Curione (Caelius Secundus Curio), an Italian humanist, dedicated to King Sigismund Augustus his work De amplitudine beati regni Dei, published in Basel in 1554 - on December 1, 1552, in a letter to Zbąski, he asked about the title of the Polish king, as he intended to dedicate his book to him. Celio dedicated to Abraham his Selectarum epistolarum librer II, published in 1553, and his handwritten dedication to Zbąski preserved in a volume of his M. Tullii Ciceronis Philippicae orationes XIIII, published in 1551 (Poznań University Library). This Abraham Zbąski frequently travelled to Italy, mainly to Bologna, in 1553/1554, in 1558/1559 and between 1560 and 1564. "I heard that this Abram, who recently arrived from Italy, could be quite a gem in this family" (Jakoż słyszę ten Abram, nowo z Włoch nastały, Że to może w tym domu klenot być niemały), wrote about the Zbąski family in his Bestiary (Zwierziniec/Zwierzyniec), published in 1562, the Polish poet and prose writer Mikołaj Rej. In 1554 he continued his studies at the University of Leipzig, where he enrolled for winter semester (as Abrahamus Sbansky) with Marcin Czechowic (Martinus Czechowicz), a Protestant thinker and a leading representative of Polish Unitarianism, and Stanisław Zbąski of Lublin (Stanislaus Sboxsky Lubelensis), his brother or cousin.
The portrait of a young man by Jacopo Tintoretto in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham was acquired in 1937 from the collection of Francis Drey (1885-1952) in London, who recalled that the portrait was previously in a French private collection. Basing on this, together with the style of the costume, it was suggested that the sitter is a Frenchman. His rich costume, more northern, sword and gloves indicate that he is a wealthy nobleman, like the Zbąskis of the Nałęcz coat of arms. According to Latin inscription in upper right corner, in the month of March (or May) 1554, the man was 22 years old (ANNO 1554 MENSE MA / AETATIS SUAE 22). This date and age match the age of one of the Zbąskis (both born in about 1531 or 1532), who was in Italy in 1553/1554 and in winter of 1554 enrolled at the University of Leipzig, further north of Venice. The man bear a resemblance to effigy of Stanisław Zbąski (1540-1585), from his tomb monument in Kurów, created by Italian sculptor Santi Gucci or his workshop, and to the distant descendant of the Zbąskis, bishop Jan Stanisław Zbąski (1629-1697) from his portrait in the Skokloster Castle in Sweden.
Portrait of Abraham Zbąski aged 22 by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1554, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
Portrait of Adam Konarski by Jacopo Tintoretto
In 1552, a brilliant diplomatic career of a young nobleman from Greater Poland, Adam Konarski (1526-1574), began. King Sigismund Augustus sent him to Rome as an envoy to Pope Julius III. Perhaps the effect of this mission was the sending of the first apostolic nuncio to Poland in 1555, Bishop Luigi Lippomano.
Adam was a son of voivode of Kalisz Jerzy Konarski and Agnieszka Kobylińska. He studied at the Lubrański Academy in Poznań, then in Frankfurt an der Oder, from 1542 in Wittenberg and later in Padua, from where he returned to his homeland in 1547. He decided to devote himself to a career in the church as a priest, but as a result of refusal to receive the office of coadjutor of Poznań, he decided, upon the advice of his father, to pursue a secular career. In 1548 he became the secretary of King Sigismund Augustus and in 1551 he was appointed chamberlain of Poznań, the official responsible for supervising the servants and the courtiers of the king. In the same year, he finally received the Poznań provostry, but he did not quit his job at the royal chancellery.
On the occasion of the king's wedding with Catherine of Austria, he went to Kraków in June 1553 together with the nuncio Marco Antonio Maffei (1521-1583), Archbishop of Chieti (born in Bergamo in the Venetian Republic) and returned to Rome in November to stay there until April 1555 (after Emanuele Kanceff, Richard Casimir Lewanski "Viaggiatori polacchi in Italia", p. 119). Upon his return, he received the post of canon of Kraków and scholastic of Łęczyca. He was again sent to Rome in 1557 after the death of Queen Bona and in 1560, also to Naples, regarding the inheritance of the Queen. In 1562, for his services to the king, he received the office of the bishop of Poznań, which he took upon his return to Poland in 1564. In 1563 Girolamo Maggi (ca. 1523-1572), an Italian scholar, jurist and poet, also known by his Latin name Hieronymus Magius, dedicated to Konarski his Variarvm lectionvm seu Miscalleneorum libri IIII, published in Venice (Venetiis : ex officina Iordani Zileti). In 1566-1567 Adam travelled to Padua.
Bishop Konarski died on December 2, 1574 in Ciążeń and was buried in the Poznań Cathedral. His beautiful tomb monument there (in the Holy Trinity chapel) was created by royal sculptor (mentioned in the documents of the royal court in 1562), Gerolamo Canavesi, who, according to his signature, created it in his workshop at St. Florian's Street in Kraków (Opus Ieronimi Canavesi qui manet Cracoviae in platea Sancti Floriani). It was transported and installed in Poznań in about 1575.
The portrait of a bearded man holding gloves by Jacopo Tintoretto in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin was purchased at Christie's, London, in 1866. According to Latin inscription the man was 29 years old in 1555 (1555 / AETATIS.29), exactly as Adam Konarski when he was returning from his mission to Italy, undeniably through the Republic of Venice, to Poland-Lithuania. The man bears great resemblance to the effigy of Bishop Adam Konarski in the National Museum in Poznań and his tomb sculpture in the Poznań Cathedral.
Portrait of royal secretary Adam Konarski (1526-1574), aged 29 by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1555, National Gallery of Ireland.
Self-portraits and portraits of Sigismund Augustus and Barbara Radziwill by Lucia Anguissola
Provenance of a portrait of a lady sitting in a chair from the collection of the royal Wilanów Palace in Warsaw (inventory number Wil. 1602) is unknown. It was suggested that it comes from the collection of Aleksander Potocki or his parents - Aleksandra née Lubomirska and Stanisław Kostka Potocki, however it cannot be excluded that it comes from the royal collection. It may be tantamount to "The picture in which the Seated Lady" (No. 247. Obraz na ktorym Dama Siedzi), mentioned in the inventory of the Wilanów Palace from 1696 in the part concerning paintings brought from various royal residencies to Marywil Palace in Warsaw (Connotacya Obrazow, w Maryamwil, zostaiących, ktore zroznych Mieysc Comportowane były, items 242-303). The painting in Wilanów was attributed to Agnolo Bronzino and Scipione Pulzone.
The woman was also depicted in other similar portrait in quarter-length, which is in Galleria Spada in Rome. This painting is attributed to Sofonisba Anguissola, while the costume is similar to that visible in Lucia Anguissola's self-portrait in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. The latter painting is more a miniature (28 x 20 cm) and was signed and dated '1557' by the author (MD / LVII / LVCIA / ANGUISOLA / VIRGO AMILCA / RIS FILIA SE IP / SA PINX.IT). Lucia was Sofonisba's younger sister and was initiated into painting by Sofonisba and perhaps she perfected herself in Bernardino Campi's studio. Just two years earlier, in 1555, Lucia and her two other sisters Europa and Minerva were portrayed by Sofonisba in her famous Game of Chess, signed and dated on the edge of the chessboard (SOPHONISBA ANGUSSOLA VIRGO AMILCARIS FILIA EX VERA EFFIGIE TRES SUAS SORORES ET ANCILLAM PINXIT MDLV). The Game of Chess was acquired in Paris in 1823 by Atanazy Raczyński and today forms part of the collection of the National Museum in Poznań. The effigy of Lucia in the Game of Chess is very similar to mentioned two portraits in Wilanów and Galleria Spada. A copy of the portrait from Galleria Spada, in green dress, is in private collection. It was identifed as effigy of Bianca Capello, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and attributed to Alessandro di Cristofano Allori or as Sofonisba's self-portrait.
Also another portrait is similar to mentioned two works in Wilanów and Rome, a portrait of a lady as Saint Lucy, half-length, in a red embroidered dress and brown mantle, attributed to circle of Sofonisba Anguissola, which was sold in December 2012 (Christie's, lot 171). It was painted more from above, like a self potrait looking in the mirror above sitter's head, therefore the silhouette is more slender and the head bigger. She holds attributes of Saint Lucy (Latin Sancta Lucia, Italian Santa Lucia) - the palm branch, symbol of martyrdom and eyes, which were miraculously restored to her.
The style of all these three larger effigies, in Wilanów, Galleria Spada and as Saint Lucy, is very similar to the best known work of Lucia Anguissola, the portrait of a physician from Cremona Pietro Manna holding the staff of Asclepius, today in the Prado Museum in Madrid. This work was also signed (LVCIA ANGVISOLA AMILCARIS / F[ilia] · ADOLESCENS · F[ecit]) and was probably sent to King Philip II of Spain to win the royal favor.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus in armour in full-length in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, discovered by me (Marcin Latka) in August 2017, is stylistically very similar to the portrait in Wilanów described above. In this portrait, however, the king has unnaturally big eyes, that were to become the hallmark of the Sofonisba's self-portraits and portrait miniatures by her hand. We can therefore assume that Lucia sent her self-portrait to Warsaw in order to enjoy royal favour and created some effigies of the royal family basing on miniatures created by her sister.
On November 29, 2017 another portrait attributed to Lucia Anguissola was sold at an auction (Wannenes Art Auctions, lot 657). This work is similar to Lucia's self-portrait in Castello Sforzesco, however her costume and coiffure are almost identical with the so-called Carleton Portrait in Chatsworth House, the portrait of Sigismund Augustus' second wife Barbara Radziwill (1520/23-1551) by circle of Titian. If not the style and the frame of this small effigy painted on copper, it could be considered as another 18th century copy of Carleton Portrait. It cannot be excluded that Lucia, like Sofonisba, created her own effigy in the costume of Queen of Poland while working on a larger portrait of the Queen. The face features are also very similar to the portrait of Barbara by Flemish painter in Musée Condé.
The Game of Chess by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1555, National Museum in Poznań.
Self-portrait in a dress of gold cloth by Lucia Anguissola, ca. 1555-1560, Galleria Spada in Rome.
Self-portrait in a green dress by Lucia Anguissola, ca. 1555-1560, Private collection.
Self-portrait sitting in a chair by Lucia Anguissola, ca. 1555-1560, Wilanów Palace in Warsaw.
Self-portrait as Saint Lucy by Lucia Anguissola, ca. 1555-1560, Private collection.
Portrait of King Sigismund II Augustus by Lucia Anguissola, ca. 1555-1560, Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
Portrait of Queen Barbara Radziwill by circle of Sofonisba or Lucia Anguissola, 1550s, Private collection.
Portraits of Sigismund Augustus and his third wife by Tintoretto and Lambert Sustris
After Sigismund I's marriage to Bona Sforza in 1518, the presence of Italian artists in Poland-Lithuania gradually increased.
In 1547 a painter Pietro Veneziano (Petrus Venetus), most probably in Kraków, created a painting to the main altar of the Wawel Cathedral. Ten years later, on March 10, 1557 in Vilnius, King Sigismund Augustus issues a passport to the Venetian painter Giovanni del Monte to go to Italy, and according to Vasari, Paris Bordone has "sent to the King of Poland a painting which was held very beautiful, in which was Jupiter and a nymph" (Mandò al Re di Polonia un quadro che fu tenuto cosa bellissima, nel quale era Giove con una ninfa). The latter also created an allegorical portrait of royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio, receiving medallion with king's effigy as a proof of his nobilitation and royal patronage of Sigismund Augustus.
Giovanni Battista Ferri (Ferro) from Padua in the Venetian Republic worked in Warsaw in about 1548 and the royal accounts from 1563 provide information about the payment of over one hundred thalers to Rochio Marconio, pictori Veneciano for eight paintings made for the king.
Portrait of Sigismund the Old from around 1547 from the collection of the Morstins in Pławowice, today at the Wawel Castle (inventory number ZKWawel 3239), is considered by Michał Walicki as a very definite manifestation of the Venetian tradition (after "Malarstwo polskie: Gotyk, renesans, wczesny manieryzm", p. 33). It is possible that this paining, which is sometimes attributed to German painter Andreas Jungholz, was actually created by Pietro Veneziano or his circle.
Contacts with the Venetian milieu of Titian have very probably further intensified when in 1553 Sigismund Augustus married his cousin Catherine of Austria, widowed Duchess of Mantua as a wife of Francesco III Gonzaga. The high demand for paintings in the Venetian workshops required painters to complete their work quickly. This involved a change in technique which uses a series of fast brushstrokes to create the impression of faces and objects. For many prominent patrons, speed was very important as they required several copies of the same image to be sent to different relatives, like effigies of the Habsburgs by Titian. In a letter of 1548, Andrea Calmo eulogised Tintoretto's ability to capture a likeness from nature in a mere half hour and according to Vasari he worked so fast that he had usually finished while the others were just thinking about starting.
On 18 December 1565 in Florence, Francesco I de' Medici, who since 1564 was regent of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in place of his father, married Joanna of Austria, the youngest daughter of Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547), Queen of Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, and sister of Catherine of Austria, Queen of Poland. According to preserved letters, that year Sigismund Augustus sent at least two envoys to Florence: letter of March 10, 1565 notifying Francesco about sending of the envoy Piotr Barzi (from a family of Italian origin), castellan of Przemyśl and two letters of October 2 and 6, 1565 about sending the envoy Piotr Kłoczowski, royal secretary, to attend the wedding (after "Archeion", Volumes 53-56, p. 158).
Around that time Florentine painter Alessandro Allori and his workshop created several portraits of young Francesco I de' Medici holding a miniature of his wife Joanna, which were undoubtedly meant to be sent to different European royal and princely courts. It is possible that also king of Poland, who sent his envoy for Francesco's wedding, received a copy and the version which was acquired before 1826 by Gustav Adolf von Ingenheim (1789-1855), later transported to Rysiowice in Silesia and today in the Wawel Royal Castle (inventory number 2175), may possibly be considered as such. Also the princes of Tuscany undoubtedly had images of the Polish-Lithuanian royal couple.
Portrait of a man in a fur coat, attributed to Tintoretto, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (inventory number Contini Bonacossi 33), was acquired in 1969 from the Contini Bonacossi collection in their Villa Vittoria in Florence. According to museum's description of the painting the relationships with Titian's portraiture appear evident in this work.
A man with a long beard in his forties or fifties wears expensive fur coat, which were imported to Western Europe mainly from the eastern part of the continent. Poland and Lithuania at that time were considered as one on the largest exporters of pelts of various animals: "the total number of hides exported from Poland in the second half of the 16th century amounted to about 150,000" (Acta Poloniae Historica, 1968, Volumes 18 - 20, p. 203). In 1560 Berardo Bongiovanni, Bishop of Camerino reported that, "The king [Sigismund Augustus] dresses simply, but has all kinds of clothes, Hungarian, Italian, of gold cloth, silk, summer and winter attires lined with sables, wolves, lynxes, black foxes, worth over 80,000 gold scudi". Five years later, in 1565, Flavio Ruggieri described the king: "He is 45 years old, of fairly good height, mediocre, great sweetness of character, more inclined to peace than war, speaks Italian by the memory of his mother, he loves horses and he has more than three thousand of them in his stable, he likes jewels of which he has more than a million red zlotys worth, he dresses simply, although he has rich robes, namely furs of great value".
The man bear a great resemblance to preserved effigies of Sigismund Augustus, especially a minaiture by Lucas Cranach the Younger in the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków (inventory number XII-538), created between 1553-1565. The same facial features were also captured in two other portraits attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto or his workshop, both in private collection. In one of them the man, much younger then in the version from the Contini Bonacossi collection, resemble greatly Sigismund Augustus from his effigy created by Marcello Bacciarelli (considered as the effigy of Jogaila of Lithuania), from the Marble Room at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, created between 1768 and 1771 (inventory number ZKW/2713).
A companion to the portrait in Uffizi is undoubtedly another portrait from the Contini Bonacossi collection with similar dimensions (109 × 91 cm / 110 × 83 cm) and composition, showing the man's wife, now in Belgrade (National Museum of Serbia). Federico Zeri (1921-1998), noticed the great similarity of this portrait to minaiture of Catherine of Austria in the Czartoryski Museum (Fondazione Federico Zeri, card number 43428), created, like the effigy of Sigismund Augustus, by Lucas Cranach the Younger in his workshop in Wittenberg. However, the portrait is identifed as depicting Christina of Denmark (1521-1590), despite bearing no resemblance to any confirmed effigy of widowed Duchess of Milan and Duchess of Lorraine, who dressed more according to French/Netherlandish fashion and not Central European, like the woman in the described portrait.
She is holding a compass in her left hand and her right hand on a celestial globe. Catherine's interest in cartography is confirmed by support to cartographer Stanisław Pachołowiecki, who was in her service between 1563-1566 (after "Słownik biograficzny historii Polski: L-Ż" by Janina Chodera, Feliks Kiryk, p. 1104). She was depicted in a black dress, most probably a mourning dress after death of her father Emperor Ferdinand I (died 25 July 1564), therefore the portrait should be dated to about 1564 or 1565, shortly before her departure to Vienna (October 1566).
A copy of the painting in Belgrade, painted on oak panel, is in Kassel (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inventory number SM 1.1.940), where there are also several other portraits of the Polish-Lithuanian Jagiellons, identifed by me. The style of the painting in Kassel is more Netherlandish and can be attributed to Lambert Sustris, a Dutch painter, presumably a student of Jan van Scorel, active mainly in Venice where he worked in Titian's studio.
King Sigismund Augustus established a permanent postal connection between Kraków and Venice. "The tasks of the post office included taking orders in the markets, sending very expensive and light goods [like paintings on canvas] and bullion coin" (after "Historia gospodarcza Polski do 1989 roku: zarys problematyki" by Mirosław Krajewski, p. 82). Merchants importing luxury goods, like Tucci, Bianchi, Montelupi, Pinozzo family, coming from Venice, Battista Fontanini, Giulio del Pace, Alberto de Fin, Paolo Cellari, Battista Cecchi, Blenci and many others, used it frequently.
It was organized on the Italian model and for many years it was operated mainly by Italians. From 1558 it was run by Prospero Provano, then, from 1562, by Christopher de Taxis, former Augsburg postmaster and imperial court postmaster, from 1564 by Pietro Maffon, a native of Brescia in the Venetian Republic, and after him from 1568 by Sebastiano Montelupi, a Florentine merchant, who received an annual salary of 1,300 thalers.
In 1562, a shipment from Kraków through Vienna to Venice took about 10 days, and from Kraków to Vilnius through Warsaw - 7 days. Royal mail was free of charge, private senders paid according to the agreed rate. Montelupi was obliged to carry royal and diplomatic mail, so he sent horse messengers every week. The royal post was under the management of the Montelupi family for nearly 100 years and they maintained the line between Kraków and Venice until 1662.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus wearing a black fur trimmed coat by Tintoretto, 1550s, Private collection.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) by Tintoretto, 1550s, Private collection.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) in a fur coat by Tintoretto, ca. 1565, Uffizi Gallery.
Portrait of queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) with a globe and a compass by Tintoretto or Titian, ca. 1565, National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade.
Portrait of queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) with a globe and a compass by Lambert Sustris, ca. 1565, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portrait of Francesco de' Medici (1541-1587) by Alessandro Allori, ca. 1565, Wawel Royal Castle.
Portaits of Sigismund Augustus, Catherine of Austria and court dwarf Estanislao by Venetian painters
In 1553 Sigismund II Augustus decided to marry for the third time with a widowed Duchess of Mantua and his cousin Catherine of Austria. The wedding celebrations lasted 10 days and Catherine brought as a dowry 100,000 florins as well as 500 grzywnas of silver, 48 expensive dresses, and about 800 jewels. Somewhat distant marriage continued for a few years and Catherine became close with two yet-unmarried sisters of Sigismund, Anna and Catherine Jagiellon.
The royal court travelled frequently from Kraków through Warsaw to Vilnius. In October 1558 the queen became seriously ill. Sigismund was convinced that it was epilepsy, the same disease that tormented his first wife and Catherine's sister. For this reason, the marriage has become even more distant and the king sought to obtain annulment. It was a matter of international importance, Catherine's father Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor ruled vast territories to the west and south of Poland-Lithuania and assisted Tsar Ivan the Terrible in expanding his empire on eastern border of Sigismund's realm, while Catherine's cousin King Philip II of Spain was the most powerful man in Europe, ruler of half the known world from whom Sigismund was claiming the inheritance of his mother Bona. The queen become attached to her new homeland and her family used their influence to not allow the divorce. The arch-Catholic king of Spain undeniably received portraits of the couple.
The portrait of a lady in a dress of green damask attributed to Titian from the Spanish royal collection is very similar to Catherine's portrait by the same painter in the Voigtsberg Castle and to her portrait in Belgrade. It is recorded in the inventory of the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid of 1794 as a companion to a portrait of a soldier, now attributed to Giovanni Battista Moroni, a painter trained under Moretto da Brescia and Titian: "No. 383. Another [painting] by Titian: Portrait of a Madam: a yard and a quarter long and a yard wide, companion to 402. gilt frame" (Otra [pintura] de Tiziano: Retrato de una madama: de vara y quarta de largo y una de ancho, compañera del 402. marco dorado) and "No. 402. Another [painting] by Titian: half-length portrait of a man, a yard and a half high and a yard wide, with gilt frame" (Otra [pintura] de Tiziano: retrato de medio cuerpo de un hombre, de vara y media de alto y vara de ancho, con marco dorado). The effigy of "a soldier" bears great resemblance to portraits of the king and his costume is in similar style to that visible in a miniature by Cranach the Younger in the Czartoryski Museum.
Both paintings have similar dimensions (119 x 91 cm / 117 x 92 cm) and matching compostion, just as portraits of Pietro Maria Rossi, Count of San Secondo and his wife Camilla Gonzaga by Parmigianino in the same collection (Prado Museum), with the wife's portrait painted with "cheaper", simple dark background. The portraits of Sigismund and Catherine from Contini Bonacossi collection, although very similar, differ slightly in style, one is closer to Tintoretto, the other to Titian, therefore it cannot be excluded that just as in case of Sigismund's famous Flemish tapestries his large commission for a series of portraits was realized by different cooperating workshops from the Venetian Republic. A smaller version (22 x 17 cm) of the portrait of a woman from Prado, today in the Museo Correr in Venice (inventory number Cl. I n. 0091), is attributed to Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635).
Sigismund Augustus reunited with his wife in October 1562 at the wedding of Catherine Jagiellon in Vilnius. The king's sisters and his wife dressed similarly and similar Venetian style dress to that visible in the portrait of queen Catherine is included in the inventory of Catherine Jagiellon's dowry: "Damask (4 pieces). A long green damask robe, on it the embroidery of gold cloth with red silk, wide at the bottom, covered with patterned green velvet, trimmed with gold lace on it with green silk. The bodice and sleeves along embroidered with the same embroidery."
Sigismund Augustus had his ambassadors in Spain, Wojciech Kryski, between 1559 and 1562 and Piotr Wolski in 1561. He sent letters to the king of Spain and to his secretary Gonzalo Pérez (like on 1 January 1561, Estado, leg. 650, f. 178). He also had his informal envoys in Spain, dwarves Domingo de Polonia el Mico, who appears in the house of Don Carlos between 1559 and 1565, and Estanislao (Stanisław, d. 1579), who was at the court of Philip II between 1553 and 1562, and whom Covarrubias cited as "smooth and well proportioned in all his limbs" and other sources described as a skillful, well educated and sensible person (after Carl Justi's "Velázquez y su siglo", p. 621). Estanislao is recorded back in Poland between 1563-1571. Apart from being a skilled huntsman he was also most probably a skilled diplomat, just as Jan Krasowski, called Domino, a Polish dwarf of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France or Dorothea Ostrelska, also known as Dosieczka, female dwarf of Sigismund's sister Catherine Jagiellon, queen of Sweden.
In 1563 the king of Spain placed two portraits of Estanislao, one showing him in Polish costume of crimson damask, both by Titian, among the portraits of the royal family in his palace El Pardo in Madrid (included in the inventory of the palace of 1614 -1617, number 1060 and 1070). It is also very probable that the king of Poland had his portrait. The portrait of unknown dwarf in Kassel attributed to Anthonis Mor, although stylistically also close to Venetian school, seems to fit perfectly. In the same collection in Kassel there are also other portraits linked to Jagiellons. A pensive monkey in this painting is clearly more a symbol connected to deep knowledge and intelligence than joyfulness.
A drawing by Federico Zuccaro (Zuccari) in Cerralbo Museum in Madrid shows a monarch receiving an emissary with a cardinal and figures in Polish costumes. The effigy of the monarch is similar to portrait of King Sigismund II Augustus in coronation robes from the thesis of Gabriel Kilian Ligęza (1628) and other effigies of the king. In the National Gallery of Ireland, there is another drawing by Zuccaro, showing king's mother Bona Sforza. Between 1563 and 1565, the painter was active in Venice with the Grimani family of Santa Maria Formosa. It is highly probable that he was also employed on some large order from the king of Poland.
It is possible that Prado portraits were executed by Sofonisba Anguissola, born in Cremona in the Duchy of Milan, who in the winter of 1559-1560 arrived in Madrid to serve as a court painter and lady-in-waiting of Queen of Spain. In 1909 in the collection of Princess Lubomirska in Lviv there was a Portrait of a lady in Spanish dress (oil on canvas, 114 x 92 cm) signed by the Cremonese artist and dated: 1558 (after "Katalog wystawy obrazów malarzy dawnych i współczesnych urządzonej staraniem Andrzejowej Księżny Lubomirskiej" by Mieczysław Treter, item 53, p. 15).
Portrait of king Sigismund Augustus in crimson costume by Giovanni Battista Moroni or circle of Titian, possibly Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1560, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of queen Catherine of Austria in a dress of green damask by Giovanni Battista Moroni or circle of Titian, possibly Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1560, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of queen Catherine of Austria holding a book by Venetian painter, ca. 1560, Museo Correr in Venice.
Portrait of court dwarf Estanislao (Stanisław, d. 1579) by Anthonis Mor or circle of Titian, ca. 1560, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Sigismund II Augustus receiving an emissary, with a cardinal and figures in Polish costumes by Federico Zuccaro, 1563-1565, Cerralbo Museum in Madrid.
Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland by Federico Zuccaro, 1563-1565, National Gallery of Ireland.
Portrait of Marco Antonio Savelli by workshop of Giovanni Battista Moroni or Moretto da Brescia
The portrait of a gentleman, attributed to Moretto da Brescia, from the Potocki collection in Łańcut Castle, which was exhibited in 1940 in New York (catalogue "For Peace and Freedom. Old masters: a collection of Polish-owned works of art ...", page 25 , pic. 24), present whereabouts unknown, shows a man holding an open book on a stone pedestal. This painting is a copy of larger composition, today in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, acquired in Amsterdam in 1925, and originally most probably in the Uggeri collection in Brescia. According to Latin inscription on marble pedestal, the man was a member of a rich and influential Roman aristocratic family Savelli (· M · A · SAVELL[i] / EX FAM[ilia] · ROMAN[a]) and his name was most probably Marco Antonio Savelli. The portrait is attributed to Giovanni Battista Moroni and can be dated to the mid-16th century.
The most powerful member of the Savelli family around that time was cardinal Giacomo Savelli (1523-1587), who officially replaced Alessandro Farnese (1520-1589), Cardinal Protector of Poland (from 1544) during his absence from Rome from June 1562. From mid-1562 the royal chancellery more and more often turned with requests in Polish matters not only to the protector and vice-chancellor, but also to cardinal Charles Borromeo, protonotary apostolic, and to cardinals Giacomo Savelli and Otto Truchsess von Waldburg. It is possible that this unknown Marco Antonio Savelli, was sent by his relative the cardinal on a mission first to the Republic of Venice and then to Poland-Lithuania.
Portrait of Marco Antonio Savelli from the Łańcut Castle by workshop of Giovanni Battista Moroni or Moretto da Brescia, mid-16th century, present whereabouts unknown.
Portraits of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill by Lambert Sustris and Frans Floris
In 1554 the construction of a large fortess in Berezhany in western Ukraine, called the "Eastern Wawel", was accomplished and its founder Mikołaj Sieniawski (1489-1569), voivode of Ruthenia commemorated it on a stone plaque with Latin inscription above the southern gate. The architect of the building is unknown, however, the Renaissance decor suggests that he was Italian.
Descended from a noble family from Sieniawa in southeastern Poland, he raised the Sieniawski name to great power and importance. Under hetman Jan Amor Tarnowski, of the same clan crest of Leliwa, Sieniawski took part in the battle of Obertyn in 1531 and in as many as 20 other war campaigns. In 1539 with Tarnowski's intercession, he become the Field Hetman of the Crown and received from King Sigismund I the Medzhybizh Fortress, which he rebuilt in Renaissance style.
Around 1518, he married Katarzyna Kolanka (d. after 1544), daughter of the Field Hetman of the Crown Jan Koła (d. 1543) and a niece of Barbara Kolanka (d. 1550), wife of George Radziwill (1480-1541), nicknamed "Hercules". Sieniawski was a Calvinist and raised his children as Protestants. Nevertheless his eldest son Hieronim (1519-1582), who became a courtier of the king Sigismund Augustus in 1548, married a Catholic, Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (d. 1565). The religion was unsurpassable obstacle in many countries of divided Europe at that time, but apparenly not in the 16th century Poland-Lithuania, the "Realm of Venus", godess of love.
Hieronim and Elizabeth were married before May 30, 1558 as on this date Sieniawski bequeathed to his wife "for eternity" the estates, including Waniewo, which she had previously granted him "and bequeathed to him by particular Polish laws" (after "Podlaska siedziba Radziwiłłów w Waniewie z początku XVI wieku ..." by Wojciech Bis). Elizabeth, Princess of Goniądz and Medele (Myadzyel), was the youngest of three daughters of John Radziwill (d. 1542) and Anna Kostewicz of Leliwa coat of arms. As John had no son, the Goniądz-Medele line of the Radziwill family became extinct, and his domains were divided between his daughters, Anna, born in 1525, Petronella, born in 1526, and Elizabeth.
On June 5, 1559, king Sigismund Augustus, orders Piotr Falczewski, Knyszyn leaseholder and Piotr Koniński, governor of Belz, to settle the matter between the royal subjects of the Tykocin Castle and the Kamieniec chamberlain Hieronim Sieniawski and his wife Elizabeth Radziwill. After Elizabeth's death her estates were inherited by her husband, who in 1577 sold Waniewo to the Princes Olelkovich-Slutsky.
In the 18th century, the Berezhany Castle was famous for its collection of paintings parts of which are now kept in various museums of Ukraine. In 1762, the collection was located in 14 halls, other rooms and a library. The walls were covered with historical pictures. On the plafonds of two large halls there were battle compositions and the Great Hall was decorated with 48 portraits of the kings of Poland.
In the "Viennese" halls, one with a large canvas on the ceiling showing the Relief of Vienna in 1683 and walls covered with red-gold brocade, there were portraits of Queen Jadwiga and Tsar Peter I, the other with Venetian style gilded ceiling and walls covered with green-red brocade was also hung with portraits. In the room with walls covered with Persian fabric with gold and silver, there were portraits of Hieronim Sieniawski, King Sigismund Augustus, Potocki, voivode of Kiev and a landscape painting. In the next room covered with green-red brocade and red portiere tapestries, there were Italian religious paintings. The gilded wooden ceiling of one of the rooms was decoarated with planets and carved human heads, most probably similar to the orginal coffered ceiling in the Chamber of Deputies at the Wawel Castle. There was a large pyramid-shaped chandelier there and several portraits of family members. Next was the library with other paintings and a room with gilded ceiling with 11 paintings showing the episodes from the Battle of Khotyn (1621) and several other portraits. In the fourth upper room there was a gilded ceiling filled with portraits (after "Brzeżany w czasach Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: monografia historyczna" by Maurycy Maciszewski, p. 33-34).
From 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, Berezhany belonged to Austria, while the descendants of the Sieniawski family were based in Russian partition. The abandoned castle gradually fell into disrepair. Many valuable items were sold at auction on August 16, 1784. When princess Lubomirska won the trial in Vienna against the Austrian government to recover the portraits of the Sieniawski family painted on silver and other valuables from the family tombs, it turned out that they were melted for coinage. Paintings and portraits were moved to the outbuildings, where they were rotting and crumbling to dust (after "Brzeżany w czasach Rzeczypospolitej ...", p. 54). The author of an article, published in Dziennik Literacki from 1860 (nr 49) recalled: "Today I will only add that there were very expensive Italian paintings in the chapel and castle halls in Berezhany. There are still people who remembered them. For some of these paintings, the Sieniawskis paid several thousand ducats. Years ago, when I asked the guardian of the chapel and the castle, a simple peasant, where are the paintings, he replied that the smaller ones were dismantled and stolen, and the larger canvases were cut into sacks on the order of the officialists. It happened 30 years ago. There were many historical portraits among the paintings, namely of the Sieniawski family". The deed of destruction was accomplished during the First and Second World War. The "Realm of Mars", god of war, left only ruins in Berezhany.
The portrait of lady in the Museum of Western and Eastern Art in Odessa, Ukraine (inventory number ЗЖ-112) was acquired in 1950 from Alexandra Mitrofanovna Alekseeva Bukovetskaya (d. 1956), wife of Ukrainian painter Evgeny Iosifovich Bukovetsky (1866-1948). In 1891 Bukovetsky made a trip to western Europe, returning to Odessa in the same year. In Paris he attended the Académie Julian and worked for some time in Munich. Nevertheless, he or his wife, most likely acquired the painting later in Ukraine. The effigy is considered the work of a 16th-century Venetian artist and dated between 1550 and 1560. In 1954, on the back of the main canvas, a piece of another canvas was found with the inscription: restavrir 1877. Interestingly, between 1876-1878 Stanisław Potocki started renovation and restoration works in Berezhany.
The costume of depicted woman is very similar to that visible in the effigy of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) in unknown collection (published on livejournal.com on June 2 2017). The portrait of the Queen is inscribed in Latin: CHATARINA.REGINA.POLONIE.ARCHI: / AVSTRIE, therefore should be dated to between 1553-1565, before the Queen's departure from Poland. It is also closely related to a portrait of an unknown lady wearing a red velvet gown with a V-shaped white lace front from the 1550s in the Apsley House. Another similar costume and pose of the sitter is visible in the portrait of a lady in red dress by Giovanni Battista Moroni in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, dated to about 1560.
The woman wears a heavy gold earrings with cameos with female busts and a belt with a large cameo with sitting goddess Minerva holding on her right hand a figure, the personification of victory. Similar cameos were set on the casket of Hedwig Jagiellon, created in 1533 (The State Hermitage Museum) and the casket of Queen Bona Sforza, created in or after 1518 (Czartoryski Museum, lost during World War II). A certain similarity can also be indicated with the cameo with bust of Queen Barbara Radziwill by Jacopo Caraglio, created in about 1550 (State Coin Collection in Munich).
The style of the mentioned portrait in Odessa is very close to the portrait of Veronika Vöhlin, created in 1552 and to the portrait of Charles V seated, created in 1548, both in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and both attributed to Lambert Sustris, the same painter who created several effigies of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), the only daughter of hetman Jan Amor Tarnowski.
The same woman was also depicted in another painting attributed to Sustris or his circle, and showing Venus and Cupid with the view of the evening landscape. It was painted on canvas (88 x 111 cm) and is today in the private collection in Germany. A smaller version of this composition (29.5 x 42 cm), painted on panel is today in the Hallwyl Museum in Stockholm. It was acquired in 1919 in Berlin, where before 1869 there was a Radziwill Palace (later Reich Chancellery). Basing on signature (F.F.) and style it is attributed to the Flemish painter Frans Floris, who traveled to Italy probably as early as 1541 or 1542. He spent several years there with his brother Cornelis. From 1547 until his death he lived in Antwerp, where he managed a large studio with many pupils. In 1549 Cornelis Floris was commissioned to make a funerary monument for Dorothea, wife of Albert, Duke of Prussia, cousin of King Sigismund II Augustus, in Königsberg Cathedral. Design for several tapestries with monogram of Sigismund Augustus (Wawel Royal Castle), created in about 1555, is attributed to Cornelis Floris. Until his death in 1575 he worked on an impressive series of sculptures at home and abroad, including the tomb for Duke Albert in Königsberg, carved in 1570. Königsberg, known as Królewiec in Polish, was the capital of Ducal Prussia, fief of Poland (till 1657) and one of the biggest cities and ports situated close to estates of the Goniądz-Medele line of the Radziwill family. Paintings by Frans Floris were imported to different countries in Europe already in the 16th century, like the Last Judgment, created in 1565, today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which was verifiable in Prague in 1621, and he died while working on large paintings for a Spanish client. In Poland there is an Allegory of Caritas, acquired in 1941 for the Museum in Gdańsk (inventory number M / 453 / MPG) and a portrait of a girl as Diana in the National Museum in Wrocław (inventory number VIII-2247). The Holy Kinship by Frans Floris from the Łańcut Castle, dated to about 1555, was sold in 1945 in Zurich and tin sarcophagus of Sigismund Augustus with allegories of five senses (Wawel Cathedral) was created by Flemish/Dutch sculptors (Monogrammist FVA and Wylm van Gulich) in 1572 and inspired by engravings after drawings by Frans Floris.
The sitter from the described paintings by Lambert Sustris and Frans Floris, bear a resemblance to effigies of Anna Kostewicz and John Radziwill (a print and a portrait in the National Museum in Warsaw), parents of Elizabeth Radziwill.
Among paintings offered in 1994 by Karolina Lanckorońska to the Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków, there is a small painting depicting the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (oil on panel, 94.5 x 69.6), painted in the style close to Lambert Sustris (inventory number ZKWawel 7954). Before 1915 it was in the Lanckoroński Palace in Rozdil (Rozdół in Polish), between Berezhany and Lviv in Ukraine, and later transported to Vienna.
Portrait of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (d. 1565) by Lambert Sustris, 1558-1560, Museum of Western and Eastern Art in Odessa.
Portrait of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (d. 1565) as Venus and Cupid by Lambert Sustris or circle, 1558-1560, Private collection.
Portrait of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (d. 1565) as Venus and Cupid by Frans Floris, 1558-1560, Hallwyl Museum in Stockholm.
The Holy Kinship from the Łańcut Castle by Frans Floris, ca. 1555, Private collection.
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Lambert Sustris, third quarter of the 16th century, Wawel Royal Castle.
Portraits of Anna Jagiellon, Catherine Jagiellon and Catherine of Austria as Venus by Titian
In 1558 died Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain, ruler of the half of the known world was widowed again. He decided to marry. The future wife should be fertile and bear him many healthy sons, as his only son Don Carlos was showings signs of mental instability. At the same time the contacts of the Polish court with Spain increased. It is possible that Sigismund Augustus proposed his two unmarried sisters Anna and Catherine and sent to Spain their portraits. The match with the king of Spain, apart from great prestige, would also allow Sigismund to claim the heritage of his mother and the Neapolitan sums.
In January 1558, the councilor of the king of Spain, Alonso Sánchez took possession of the goods of the late Queen of Poland Bona in the name of the Spanish Crown and sequestered everything that was in the castle in Bari. Wojciech Kryski was sent to Madrid to appeal to Philip II about Bona's inheritance. Instructions for Kryski (January 16, 1558) and a letter from Sigismund Augustus to Philip (April 17, 1558) were dated from Vilnius.
A letter of Pietro Aretino to Alessandro Pesenti of Verona, musician at the royal court, dated 17 July 1539, is the earliest witness to Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio's presence in Poland. Pesenti had been the organist to Cardinal Ippolito d'Este before becoming a royal musician at the Polish court on 20 August 1521. He was Bona's favourite organist and Caraglio created a medal with his profile on obverse and muscial instruments on reverse (Münzkabinett in Berlin).
There were also other eminent Italian muscicians in royal capella, like Giovanni Balli, known in Poland as Dziano or Dzianoballi, who in the 1560s was paid 25 florins quaterly and many others.
Among the lute players, the favourite of the king Sigismund II Augustus was Walenty Bakwark or Greff Bakffark (1515-1576), born in Transylvania who entered his service on 12 June 1549 in Kraków. He recieved many gifts from the king and his salary increased from 150 florins in 1558 to 175 florins in 1564. In 1559 he acquired a house in Vilnius and he travelled to Gdańsk, Augsburg, Lyon, Rome and Venice. From 1552 the court organist of the king was Marcin Andreopolita of Jędrzejów and Mikołaj of Chrzanów (d. 1562), an organist and composer.
Most probably before his arrival to Poland Caraglio created numerous erotic prints, including sets of Loves of the Gods, which also contain very explicit scenes. One depicting Venus and Cupid (Di Venere et amore) is signed by him (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). In April 1552, he made a brief return trip to Italy.
On October 18, 1558 in Warsaw, Sigismund Augustus issued a privilege to Prospero Provano (or Prosper Provana, d. 1584), a Piedmontese merchant, to arrange permanent post Kraków - Venice via Vienna (Ordinatio postae Cracowia Venetias et super eandem generosus Prosper Provana praeficitur). The company was subsidized by the king and Prospero was paid 1,500 thalers a year by the royal treasury. The post was to transport luggage and people.
Two paintings by Titian from the Spanish royal collection and one from the Medici collection in Florence by workshop of Titian shows Venus, goddess of love. They were created at the same time and they are almost identical, the protagonists however are different. In Prado versions the musician is interrupted in the act of making music by the sight of a nude beauty. He directs his eyes to her womb. In Uffizi version a musician is replaced with a partridge, a symbol of sexual desire. As in Venus of Urbino, all alludes to the qualities of a bride and the purpose of the painting. A dog is a symbol of fidelity, donkeys refer to eternal love, a stag is the attribute of the huntress Diana, a virgin goddess and protector of childbirth and a peacock, sacred animal of Juno, queen of the gods, sitting on a fountain refer to fecundity. A statue of satyr on the fountain is a symbol of the sexuality and voluptuous love. A pair of embraced lovers are heading towards the setting sun.
Paintings from Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Fitzwilliam Museum are similar, but the women are married. The musician directs his eyes to breasts of the goddess, a symbol of maternity, or her head crowned with a wreath. Her womb is covered and in Berlin painting the goddess is departing (carriage in the background). The lanscape with stags and dancing satires in paintings of crowned Venus allude to fecundity.
Despite the divine beauty of two sisters of king of Poland, Anna and Catherine Jagiellon, Philip decided for more favorable match with neighbouring France and married Elizabeth of France, who was engaged with his son. The younger Catherine married Duke of Finland in 1562 and departed to Finland. The painting in Gemäldegalerie in Berlin was acquired in 1918 from private collection in Vienna and the painting in Fitzwilliam Museum was in the Imperial collection in Prague by 1621, therefore both were sent to Habsburgs.
The painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was described in great detail in a 1724 inventory of the Pio di Savoia collection in Rome. Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, humanist and patron of the arts, was the favorite candidate of Philip II of Spain in the Conclave of 1559. Catherine of Austria, willing to save her marriage and give the heir to Sigismund Augustus, most probably sent her portait to Rome to get a blessing, just as her mother Anna Jagellonica in about 1531 (Borghese Gallery).
The effigy of Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Titian from about 1560 in the Prado Museum is very similar to other effigies of Queen Catherine and her portraits as Venus. The slashed wheel and the sword allude to the martyrdom of the saint and difficult marital situation of the Queen. Her royal status was appropriate for a foundation such as Royal Monastery of El Escorial (recorded as far as 1593). Despite her efforts she did not managed to save her marriage.
The painting of Venus in Berlin was acquired in 1918, the year when Poland regained its independance after 123 years, eliminated by neighbouring countries. Blond goddeses of European culture were rulers of the country that should not exist (in the opinion of countries that partitioned the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), something totally inimaginable and inacceptable to many people back then.
Portrait of Princess Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) as Venus with the organ player by Titian, ca. 1558, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of Princess Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) as Venus with the organ player by Titian, ca. 1558, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of Princess Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) as Venus with a partridge (Venere della pernice) by workshop of Titian, ca. 1558, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portrait of Princess Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) as Venus with the organ player by Titian, ca. 1562, Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Venus with the lute player by Titian, 1558-1565, Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Venus with the lute player by Titian, 1558-1565, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Saint Catherine by Titian, 1558-1565, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon in red by Giovanni Battista Moroni
A young woman in the portrait of a lady, known as La Dama in Rosso (Lady in Red) by Giovanni Battista Moroni in the National Gallery in London, bears great resemblance to Catherine Jagiellon's miniature in German costume by Lucas Cranach the Younger and her portraits by Titian and his workshop.
The identification as a portrait of poetess Lucia Albani Avogadro (1534-1568) is manly based on engraved effigy of Lucia in profile, with generic resemblance, by Giovanni Fortunato Lolmo created between 1575 and 1588, therefore almost ten years after her death, and inventory of Scipione Avogadro's collection in Brescia, which describes "two portraits by Moretto [da Brescia], one of the count Faustino, standing, the other of the countess Lucia, his wife" (Due ritratti del Moretto, uno del conte Faustino in piedi, altro della contessa Lucia sua moglie).
The painting was purchased from Signor Giuseppe Baslini at Milan in 1876 with other portraits from Fenaroli Avogadro collection, most probably from their villa in Rezzato, near Brescia. Its previous history is unknown, it is threfore possible that it was acquired when their villa was extened in the 18th century or that Filippo Avogadro, who greeted Queen Bona in Treviso in 1556, wanted to have a portrait of her beautiful daughter.
The sitter is pointing to a simple fan of straw worked with silk, the main accessory as in the portrait by Titian in Dresden. The fan was regarded as a status symbol in ancient Rome and developed as a means of protecting the holy vessels from pollution caused by flies and other insects in the Christian Church (flabellum), thus becoming a symbol of chastity. In Venice and Padua a fan was carried by betrothed or married women.
Its specific octagonal shape might be a reference to renewal and transition as eight was the number of Resurrection (after George Ferguso's "Signs & Symbols in Christian Art", 1961, p. 154), can then be interpreted as readiness to change marital status. In 1560, at the age of 34, Catherine was still unmarried and did not want be betrothed to a tirant, Tsar Ivan IV, who invaded Livonia committing horrible atrocities. This portrait would be a good information that she prefers an Italian suitor. It was commissioned around the same time as portraits of Catherine's brother and his wife by Moroni, Titian or Sofonisba Anguissola (Prado Museum).
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) in red by Giovanni Battista Moroni or Sofonisba Anguissola, 1556-1560, National Gallery in London.
Portraits of Catherine Jagiellon by circle of Titian
In the 16th century fashion was an instrument of politics and princesses of Poland-Lithuania had in their coffers Spanish, French and German robes. The inventory of dowry of Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583), Duchess of Finland includes many items similar to these visible in the portraits identified as portraits of the Duchess of Urbino:
- "Necklaces with precious stones, 17 pieces (the most expensive 16,800 thalers)",
- "Pearl caps (13 pieces). From 40 thaler. to 335",
- "Buckles on (thirteen) French and Spanish robes",
- 17 velvet, long underneath garments, including one crimson with 72 French buckles, and "longitudinal pontałs [jewels and ornaments sewn onto the dress, imitating embroidery] with blocks with the same white and brown-red enamel is pair 146",
- 6 satin underneath garments, one robe of white satin embroidered with gold and silver with 76 buckles, and a robe of brown-red satin embroidered along the length with gold thread.
The famous pendant of Catherine with her monogram C with which she was buried, was not detailed in the inventory and a similar pearl snood net was depicted on the cameo of Catherine's mother Bona Sforza and on the portrait of a daughter of Ferdinand I of Austria, most probably one of the wives of Sigismund Augustus, in the National Gallery of Ireland. Numerous jewels and a bunch of roses allude to the purity and qualities of a bride. The necklace is a jewel in which three different stones are set, each with its own precise meaning: the emerald indicates chastity, the ruby indicates charity, the sapphire indicates purity and the big pearl is finally a symbol of marriage fidelity.
The monogram on French-style (?) buckles visible in the portrait, could be interpreted as interlaced CC, just as in monogram of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France. The identification as portrait of Giulia da Varano (1523-1547) is mainly based on inventory of the Ducal Palace of Pesaro from about 1624, which says about the portrait of the Duchess in ebony frames with her coat of arms and interlaced monogram G.G. of Giulia and her husband.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) by Venetian school, 1550s, Bardini Museum in Florence.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) in a pearl snood net by circle of Titian, ca. 1560, Private collection.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) as a bride by circle of Titian, before 1562, Pitti Palace in Florence.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon in white by Titian
In the first half of the 18th century, a Swedish painter Georg Engelhard Schröder, created copies of two portraits of Venetian ladies by Titian. These two portraits, in Gripsholm Castle near Stockholm, are undeniably a pair, pendants showing two members of the same family, sisters. They are the only two copies of Titian by Schröder in this collection, they have almost identical dimensions (99 x 80 cm / 100 x 81 cm), composition, the two women are similar and the paintings have even similar inventory number (NMGrh 187, NMGrh 186), a proof that they were always together. The woman holding a cross and a book is Anna Jagiellon, as in the painting by circle of Titian in Kassel, the other must be then her younger sister Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland from 1562 and later Queen of Sweden.
After 1715 the Gripsholm Castle was abandoned by the royal court and between 1720 and 1770, it was used as a county jail. In 1724 Schröder was made the court painter of Frederick I of Sweden, who highly valued him. It is very probable that the king ordered the painter to copy two old, damaged portraits of unknown ladies from Gripsholm, which were then thrown away, replaced with copies by Schröder.
The portrait of a second lady, in white dress and holding a fan, considered to be Titian's mistress, his daughter as a bride or a Venetian courtesan, is known from several copies. The best known is that in Dresden (without a pattern on sitter's dress, which a pupil of Titian most probably forgot or didin't managed to add), acquired in 1746 from the collection of the d'Este family, which were friends and allies of "a Milanese princess", Bona Sforza, Catherine's mother. The other, now lost, was copied by Peter Paul Rubens, most probably during his stay in Mantua between 1600-1608, tohether with a portrait of Isabella d'Este, also by Titian and also considered to be lost (both in Vienna) and another recorded by Anton van Dyck in his Italian sketchbook (British Museum) from the 1620s.
In case of a copy by Rubens, it's also highly probable that Catherine's son, Sigismund III Vasa, who ordered paintings and portraits from the Flemish painter, also commissioned a copy of a portrait of his mother in about 1628.
The dress, as that visible in the portraits, is described among the dresses of the Duchess of Finland in the inventory of her dowry from 1562: "Satin (6 pieces). Satin white robe; on it four embroidered rows at the bottom made of woven gold thread with silver; the bodice and sleeves are also embroidered in a similar manner; buckles on them with red enamel 76".
Even without Titian's idealization, Catherine, just as her mother, was considered a beautiful woman, which, unfortunately, is less visible in her portraits in German costume by Cranach the Younger. The Russian envoy reported to Tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1560 that Catherine was beautiful, but that she was crying (after Eva Mattssons' "Furstinnan : en biografi om drottning Katarina Jagellonica", 2018), unwilling to marry a man famous of his violence and cruelty.
The painting in Dresden, and its copies, was most probably commissioned by Sigismund Augustus or Anna Jagiellon and sent to the Italian friends.
In 1563, King Eric XIV of Sweden imprisoned his brother John and his consort Catherine Jagiellon in the Gripsholm Castle. Few years later Catherine granted authority to her sister Anna to fight for the Italian inheritance of Queen Bona.
Another version of this portrait by circle of Titian, most probably from the collection of Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575), Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel is also in Kassel not far from Brunswick. The three sisters Sophia, Anna and Catherine are therefore reunited in their portraits by circle of Titian in Kassel.
In the Uffizi Gallery in Florence there is also a miniature by an Italian painter, possibly Sofonisba Anguissola, showing the same blond woman in a costume similar to that visible in portraits of Catherine Stenbock, Dowager Queen of Sweden from the 1560s. It depicts Catherine Jagiellon during the time of imprisonment in Gripsholm Castle between 1563 and 1567.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in white by Titian, ca. 1562, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in white by circle of Titian, ca. 1562, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in white by Peter Paul Rubens after lost original by Titian, ca. 1600-1608 or 1628, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland holding a rose by Flemish painter after Titian, after 1562, Canterbury Museums and Galleries.
Portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in white by Georg Engelhard Schröder after original by Titian, 1724-1750, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Miniature portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland by Italian painter, possibly Sofonisba Anguissola, 1563-1567, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portrait of king Sigismund Augustus holding a buzdygan by workshop or follower of Giovanni Battista Moroni
In 1551 Georg Joachim de Porris (1514-1574) or von Lauchen, also known as Rheticus, a mathematician and astronomer of Italian heritage, best known for his trigonometric tables and as Nicolaus Copernicus's sole pupil, lost his job at the Leipzig University following the alleged drunken homosexual assault on a young student, the son of a merchant Hans Meusel. He was sentenced to 101 years of exile from Leipzig. As a result, he would come to lose the support of many long-time benefactors including Philipp Melanchthon. Earlier rumors of homosexuality forced him to leave Wittenberg for Leipzig. Constitutio Criminalis Carolina, a comprehensive criminal code, promulgated in 1532 by Emperor Charles V and binding for the Holy Roman Empire until 1806, mandated the death penalty for homosexuality. He fled following this accusation, for a time residing in Chemnitz before eventually moving on to Prague, where he studied medicine. He then moved to Kraków. Having settled there, where he lived in the Kaufman's tenement house in the Main Square, he erects a large obelisk in Balice near Kraków with the financial and technical assistance of Jan Boner (1516-1562), the king's advisor and the leader of the Lesser Poland's Calvinists. This gnomon of 45 Roman feet high (about 15 meters) used to indicate the declination of the sun, necessary for astronomical observations and calculations, was ready in mid-July 1554 (according to letter from Rheticus to Jan Kraton, a Wrocław naturalist, July 20, 1554). The obelisk's pyramidal shape was thought to be a link between heaven and earth and a symbol of heavenly wisdom. Rheticus' obelisk become a symbol of Oficyna Łazarzowa (Officina Lazari), printing house of Łazarz Andrysowicz (died before 1577) in Kraków.
Between 1562-1563, Rheticus was closely associated with the court of king Sigismund Augustus, making rare astronomical instruments for him on the occasion of the famous August conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 1563. After the death of Jan Benedykt Solfa (1483-1564), the court physician of the king, Rheticus assumed his position as well as the function of court astrologer.
According to accounts of Berardo Bongiovanni, Bishop of Camerino and Papal Nuncio to Poland (1560-1563), written in 1560, "the king keeps 2,000 horses in the stable, 600 of which I saw, the rest were in the villages for fodder, as well as the foals and the stud. I have also seen 20 royal armor, four of which are remarkable works, namely one with a beautiful carving and silver-clad figures, depicting all the victories of his ancestors over Moscow. It cost 6,000 scudi. There are other victories on others.
Finally, he has thirty saddles and horse tacks, so rich that it is impossible to see the richer elsewhere. Some are of pure gold and silver, it is not surprising, knowing that they belong to such a king, but that they are also a masterpiece of art, no one who has not seen it would not believe it.
In each craft, the king has skilled masters, Jacob of Verona for jewels and carving on them, several Frenchmen for casting cannons, a Venetian for woodcarving, a Hungarian expert lute player, Prospero Anacleri, a Neapolitan for dressage of horses, and then for any craftsmanship.
He allows all these people to live as everyone likes, because he is so good and gracious that he would not want to cause anyone the slightest pain. I just wish he was a bit stricter in the matter of religion" (after "Relacye nuncyuszów apostolskich", Volume 1, pp. 96-100).
In 1565 Flavio Ruggieri reported that, "The king has horses in Lithuania, brought from the Kingdom of Naples during the times of Queen Bona, when also many horses were brought to Italy from Poland".
Another Ruggieri (or Ruggeri), Giulio, Papal Nuncio from 1565, recalled at the beginning of 1568, drew up for the Pope's information a full report, which, after the manner of the Venetian reports, stated about the king: "now he usually lives in Lithuania, most often in Knyszyn, a small castle of this province on the border of Mazovia, where he has stables with lots of beautiful horses, some of which are Neapolitan, the other Turkish, the other Spanish or Mantuan, and most Polish. This love of horses is, in a way, the reason that the king likes to live here, and maybe also that this place, being almost in the center of his countries, it is more convenient in terms of domestic administration for the king and those who have an interest, than Kraków, located on the Polish border" (after "Relacye nuncyuszów apostolskich", Volume 1, p. 182).
Adam Miciński, the court equerry of the king, in his work published in Kraków in 1570 entitled O swierzopach i ograch (On mares and stallions), says that the royal herds consisted of Arab, Turkish and Persian stallions, and the Polish mares, and that Nicolaus Radziwill the Black (1515-1565), brought the king stallions from the Archipelago (Greek Islands), including from Venetian-ruled city of Candia (modern Heraklion, Crete).
Portrait of a man in armor in the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh is signed in lower left corner with a monorgam G B M and a date '1563', thence attributed to follower of Giovanni Battista Moroni. The style of this painting is also very close to Moroni. In the early 19th century it was owned by the Lord Stalbridge in London. The man, in a partially gilded armor, is holding a gold flanged mace of Eastern origin, very popular in Poland-Lithuania in the 16th and 17th centuries and known as buzdygan. His crimson trunkhose of Venetian fabric are very similar to that visible in a portrait of Sigismund Augustus in crimson costume in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Behind the man, among antique Roman ruins, stand his white horse and an obelisk, similar to that visible in a reconstruction of the Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus in Rome published in 1575, on title page of Rheticus' Canon doctrinae triangulorum, published in Leipzig in 1551, several publications of Oficyna Łazarzowa, some sponsored or dedicated to Polish-Lithuanian monarchs, or in the portrait of royal jeweller Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio from about 1553. Facial features of a man bear a strong resemblance to effigies of king Sigismund Augustus by Tintoretto.
Portrait of king Sigismund Augustus in armor holding a buzdygan by workshop or follower of Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1563, North Carolina Museum of Art.
Portrait of Georgia of Pomerania, countess Latalska by Paolo Veronese or circle
On October 24, 1563 in Wolgast, Georgia of Pomerania, granddaughter of Anna Jagiellon (1476-1503), Duchess of Pomerania, married Stanisław Latalski (1535-1598), count in Łabiszyn, starost of Inowrocław and Człuchów. On this occassion Philip I (1515-1560), Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast asked the court administration of his uncle Barnim IX in Szczecin for a larger series of tapestries to decorate the festive chambers, altogether 28 pieces.
Georgia was a posthumous daughter of George I, Duke of Pomerania and his second wife Margaret of Brandenburg (1511-1577). She was born on November 28, 1531 as the only child of the couple and named after her father. When her mother remarried in 1534, she was brought up at the court of her stepfather, prince John V of Anhalt-Zerbst (1504-1551) in Dessau. It was decided, however, that when she reached her eighth birthday, in 1539, she must be returned to Pomerania under the custody of her half-brother Philip I. Despite this, Margaret was able to have kept her daughter with her until May 1543, when she was finally sent to Wolgast. There were plans to marry her to Jaroslav of Pernstein (1528-1560), Prince Eric of Sweden (1533-1577), future Eric XIV, when she was just 10 years old and later to Otto II (1528-1603), Duke of Brunswick-Harburg. In the fall of 1562, negotiations were initiated with Stanisław Latalski, who was an envoy of Greater Poland to the Piotrków Sejm in 1562/1563. Latalski was a son of Janusz, voivode of Poznań and Barbara née Kretkowska. His father received the title of Count of the Holy Empire from Emperor Charles V in 1538 and in 1543 he was sent to Emperor Ferdinand in order to arrange a marriage of Sigismund II Augustus with Elizabeth of Austria. In 1554 young Stanisław, accompanied by Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski, son of Hetman Jan Amor, and Mikołaj Mielecki travelled to England, Switzerland and Italy.
The couple lived in Łabiszyn and in Człuchów, where Georgia was visited by her mother Margaret of Brandenburg. In 1564 Stanisław went to Wittenberg, to his wife's nephews, the Pomeranian princes Ernest Louis and Barnim, who were studying there. In the same year, under Georgia's influence, he converted to Lutheranism and brought the preacher Paul Elard (or Elhard) and his brother Hans from Szczecin, giving them in 1564 the castle chapel in Człuchów, and two years later also the parish church. Most of the city's population converted to Lutheranism. He also built a wooden Lutheran church in Łabiszyn.
After the birth of her first child in 1566, three years after the wedding - a daughter named Maria Anna - Georgia lost her mind and never completely regained her sanity since. She died in childbirth in late 1573 or early 1574.
Portrait of a lady wearing an elaborate yellow silk dress in Kensington Palace was painted in the style close to Paolo Veronese. It was previously attributed to Leandro Bassano and comes from the collection of the Capel family at Kew Palace in London (acquired in 1731). The coat of arms, which is unidentified, was painted in a different style, hence it is clearly a later addition. It is painted over an original inscription in Latin, which is still in part legible: AETATIS SVAE XXXII./ANNO DNI/18.104.22.168/SIBI. The woman was therefore 32 years old in 1563, exacly as Georgia of Pomerania, when she married Latalski. The upper part of her dress is transparent and embroidered with white flowers of five petals, very similar to the Luther rose visible on the epitaph of Katharina von Bora (1499-1552), wife of Martin Luther, in the Marienkirche in Torgau, created in 1552. Around her neck is a string of pearls, associated with purity, chastity and innocence and a large green jewel-pendant on a long chain, a color being symbolic of fertility. She is holding a green parrot on her hand, a symbol of motherhood. The woman bear a great resemblance to half-brother of Georgia of Pomerania, Prince Joachim Ernest of Anhalt (1536-1586) in his effigies by Lucas Cranach the Younger (Georgium in Dessau and private collection) and to effigies of Georgia's mother Margaret of Brandenburg by Lucas Cranach the Elder, identified by me (Grunewald hunting lodge in Berlin and private collection).
Portrait of Georgia of Pomerania (1531-1573/74), countess Latalska, aged 32 with a parrot by Paolo Veronese or circle, 1563, Kensington Palace.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon holding a zibellino by Tintoretto
In 1562 on the occasion of the wedding of her younger sister Catherine in Vilnius, Anna ordered for herself three gowns: "one robe of red taffeta, and two hazuka dresses of red velvet" all sewn with pearls. The sisters dressed identically, as evidenced by their miniatures by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger from about 1553. Inventory of Catherine's dowry includes many items similar to these visible on the portrait of a lady holding a zibellino by Tintoretto from about 1565:
- a golden belt set with rubies, sapphires and pearls valued at 1,700 thalers,
- "a black sable stitched together from two, his head and four feet are golden, set with precious stones" of 1,400 thalers worth,
- a chain of large round, oriental pearls of 1,000 thalers worth,
- a neacklace of round, oriental pearls of 985 thalers worth,
- velvet long, crimson robe with three rows of pearl edgings with 72 French-style enameled buckles,
- velvet crimson hazuka dress lined with sables,
- four velvet outer garments for summer,
- eleven white linen shirts with gold sleeves,
and even "one large yellow Turkish rug for the table".
In September 1565 arrived to Cracow count Clemente Pietra to announce the marriage of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany with a cousin of Sigismund Augustus and Anna, Joanna of Austria (a sister of Sigismund Augustus' first and third wife) and to ask for the hand of Anna for 16 years old Ferdinando, brother of Duke Francesco.
It is highly probable that on this occasion the king commissioned in the workshop of Tintoretto in Venice a portrait of himself, his wife and his 42 years old sister, created just as earlier effigies of the Jagiellons by medalier van Herwijck or painter Cranach the Younger, basing on drawings or miniatures sent from Poland.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) when Crown Princess of Poland-Lithuania holding a zibellino by Tintoretto, ca. 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portraits of Queen Catherine of Austria as Venus Verticordia by Titian and workshop
"Today I came to Radom, where the queen lives, and that same evening I visited Her Highness, comforting her in the name of the Holy Father after the loss of Emperor His Higness, although three months ago I had fulfilled this obligation by one of my secretaries, whom I sent to Radom. The Queen seemed to accept this very pleasantly, and in return she kisses His Holiness' most holy feet in the most humble way. She asked me to visit her the next morning for easier conversation", wrote about his visit on December 3, 1564 to Queen Catherine of Austria, Venetian bishop and papal nuncio Giovanni Francesco Commendone (1523-1584), in his letter to Cardinal Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), future saint.
The next day this secret audience took place, a description of which we find in Commendone's next letter: "It was on it that she spoke of her unhappy condition, complaining that, apart from leaving her for no reason, there were also attempts to divorce her, and that this was the main cause of the Synod. She considered all the accusations made against her with such care, caution, and respect for the king that I do not know whether I felt more pity or admiration for her. Later she said extensively that she knew well how the ministers, especially the envoys of the courts, contribute to all this; so she begged me and beseeched me for the holy priesthood, in the name which I had until now, and for the kindness shown to me by her father, and by her brothers, and also the Bavarian prince, that I would have mercy on her; and then she opened up completely to me and said that she had been secretly informed about the efforts made with the Holy Father for divorce, and that His Holiness, with my advice and commitment, allows it. [...] She spoke all these words with bitter tears and sobbing so that I could hardly answer her. [...] I assured her, most honestly, that the king had not mentioned a word of divorce [...]. I wish and hope to convince the Queen someday that I did just the opposite; that I tried in various ways and under various appearances to dissuade from these intentions, to suppress these thoughts, and that the same is the opinion of the Holy Father. [...] At the supper (because she wanted me to dine with me) I saw her greatly comforted. Finally, bidding me farewell, she again took me aside and asked me to recommend her pious services to the Holy Father begging him to take care of her and not to forget in his holy prayers that God may console her in these worries. I understand that the Hungarian War increased the Queen's suspicions: some argue that for this divorce and for the Emperor's other practices with the Prussian Master and Moscow against the Kingdom of Poland, efforts were made to entangle him in these Transylvanian troubles. Whatever the answer to the matter of divorce, no matter how indifferent, I remind Your Majesty most humbly to write it with a key" (after Aleksander Przeździecki's "Jagiellonki polskie w XVI. wieku. Korrespondencya Polska", Volume 3, p. 104-107).
Undobtedly also works of art, paintings, were part of all these secret negotiations and political efforts. In May 1562, the queen settled in Radom alone, abandoned by the king. As a widowed Duchess of Mantua, daughter of Emperor and cousin of Philip II of Spain, she knew the power of image and allegory.
In the Borghese Gallery in Rome, where there is also a portrait of Catherine of Austria's mother Queen Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547) as Venus with Cupid stealing honey by Lucas Cranach the Elder, there is a painting of Venus blindfolding Cupid by Titian, dated by Adolfo Venturi to about 1565. It was probably acquired in 1608 as part of Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrati's collection.
According to Erwin Panofsky it shows Venus Verticordia between the blindfolded Cupid and Anteros, the one with his eyes open, symbols of contrasting aspects of love, the blind and sensuous, and the clear-sighted and virtuous, and two nymphs symbolizing Marital Affection and Chastity. The matrons of Rome, who were so renowned for good management that old Cato told the senate, "We Romans govern all the world abroad, but are ourselves governed by our wives at home," erected a temple to that Venus Verticordia, quæ maritos uxoribus reddebat benevolos (Venus the Turner of Hearts, who makes husbands well disposed to their wives), whither (if any difference happened between man and wife) they did instantly resort. There they did offer sacrifice, a white hart, Plutarch records, sine felle, without the gall (some say the like of Juno's temple), and make their prayers for conjugal peace (after Robert Burton's "The Anatomy of Melancholy", Volume 3, p. 310). Venus has the features of Queen Catherine of Austria, similar to her other effigies by Titian. The Queen probably commissioned it as a gift for the Pope or one of the cardinals.
A copy of this painting was in the collection of Cornelis van der Geest and is seen in two paintings of his art gallery in the 1630s, by Willem van Haecht. In 1624 Prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa, grandson of Catherine Jagiellon, visited his gallery in Antwerp. The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm has two workshop copies of this painting, out of four known previously. One, attributed to Andrea Schiavone (inventory number NM 7170), came to the Nationalmuseum with the collection of Nicola Martelli, a Rome art dealer, in 1804, the other was transferred in 1866 from the Swedish royal collection (inventory number NM 205). It is possible that some previously known copies were taken from magnate or royal residencies in Poland during the Deluge (1655-1660), or even from the Royal Castle in Radom, which was ransaced and burned in the spring of 1656.
Interestingly, in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, there is a painting of Adoration of the Magi by Titian from this period with figures in oriental costumes, very similar to contemporary Polish-Lithuanian attire. This work comes from the collection of Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631), cousin of Saint Charles Borromeo. It cannot be excluded that it was another luxury gift from the Queen of Poland commissioned in Venice.
Some time later, most probably between 1566-1570, therefore after Queen's departure to Austria, Titian created another version of this composition. At some point after the painting's completion, most likely in the mid-18th century, its right side was cut away. Before 1739 it was in the collection of Charles Jervas or Jarvis in London (his sale, at his residence, London, 11-20 March 1739, 8th day, no. 543, as by Titian). In 1950 the painting was sold to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York and in 1952 offered to the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
The blonde goddess seems younger and more beautiful and composition was modified. The inventories up to 1780 describe the picture as "Venus binding the eyes of Cupid, and the Graces offering a Tribute", similar to the painting in the royal Wilanów Palace in Warsaw (Wil.1548), in which Venus bears the features of Crown Princess Anna Catherine Constance Vasa (1619-1651), granddaughter of Catherine Jagiellon, and to the painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, where Venus has the features of Ladislaus Vasa's first wife Cecilia Renata of Austria. The figures bear attributes of the goddess of love: apples, a dove and flowers. They could also be interpreted as assistants of Fortuna Virilis, an aspect or manifestation of the goddess Fortuna, often depicted with a cornucopia (horn of plenty) and associated with Venus Verticordia. Fortuna Virilis, according to the poet Ovid, had the power to conceal the physical imperfections of women from the eyes of men.
The x-radiographs have revealed a number of alterations, especially in woman's face, which was initially less sublime and more close to the features of the Queen. It is possible that through this painting, Catherine wanted to convince Sigismund Augustus that her rightful place is at his side and that she should return to Poland.
Allegory with portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Venus Verticordia (Turner of Hearts) by Titian, 1563-1565, Borghese Gallery in Rome.
Allegory with portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Venus Verticordia (Turner of Hearts) by workshop of Titian, attributed to Andrea Schiavone, 1563-1565, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Allegory with portrait of Queen Catherine of Austria (1533-1572) as Venus Verticordia (Turner of Hearts) by Titian or workshop, 1566-1570, National Gallery of Art in Washington.
Adoration of the Magi with figures in Polish-Lithuanian costumes by Titian, ca. 1560, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
Portrait of Jan Amor Tarnowski by Tintoretto or Titian
The portrait is astonishingly similar in features, pose and and style of armour to the well known effigy of Jan Amor Tarnowski commissioned by king Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski in about 1781 for his gallery of effigies of Famous Poles at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The portrait, just as the rest, was undoubtedly based on some original portrait still preserved in the royal collection.
During the Great Northern War, royal residencies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Venetian style republic of nobles created in 1569 with support of the last male Jagiellon, Sigismund Augustus, were ransacted and burned again by different invaders in 1702 and 1707. That is why some effigy of Sigismund Augustus, survived in the royal collection in about 1768, was confused with the effigy of the progenitor of the Polish-Lithuanian dynasty - Ladislaus Jagiello in the cycle of Polish Kings in the Marble Room at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, commissioned by Poniatowski. It cannot be excluded also that a portrait of Sigismund I the Old, Sigismund Augustus' father, was confused with that of Tarnowski.
Jan Amor Tarnowski (1488-1561) was a renowned military commander, military theoretician, and statesman, who in 1518 became a knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and was accoladed by King Manuel I in Lisbon as a knight of Portugal.
The portrait bears finally some ressemblance to effigies of Jan Amor and his son on his monumental tomb in the Tarnów Cathedral, created between 1561 and 1573 by Venetian trained sculptor Giovanni Maria Mosca called Padovano, who also created tomb monuments of two wives of Sigismund Augustus.
Portrait of Jan Amor Tarnowski in armour holding a baton by Jacopo Tintoretto or Titian, 1550-1575, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of Jan Amor Tarnowski in armour with a crimson tunic, holding a baton by circle of Jacopo Tintoretto or Titian, 1550-1575, Private collection.
Portrait of Jerzy Jazłowiecki by Lambert Sustris
In 1563 Stefan Tomsa, a descendant of Moldavian boyars, led a successful conspiracy against the Protestant ruler Iacob Heraclid, known as Despot Voda, who after a 3-month siege of the Suceava Castle was betrayed by mercenaries and personally killed by Tomsa. As a sign of submission to Sultan Suleiman I, Stefan ordered to send the captured Ruthenian Prince Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, who was involved in Moldavian affairs, to Istanbul, where Vyshnevetsky was tortured to death. Unable obtain recognition from the High Porte and to hold on to the throne, Tomsa fled to Poland, where King Sigismund II Augustus, in order to appease the Turks, ordered Jerzy Jazłowiecki (d. 1575), castellan of Kamianets to capture him. The Prince of Moldavia was imprisoned, then sentenced to death and beheaded in Lviv on May 5, 1564.
Jazłowiecki, born in or before 1510, was the son of Mikołaj Monasterski of the Abdank coat of arms (ca. 1490-1559), castellan of Kamianets and his wife Ewa Podfilipska. He was brought up at the court of the bishop of Kraków, Piotr Tomicki (1464-1535), but soon he began his military career under the supervision of Jan Amor Tarnowski (1488-1561) and Mikołaj Sieniawski (1489-1569) and participated in many battles. Already in 1528, as an 18-year-old, he became famous as a royal cavalry captain in the battle with the Tatars near Kamianets.
In 1546, under the influence of his wife Elżbieta Tarło, he converted to Calvinism, and later closed the churches on his estates and expelled the Dominican monks. In 1544, he purchased from Mikołaj Sieniawski the town and castle of Yazlovets (Polish Jazłowiec) with the surrounding villages for 6,400 zlotys. The sum was finally paid in 1546 and from 1547 he began to call himself Jazłowiecki.
Between 1550-1556 Jerzy rebuilt the Medieval fortress in Yazlovets in Renaissance style to design of Italian architects from the Lviv group of Antoni, Gabriel and Kilian Quadro, brothers of Giovanni Battista di Quadro, active in Poznań (after "Sztuka polska: Renesans i manieryzm", Volume 3, p. 120). It should be noted that the style of the stone portal above the entrance to the castle is similar to the one in the Mikołaj Sieniawski's Castle in Berezhany, created in 1554.
In April 1564, he was sent as royal emissary to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent for which he received a seat in the Senate from the king Sigismund Augustus. In 1567 Jerzy become the Voivode of Podolia, in 1569 the Voivode of Ruthenia and was appointed Field Hetman of the Crown and Grand Hetman of the Crown (without a formal nomination) that year. He also reorganized the defense of the southern borders against the Tatars. During the interregnum in 1573, Jazłowiecki was nominated by the Piast party as a candidate for the Polish throne and was supported by Sultan Selim II (after "Jak w dawnej Polsce królów obierano" by Marek Borucki, p. 69).
In the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, there is a portrait of a general, attributed to Lambert Sustris (inventory number 418), similar in style to portrait of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (Museum of Western and Eastern Art in Odessa), daughter-in-law of Mikołaj Sieniawski, identified by me. This painting of unknown provenance was attributed to a Venetian follower of Titian in the gallery catalogs from 1881 to 1920.
The 55-year-old man, according to Latin inscription in lower left corner of the painting (ETATIS / SVE AN / LV), is holding a heavy sword. His armour, beard and shaved head are strikingly similar to the statue of Mikołaj Sieniawski from his tombstone in Berezhany (destroyed during World War II). Behind him there is a view with the same man dismounted from the horse, standing before a body of another man, whose head was cut off. The killed man is wearing an Ottoman turban with pleated red velvet part, called külah, similar to that visible in a drawing by German School from the late 16th century and depicting Wallachian and Moldavian noblemen (inscribed ... reitten die Wallachen unnd Moldauer ..., Private collection). Michael the Brave (1558-1601), Prince of Wallachia and Moldavia, was depicted in similar turban in the Feast of Herod with the Beheading of St John the Baptist by Bartholomeus Strobel, created between 1630-1633 (Prado Museum in Madrid), as well as Alexander II Mavrocordatos Firaris (1754-1819), Prince of Moldavia, who is wearing a similar turban-like headpiece in his portrait created in 1785 or after (Private collection). The standing man in the view is not holding a sword, he did not execute the other man, he just captured him. The general from the painting bear a strong resemblance to portrait of Jerzy Jazłowiecki, when Field Hetman of the Crown, known from the photograph from the collection of the historian Aleksander Czołowski (1865-1944), most probably a 17th century copy of a painting created in about 1569. He was the same age (about 54 or 55) as Jazłowiecki when he captured the Prince of Moldavia in 1564.
Portrait of Jerzy Jazłowiecki (ca. 1510-1575), castellan of Kamianets, aged 55 by Lambert Sustris, ca. 1565, Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe.
Portrait of Jan Kochanowski by Giovanni Battista Moroni
Almost all old churches in former territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth have at least one good quality tomb monument in Italian style with effigy of deceased, but portrait paintings are very rare. Wars and invasions impoverished the nation and majority of non-religious paintings that preserved in the country, were sold by the owners.
The exact date of birth of Jan Kochanowski is unknown, however according to inscription on poet's epitaph in the church in Zwoleń near Radom, he died on August 22, 1584 at the age of 54 (Obiit anno 1584 die 22 Augusti. Aetatis 54), therefore he was born in 1530. He started his education at the Artium Faculty of the Kraków Academy in 1544. Presumably in June 1549, he left the Academy and, perhaps, went to Wrocław, where he stayed until the end of 1549. Between 1551-1552 he stayed in Królewiec (Königsberg), the capital of Ducal Prussia (fiefdom under the Polish crown). From Królewiec, he left for Padua in 1552, where he studied until 1555. Kochanowski was elected a counselor of the Polish nation at the University of Padua (presumably from June to August 2, 1554). He returned to Poland in 1555 and after several months in Królewiec and Radom, he left for Italy at the end of the summer of 1556, presumably to repair his health. He was back in Poland between 1557 and 1558 and in spring that year he left for Italy for the third time. At the end of 1558, Kochanowski went to France, and in May 1559, he finally returned to Poland.
In mid-1563, Jan entered the service of Deputy Chancellor Piotr Myszkowski, thanks to which he become the royal secretary of king Sigismund Augustus, before February 1564, the office he held untill his death. In 1564, he helped his friend Andrzej Patrycy Nidecki (Andreas Patricius Nidecicus), also secretary at the traveling court and chancellery of Sigismund Augustus (Kraków - Warsaw - Vilnius). Nidecki was preparing the second fundamental edition of Cicero's "Fragments" for printing. It was published in Venice in 1565 by the printer Giordano Ziletti (Andr. Patricii Striceconis Ad Tomos IIII Fragmentorvm M. Tvllii Ciceronis ex officina Stellae Iordani Zileti), who also published many other Polish-Lithuanian authors. In October 1565 another royal secretary and Kochanowski's friend, Piotr Kłoczowski (or Kłoczewski), left for Ferrara as king's envoy to attend the wedding of Alfonso II d'Este with Sigismund Augustus' cousin Archduchess Barbara of Austria. Kłoczowski, who apparently accompanied him during his first trip to Italy, offered him a new journey: "Piotr, I don't want to take you to Italy a second time. You will get there alone: it's time for me to deal with myself. If I am to become a priest, or better a courtier, If I will live at the court or in my land", wrote the poet (Xięga IV, XII.).
Jan Kochanowski, considered one of the greatest Polish poets, died in Lublin. His nephews Krzysztof (d. 1616) and Jerzy (d. 1633), founded him a marble epitaph in the family chapel in Zwoleń, created in Kraków in about 1610 by workshop of Giovanni Lucano Reitino di Lugano and transported to Zwoleń.
The portrait of a man holding a letter by Giovanni Battista Moroni in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam can be compared with poet's posthumous effigy in Zwoleń. It bears the inscription in Latin and artist's signature at the bottom of the letter: AEt. Suae. XXXV. Miii MDLXV. Giu. Bat.a Moroni (Age 35. 1565. Giovanni Battista Moroni), which match perfectly the age of Kochanowski in 1565.
Portrait of Jan Kochanowski (1530-1584) aged 35 holding a letter by Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1565, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Portrait of Wawrzyniec Goślicki by Giovanni Battista Moroni
On January 3, 1567 Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki (Laurentius Grimaldius Goslicius) obtained the degree of Doctor Utruisque Juris (doctor of both laws - civil and church law) at the University of Bologna.
Goślicki was born near Płock in Masovia and after studying at Kraków's Academy he left for Italy after 1562. During his studies in Padua, in 1564, he published the Latin poem De victoria Sigismundi Augusti, which he dedicated to the victory of king Sigismund II Augustus over tsar Ivan IV the Terrible in the war of 1560. After receiving his doctorate in Bologna he visited Rome, and then Naples together with his friends. On the way back, Goślicki stopped in Rome for a while. In 1568, during his stay in Venice, he published his best-known work, De optimo senatore, also dedicated to king Sigismund Augustus. The book printed by Giordano Ziletti was later translated into English with the titles of The Counselor and The Accomplished Senator. After his return to Poland in 1569, he entered the king's service as the royal secretary. He later decided to become a priest and he was elevated to the episcopal dignity in 1577. In 1586 he was made bishop of Kamieniec Podolski and according to a document issued by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese entitled Propositio cosistorialis, he was 48 in 1586, therefore he was born in 1538.
Wawrzyniec Goślicki died on October 31, 1607 in Ciążeń near Poznań as the Bishop of Poznań (from 1601) and was buried in the city's cathedral. According to his last will his tomb monument was to be modeled on the monument to his predecessor Bishop Adam Konarski, the work of Girolamo Canavesi, a sculptor from Milan, who had his workshop in Kraków. Goślicki's monument created in Kraków, most probably by workshop of Giovanni Lucano Reitino di Lugano, as Konarski's monument, was transported to Poznań after 1607.
The effigy of a young man by Giovanni Battista Moroni in Accademia Carrara in Bergamo (oil on canvas, 56.9 x 44.4 cm) is very similar to Goślicki's features in his statue in Poznań. According to inscription in Latin (ANNO . AETATIS . XXIX . / M . D . LXVII) the man was 29 in 1567, exactly as Goślicki when he earned his degree at Carolus Sigonius in Bologna. Another version by workshop or follower of Moroni is in private collection in Florence (oil on canvas, 52 x 42 cm).
Portrait of Wawrzyniec Goślicki (1538-1607) aged 29 by Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1567, Accademia Carrara in Bergamo.
Portrait of Wawrzyniec Goślicki (1538-1607) by workshop or follower of Giovanni Battista Moroni, ca. 1567, Private collection.
Portrait of royal secretary Jan Zamoyski by Tintoretto
"Carissimo Signore Valerio Montelupi, I have received a letter from my Ursyn [Niedźwiedzki] from Padua. He writes that, in accordance with my instructions, he went to Venice in the affairs of a painter. He looked at the paintings almost finished. From his description, I can see two things that should be given close attention. First of all - it was my intention that only two figures should be imagined clearly and decoratively, and this is the figure of the standing Savior and the figure of St. Thomas kneeling with his hand stretched to Christ's side", writes in Italian Chancellor Jan Zamoyski (1542-1605) in a letter of 1602 regarding paintings for the Collegiate Church in Zamość, commissioned in the workshop of Domenico Tintoretto in Venice (after "Jan Zamoyski klientem Domenica Tintoretta" by Jan Białostocki, p. 60).
Zamoyski studied at the Universities of Paris and Padua, where he became Councillor of the Polish Nation and rector of the university in 1563. He also abandoned Calvinism in favor of Catholicism and discovered his love for politics. In the Archives of Venice there is a one-of-a-kind document in which the Venetian Senate congratulates the King of Poland on having such a citizen in his country, and expresses the highest appreciation for Zamoyski (Senato I Filza, 43. Terra 1565 da Marzo, a tutto Giugno):
"It happened on April 7, 1565 at a session of the Senate. To the Serene King of Poland. Jan Zamoyski, the son of a noble starost of Belz, spent several years with great glory and honor at our University of Padua; last year, the most esteemed man was a gymnasiarch [the rector] [...] In this office he was doing so well and so excellently that not only the hearts of all young people who came to Padua to educate their minds with science, but also all citizens, especially our officials, he was able to win kindness in a special way. For this reason, we always welcomed him with the best will, and whenever there was an opportunity, we tried to surround him with favor and respect. There were various reasons for doing so; first of all, to your Majesty, whom we love greatly and to whom we are completely devoted, to please in the best possible way, and also, because we are deeply attached to the most noble Polish nation, finally in the conviction that Zamoyski's merits and virtues required us to do so".
After returning to Poland, Zamoyski was appointed secretary to King Sigismund II Augustus and in 1567, when he was 25 years old, he acted as the king's commissar entrusted with a responsible and dangerous mission. At the head of the court armed forces, he forcibly took away the illegally seized starosties of Sambor and Drohobych from the Starzechowski family.
A painting by Jacopo Tintoretto from the Fundación Banco Santander in Madrid shows a young twenty-five year old man (ANN.XXV). His high social status is accentuated with gold rings, a belt embroidered with gold and a coat lined with ermine fur. He stands proudly with his hand on the table covered with crimson fabric. His hands and the table were not painted very diligently, which may indicate that it was completed in a hurry by the artist's studio working on a large order. The man bear a great resemblance to effigies of Jan Zamoyski, especially his portrait painting, attributed to Jan Szwankowski (Olesko Castle) and engraving by Dominicus Custos after Giovanni Battista Fontana (British Museum), both created in his later years.
A portrait attributed to Tintoretto or Titian from the same period is in the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art. It represent Girolamo Priuli (1486-1567), who was a Doge of Venice between 1559-1567, when Zamoyski was in Venice. During the restoration of the painting, the inscriptions TIZIANO and the letters TI (over the shoulder) were discovered, however a very similar portrait in private collection and majority of larger versions are attributed to Tintoretto.
The portrait of Priuli was transferred from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg to the Odessa Museum in 1949. The painting comes from the collection of Prince Lev Viktorovich Kochubey (1810-1890), who distinguished himself in the storming of the Warsaw fortifications during the November Uprising (1830-1831), the armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The inventory number on the back '453' is sometimes interpreted as tantamount to an entry in the 18th century catalog of Gonzaga's collections, however, it is unknown where exactly Kochubey acquired the painting.
After the collapse of the November Uprising the collections of magnates who sided with the insurgents were confiscated, e.g. painting of Madonna and Child by Francesco Francia in the State Hermitage Museum (inventory number ГЭ-199), created between 1515-1517, was confiscated in 1832 from the Sapieha collection in Dziarecyn, comprising 36 paintings of Old Masters and 72 portraits (after "Przegląd warszawski", 1923, Volumes 25-27, p. 266).
In this case the thesis that Priuli's portrait was originally offered to Zamoyski or king Sigismund II Augustus is very probable.
Portrait of royal secretary Jan Zamoyski (1542-1605) aged 25 by Jacopo Tintoretto, ca. 1567, Fundación Banco Santander.
Portrait of Girolamo Priuli (1486-1567), Doge of Venice by Tintoretto or Titian, 1559-1567, Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art.
Portraits of Zuzanna Orłowska by Jacopo Tintoretto
"The King-Deceiver, of mixed Lithuanian and Italian blood, did not deal honestly with anyone. In repaying the shame with which he has covered me, I want to repay him bad for bad", noted the accusations made by Zuzanna (Susanna) Orłowska (or Szabinówna Charytańska, died after 1583), the mistress of King Sigismund II Augustus, historian Świętosław Orzelski (1549-1598) in his book Interregni Poloniae libri VIII (1572-1576).
The king's third marriage with his distant cousin and the Austrian Archduchess Catherine, concluded in 1553, was not happy from the very beginning. Even before his wife's departure in 1566, at the beginning of the 1560s, he allegedly had an affair with Regina Rylska, the wife of the courtier Jan Rylski.
The romance of the king and Zuzanna, probably began in 1565, that is, before Queen Catherine left Poland. According to the account of the courtier of the King, Zuzanna was to be the illegitimate daughter of a canon of Kraków, other sources, however, indicate that her father was Szymon Szabin Charytański. The king and his entourage called her Orłowska (Lady of the Eagle or Mistress of the Eagle), possibly in reference to the king's coat of arms (White Eagle). Orłowska was suspected of knowing magic and together with her aunt, famous healer (or a witch-doctor) Dorota Korycka, she was to treat Sigismund Augustus, and received high remuneration for her services. With time, the feeling of the king towards Orłowska weakened, and after recovering, the king decided that "he would have no contact with demons and similar women", as he wrote in a letter to his courtier Stanisław Czarnotulski. He abandoned his mistress, and her place in the royal alcove was taken by Anna Zajączkowska, a lady of the court of Sigismund's sister Anna Jagiellon. Most likely the reason for Zuzanna's separation from the king was her betrayal. Although Orłowska herself was not faithful to him, she believed that it was the king who had disgracedly abandoned her and humiliated her. Apparently, every Thursday, "having invited the devils to a supper", according to Orzelski who knew it from the bed-chamber servant (łożniczy) of the King, Jan Wilkocki, she used magic and sprinkled peas on hot coals, saying: "Whoever has abandoned me, let him suffer so much and sizzle".
When in 1569, Sigismund Augustus became seriously ill, he ordered Korycka and Orłowska to be summoned. When both women refused to help him, he promised his former lover, a thousand zlotys as a dowry when she gets married.
After the king's death, Zuzanna Orłowska married the Polish nobleman Piotr Bogatko, who in 1583 bequeathed 2,400 florins to his wife as a dower and they had four sons.
Jacopo Tintoretto's Bathing Susanna in the Louvre shows a moment from the Old Testament story in which biblical heroine Susanna, epitome of female virtue and chastity, unjustly accused of sexual transgression, is watched by two elderly men, acquaintances of her husband, who desire her.
She sits naked in a garden beside a pool, while her maidservants are drying or brushing her hair and cutting her nails. A partridge at her feet is a symbol of sexual desire and three frogs is a symbol of fecundity and fertility. "The frog was also sacred for Venus, Roman goddess of love and fertility. Venus's yoni (female genitals) sometimes was depicted as a fleur-delis consisting of three frogs" (after Marty Crump's "Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Adder's Fork and Lizard's Leg: The Lore and Mythology of Amphibians and Reptiles", p. 135).
"Many medieval recipes for magical and medicinal potions and ointments included frogs and/or toads as ingredients, and the animals were used in rituals intended to cure drought. In addition, medieval and Renaissance people generally thought that witches could turn themselves into frogs and toads at will. The devil too was said to sometimes take the shape of a frog or toad" (after Patricia D. Netzley's "Witchcraft", p. 114). Two ducks represent constancy and rebirth and a rabbit symbolizes fertility. The outwardly turned face of the sitter gazing at the viewer is a clear information that she is someone important.
The work is an oil painting on canvas and is generally dated to the third quarter of the 16th century (1550-1575). Neoclassical frame is not original and was added in the 19th century. Bathing Susanna was acquired by King Louis XIV of France in 1684 from Marquis d'Hauterive de L'Aubespine. It is believed to have previously belonged by King Charles I of England (his sale, London June 21, 1650, no. 229), however, it could be also tantamount to "A picture painted on canvas, which shows a naked woman, without frame" (item 440) from the inventory of belongings of king John Casimir Vasa, great-grandson of Sigismund I, sold in Paris in 1673 to Mr. Bruny for 16.10 pounds.
The same woman was also depicted in a portrait painting by Tintoretto, owned by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed in Amersfoort, which was before 1941 in the collection of Otto Lanz in Amsterdam. She is sitting in a chair, dressed in a rich Venetian style costume of orange silk. "In ancient Rome, the wives of the priests of Jupiter [king of the gods] wore a flammeum, an orange and yellow veil. The young Roman women betrothed in marriage copied this style as a symbol of hope for a long and fruitful marriage" (after Leatrice Eiseman's "Colors for Your Every Mood: Discover Your True Decorating Colors", p. 49). Based on all these facts the sitter should be identifed as king's mistress Zuzanna Orłowska. Just as royal effigies, the portraits of king's mistress were created in the Republic of Venice basing on drawings or miniatures sent from Poland-Lithuania.
The so-called Marshal's Book, a register of official state expenses of the court of Sigismund Augustus between 1543-1572, which was described in a publication from 1924 by Stanisław Tomkowicz ("Na dworze królewskim dwóch ostatnich Jagiellonów", pp. 31, 32, 36), is silent about court painters, as are the bills. Tomkowicz suggests that perhaps their wages were recorded separately and adds that the king often bought paintings, mostly portraits, even in batches of 16 and 20 pieces, however, "over the course of several years, one expense was recorded for the purchase of a painting depicting... a naked woman". The accounts of 1547 also mention a payment to a prostitute (meretricem), who dressed in armor was to fight with Herburt and Łaszcz in a jousting tournament at the expense of the court treasury.
Portrait of Zuzanna Orłowska, mistress of King Sigismund II Augustus, as Bathing Susanna by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1565-1568, Louvre Museum.
Portrait of Zuzanna Orłowska, mistress of King Sigismund II Augustus by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1565-1568, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.
Portrait of doctor Wojciech Oczko by Venetian painter
In 1569 doctor Wojciech Oczko (1537-1599), called Ocellus, physician, philosopher and one of the founders of Polish medicine, who studied syphilis and hot springs, returned from his studies abroad to his hometown Warsaw and newly created republic of Poland-Lithuania - the Union of Lublin, signed on 1 July 1569, created a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He began to practice medicine at St. Martin's Hospital.
Oczko's father was the Warsaw cartwright Stanisław (d. 1572), one of his brothers Rościsław (Roslanus) was a priest, and his sister Jadwiga married the painter Maciej. He left for the Academy of Kraków around 1559 or 1560, because in 1562 he received bachelor's degree there. He then received a master's degree at the cathedral school in Warsaw and a funding from the chapter in 1565 to study medicine in Italy. Wojciech studied at the Universities of Padua, Rome and Bologna, where he earned a doctorate in medicine. He also travelled to Spain and France, where he spent time in Montpellier.
In order to keep him in Warsaw, the chapter of St. Martin's Hospital gave him a house close to the hospital without any payment, provided that he lived in it himself and did the necessary repairs. Later another resolution was passed in 1571 that Oczko should treat the poor free of charge in the hospital. At that time, his fame and renown was so great in the country that he became the archiater (a chief physician) of Sigismund Augustus and the royal secretary (D. D. Sigism: Aug: Poloniae regis Archiatro ac Secretario), according to inscription on his epitaph.
He then served for a time as personal physician to Franciszek Krasiński, bishop of Kraków, and from 1576-1582 (with some breaks) as the court physician to Stephen Bathory (the king and his predecessor Sigismund Augustus suffered from venereal diseases, among others). Wojciech also had literary interests and prepared the staging of Jan Kochanowski's "The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys", a play staged at the wedding of Deputy Chancellor Jan Zamoyski in the royal Ujazdów Castle in Warsaw - a note in the accounts of the Deputy Chancellor states on January 6, 1578: "I gave doctor Oczko for building, painting, etc., 151 (zlotys) for the tragedy".
His major work "French court disease" (Przymiot francuski), published in Kraków in 1581, is an extensive essay on syphilis, in which he denies the false views of his contemporaries - in Russia, where it certainly came at about this time, it was called the Polish disease (after Oliver Thomson's "Short History of Human Error", p. 328). In his other essay "Hot springs" (Cieplice), published in Kraków in 1578, he speaks about the importance and benefits of mineral waters.
From 1598 Oczko lived in Lublin, where he died a year later. He was buried in the Bernardine Church in Lublin, where his nephew Wincenty Oczko, canon of Gniezno, founded him an epitaph made of two-color marble.
Portrait of a red-bearded man in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main was acquired on April 17, 1819 from the collection of Johann Friedrich Morgenstern (1777-1844), a German landscape painter, as a work of Titian. Morgenstern most probably purchased the painting during his studies at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, between 1797-1798 (in the first half of the 18th century Dresden was the informal capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as the main residence of the Saxon kings).
The man in a courtly black costume in French/Italian style is holding his hand on books, so he must be a scholar. According to inscription in Latin on the base of the column he was 33 in 1570 ([A]NNOR[VM]. XXXIII / ANNO. MDLXX), exactly as Wojciech Oczko when he become the royal physician in Warsaw. The sign below the inscription is interpreted as showing a dragon, however it could be also Scorpio, the sign which rules the genitals, as in a German woodcut from 1512 (Homo signorum or zodiacal man) or a print created in 1484 depicting a person with syphilis. An outbreak of syphilis in November 1484 was assigned by Gaspar Torella (1452-1520), physician to Pope Alexander VI and Cesare Borgia, and Bartolomeo della Rocca known as Cocles (1467-1504 ), astrologer from Bologna, to the conjunction of the four great planets in Scorpio.
Oczko's portrait could have been created by a Venetian artist active at that time at the royal court or commissioned in Venice, basing on drawings, like the royal effigies.
Portrait of doctor Wojciech Oczko (1537-1599), chief physician of king Sigismund Augustus, aged 33 by Venetian painter, 1570, Städel Museum.
Portrait of a man in eastern costume, possibly singer Krzysztof Klabon by Jacopo Tintoretto
The catalogue of Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne from 1927 ("Wegweiser durch die Gemälde-Galerie des Wallraf-Richartz-Museums", p. 70, number 516) includes a portrait painting of a man in eastern costume painted in the style of Jacopo Tintoretto, possiby lost during World War II. His long inner robe of bright silk buttoned up with gold buttons is similar to Polish żupan and his dark coat is lined with fur, he also wears a heavy gold chain. This garment resemble greatly the costume of a horseman in the Crucifixion by circle of Lucas Cranach the Elder, created in 1549 (Salzburg Museum), the attire in the portrait of Jan Opaliński (1546-1598), created in 1591 (National Museum in Poznań) or costumes in Twelve Polish and Hungarian types by Abraham de Bruyn, created in about 1581 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).
The inscription in Latin is only partially visible on preserved photograph, covered with a later frame: [...] VIII / [...] NTOR / [...] MNI PRIN. / [...] D. / [...] XX. Presumably the text originally read: "His age 28, the chief singer of all, in the Year of our Lord 1570" ([ÆTATIS SVÆ XX]VIII / [CA]NTOR / OMNI[VM] PRIN.[CEPS] / [A.]D. / [MDL]XX). The sitter is holding a small book, which could be a psalter, a book containing a verse translation of the Book of Psalms, meant to be sung as hymns.
The man is therefore likely to be Krzysztof Klabon or Clabon (Christophorus Clabonius), who, according to some sources, came from Königsberg in what was then the Ducal Prussia, fiefdom of Poland (a note from 1604: Eruditus Christophorus Clabonius Regiomontanus S.R.M. chori musices praefectus) or he was Italian and his real name was Claboni. If he was born in 1542 (aged 28 in 1570), he could arrive to Poland in 1553 with Queen Catherine of Austria, widowed Duchess of Mantua. Prior to 1565, he belonged to a group of young singers in the royal chapel orchestra of King Sigismund II Augustus, and from 1565 to a group of instrumentalists (translatus ex pueris cantoribus ad numerum fistulatorum). On February 4, 1567, together with four other musicians, he was promoted to full wind-players (ad fistulatores maiores). Antoni Klabon, most probably Krzysztof's brother, was admitted into the king's service at court as a trumpeter in Lublin on June 25, 1569 (Antonius Klabon tubicinator. Susceptus in servitium Maiestatis Regiae Liublini die 25 Iunii 1569, habebit omnem provisionem similem reliquis).
In 1576, during the reign of Stephen Bathory, Krzysztof became the bandmaster of the court band and he was replaced by Luca Marenzio in 1596, during the reign of Sigismund III Vasa. He sang at the wedding of Jan Zamoyski with Griselda Bathory (1583), with a lute at two weddings of Sigismund III and at the ceremony on the occasion of the capture of Smolensk (1611). He traveled twice with Sigismund III to Sweden (1593-1594 and 1598). Klabon was also a composer, his extant works are "Songs of the Slavic Calliope. On present victory at Byczyna" (Pieśni Kalliopy słowieńskiey. Na teraznieysze pod Byczyną zwycięstwo) for 4 mixed voices, 3 equal voices, and for solo voice with lute, published in Kraków in 1588, one sacred piece, the five-part Aliud Kyrie (Kyrie ultimum) from the lost Łowicz organ tablatures and the soprano part of one other, Officium Sancta Maria.
"Numerous residences dispersed the courtiers of Sigismund Augustus. Many of them stayed away from the king. For example, in 1570 the superior of the royal band, Jerzy Jasińczyc, along with some of the musicians, lived in Kraków, while the rest were in Warsaw with the king, who, moreover, complained that there were not enough of them" (after "Barok", Volume 11, 2004, p. 23). Some famous musicians from the royal capella, like Valentin Bakfark, traveled extensively around Europe. According to accounts of the court of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria in Munich, a singer from Poland was paid 4 florins for a performance in 1570 (Ainem Sänger aus Polln so vmb diennst angehalten 4 fl. after "Beiträge zur Geschichte der bayerischen Hofkapelle", Volume 2, p. 47).
Portrait of a man in eastern costume, possibly singer Krzysztof Klabon by Jacopo Tintoretto, ca. 1570, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum.
Portraits of Sigismund Augustus with his maritime fleet and at the old age by Tintoretto
Between 1655-1660 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a wealthy Venetian style republic of nobles created in 1569 with support of the last male Jagiellon, Sigismund Augustus was invaded by neighbouring countries from north, south, east and west - the Deluge. Royal and magnate residencies in Warsaw, Kraków, Grodno and Vilnius and other locations were ransacted and burned which resulted in the loss of works by the greatest Venetian painters, like Paris Bordone, Tintoretto or Palma Giovane and a loss of memory of the royal effigies and their patronage.
The portrait of a "Venetian admiral" in armour from the 1570s, acquired by the National Museum in Warsaw in 1936 from the Popławski collection bears a great resemblance to the effigies of the king from the last years of his life.
According to "Universae historiae sui temporis libri XXX" (editio aucta 1581, p. 516), originally published in Venice in 1572, the king was about to set up an enormous fleet against Denmark, consisting of galleys with three, five and more rows on the Venetian model in order to protect "Sarmatia". In the spring of 1570 he entrusted the Maritime Commission with the construction of the first ship for the Polish-Lithuanian maritime fleet, while bringing in specialists Domenico Zaviazelo (Dominicus Sabioncellus) and Giacomo de Salvadore from Venice.
Shortly before turning 50 in 1570, the king's health rapidly declined. Antonio Maria Graziani recalls that Sigismund was unable to keep standing without a cane when greeting Venetian Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Commendone in November 1571 who was sent by Pope Pius V to join Venice, Papal States and Spain in the interest of a crusade against the Ottoman Empire.
Portrait of a Venetian senator holding a letter by Jacopo Tintoretto of unknown provenance in the National Art Museum of Belarus in Minsk, was most probably transported to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at that time, possibly offered to the king Sigismund II Augustus or the Radziwills.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) in armour with his maritime fleet by Tintoretto, ca. 1570, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) in crimson żupan by Tintoretto, ca. 1570, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of king Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) in a hat by Tintoretto, ca. 1572, Private collection.
Portrait of a Venetian senator holding a letter by Jacopo Tintoretto, third quarter of the 16th century, National Art Museum of Belarus in Minsk.
Portrait of Infanta Juana de Austria with court dwarf Ana de Polonia by Sofonisba Anguissola
"We have a great joy with them (...) each day this gift becomes more pleasant to us, for which we also offer our grateful appreciation to Vostrae Serenitati" wrote emperor Charles V on May 11, 1544 to Queen Bona Sforza, who sent him two dwarfs raised at her court, Kornel and Katarzyna.
Dwarfs were present at the Polish court since the Middle Ages, however it was during the reign of Sigismund I and Bona that their presence was significantly strengthened. As servants of Osiris and their association with other Egyptian gods of fertility and creation, like Bes, Hathor, Ptah, dwarfs were also symbols of fertility, revival and abundance in Ancient Roman World and one fresco from Pompeii near Naples is a very special example of it (after "The meaning of Dwarfs in Nilotic scenes" in: "Nile into Tiber: Egypt in the Roman World", Paul G.P. Meyboom and Miguel John Versluys, 2007, p. 205). To secure the endurance of the dynasty in the times when child mortality was very high, fertility was very important to Bona, granddaughter of Alfonso II, King of Naples.
There were Spanish dwarfs at the Polish court, like Sebastian Guzman, who was paid 100 florins, a cubit of Lyonian cloth and damask and Polish monarchs sent their dwarfs to Spain, like Domingo de Polonia el Mico, who appears in the house of Don Carlos between 1559-1565. The presence of Polish dwarfs was also significant at the French court. In 1556 Sigismund Augustus sent to Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France two dwarfs, called grand Pollacre and le petit nain Pollacre and in 1579 a dwarf Majoski (or Majosky) was even studying at her cost.
A lot of female dwarfs were at the court of the Jagiellons, like a certain Maryna, an old dwarf of Queen Bona, who was paid salary by king Stephen Bathory or Jagnieszka (Agnieszka), female dwarf of Princess Sophia Jagiellon, who was her secretary. Queen Barbara Radziwill, had at her court a dwarf Okula (or Okuliński) and she received two female dwarfs from the wife of voivode of Novogrudok.
After her mother left for her native Italy, when all her sisters were married and her brother was occupied with affairs of state and his mistresses, Anna Jagiellon spent time on embroidery, raising her foster children and dwarfs.
A portrait showing a little girl hiding under protective arm of a woman by Sofonisba Anguissola in Boston, due to appearance of her ruff can be dated to the late 1560s or early 1570s. The woman is Infanta Doña Juana de Austria (Joan of Austria), widowed Princess of Portugal, sister of king Philip II of Spain, ruler of one half of the world and mother of king Sebastian of Portugal, ruler of the second half of the world (according to Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494), sister of Holy Roman Empress Maria of Austria, as well as Archduchess of Austria, princess of Burgundy, a friend of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), one of the most influential religious orders of the Catholic Reformation, and whose confessor was her cousin Francis Borgia, third Superior General of the Jesuits. She was the most influential and powerful woman in Europe.
The portrait which is said to depict Catherine Stenbock (1535-1621), Queen of Sweden from the Stenbock Palace in Kolga (Kolk) in Estonia, now in private collection, is de facto a copy or a version of Juana de Austria's portrait by Alonso Sánchez Coello from 1557 (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna), most probably created by Sofonisba in about 1560. Kolga Palace was once owned by Swedish soldier Gustaf Otto Stenbock (1614-1685), who during the invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was promoted to field marshal. The painting, once sent to Sigismund Augustus or his sister Anna by Juana, was therefore taken from one of the royal residences during the Deluge (1655-1660) and this unknown lady was later identified as a Queen of Sweden from the Stenbock family.
The portrait in Boston is also very similar to the portrait in the Basque Museum in Bayonne by workshop of Sofonisba or Juan Pantoja de la Cruz. It depicts Isabel de Francia (Elisabeth of Valois, 1545-1568), Queen of Spain, daughter of Catherine de Medicis and third wife of Philip II, with a little girl, which could be her French female dwarf Doña Luisa. It was a portrait of Queen Isabel that Sofonisba sent to the Pope Pius IV in 1561: "I heard from the most reverend Nuncio of your Holiness, that you desired a portrait, from my hands, of her Majesty the Queen, my mistress", according to Sofonisba's letter dated Madrid, September 16, 1561 and "We have received the portrait of the most serene Queen of Spain, our dearest daughter, that you have sent us" according to Pope's letter dated Rome, October 15, 1561.
The girl in Boston portrait is holding in her hand three roses. The association of the rose with love is too common to require elaboration, it was the flower of Venus, goddess of love in ancient Rome. Three flowers symbolize also Christian teological virtues, faith, hope and love, with love pointed as "the greatest of these" by Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 13).
She is therefore a foreigner at the Spanish court and the painting is a message: I am safe, I have a powerful protector, do not worry about me, I love you, I remember about you and I miss you. It is a message to someone very important to the girl, but also important to Juana. We can assume with a high degree of probability that it is a message to the girl's foster mother Anna Jagiellon, who to strengthen her chances to the crown after death of her brother, assumed the unprecedented but politically important Spanish title of Infanta: Anna Infans Poloniae (Anna, Infanta of Poland, e.g her letter to cardinal Stanisław Hozjusz, from Łomża, 16 November 1572).
In the 16th century Spanish portraiture even members of the same family were rarely depicted together. Suffocating court etiquette made exception only to dwarfs and court jesters, like in the portrait of infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia with a female dwarf Magdalena Ruiz by Alonso Sánchez Coello from about 1585 (Prado Museum) or in the portrait of pregnant youger sister of Anna of Austria (1573-1598), Queen of Poland - Margaret, Queen of Spain with a female dwarf Doña Sofía (her name might indicate Eastern origin) from about 1601 by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz or Bartolomé González (Kunsthistorisches Museum).
Blood connections and family ties were very important to Spanish Habsburgs, Ana de Austria (Anna of Austria, 1549-1580), fourth wife of Philip II, was his niece (her mother Maria was his sister and her father was his cousin).
Spanish sources mentions that in 1578 died Doña Ana de Polonia, court dwarf of Queen Ana de Austria (after "Ana de Austria (1549-1580) y su coleccion artistica", in: "Portuguese Studies Review", Almudena Perez de Tudela, 2007, p. 199), most probably the same mentioned in 1578 in Cuentas de Mercaderes (Merchant Accounts), M. 4, granting her a skirt and other clothing. If this girl is the same with that in the portrait of Juana, and after death of Juana in 1573 she joned the court of a foreign queen who arrived to Spain in autumn of 1570, this lovely green-eyed girl was probably someone more than an agreeable court dwarf.
Her name might indicate, apart from the country of her origin, also her family, like Doña Juana de Austria (Joan of Austria, Joan from the House of Austria, the Habsburgs), who was born in Madrid and never visited Austria, hence Doña Ana de Polonia (Anna of Poland, Anna from the House of Poland, the Jagiellons). So was this girl an illegitimate daughter of Sigismund Augustus, who after death of Barbara in 1551 was desperate to have a child or his sister Anna, a vigorous (gagliarda di cervello) spinster? Such a bold hypothesis cannot be excluded due to its nature that rather should be concealed and kept secret, and lack of sources (in Poland apart from paintings, also many archives were destroyed during wars).
The preserved sources, especially from the last years of reign of Sigismund Augustus are controversial. Imperial envoy, Johannes Cyrus, Abbot of the Premonstratensian monastery in Wrocław, in a letter form 3 March 1571 states that "The king would even marry a beggar, if she only gave him a son" and Świętosław Orzelski, Sejm deputy and Lutheran activist, in his diary that "in the same castle [Royal Castle in Warsaw], where Infanta Anna lived, Zuzanna was lying in one bed, Giżanka in the second, third at Mniszek's, the fourth in the room of the royal chamberlain Kniaźnik, fifth at Jaszowski's" about "the falcons" (Zuzanna Orłowska, Anna Zajączkowska and Barbara Giżanka among others), mistresses of the king. He also allegedly had illegitimate daughters with them. Maybe a research in Spanish archives will allow to confirm or exclude the hypothesis that Ana de Polonia was a daughter of Sigismund or of his sister Anna and was sent to distant Spain.
The painting was purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1897 from the collection of Marchese Fabrizio Paolucci di Calboli in Forli. Its earlier history is unknown. It was most probably aquired in Poland by cardinal Camillo Paolucci, born in Forli, who was a papal nuncio in Poland between 1727-1738. Also earlier provenance is possible through cardinal Alessandro Riario Sforza, a distant relative of Anna from the branch of the family who were lords of Forli and Imola, who was named papal legate in Spain in 1580, just two years after death of Ana de Polonia, and who could acquire a copy of painting made for Queen of Poland.
Portrait of Infanta Juana de Austria (Joan of Austria) from the Stenbock Palace by Sofonisba Anguissola or workshop, ca. 1560, Private collection.
Portrait of Queen Isabel de Francia (Elisabeth of Valois) with a female dwarf by Sofonisba Anguissola or workshop, 1565-1568, Basque Museum in Bayonne.
Portrait of Infanta Juana de Austria (Joan of Austria) with female dwarf Ana de Polonia by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1572, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Portraits of Anna Jagiellon by Tintoretto and circle of Titian
"The Queen is fresh and in such good health that I would not consider it a miracle if she were to become pregnant", reported from Warsaw on 29 January 1579, Giovanni Andrea Caligari (1527-1613), papal nuncio in Poland, about 56 years old Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
"In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, overweightness and obesity were considered symbols of sexual attractiveness and well-being" (Naheed Ali's "The Obesity Reality: A Comprehensive Approach to a Growing Problem", 2012, p. 7) and Anna's mother Bona Sforza, who visited Venice in 1556, was obese in her 40s and 50s, as visible in the cameo in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv. 17.190.869).
At the end of November 1575 Austrian legation arrived in Warsaw, officially promising the infanta marriage to Archduke Ernest of Austria (1553-1592), the son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain, and her relative as a grandson of Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547). But the offer was accepted very restrainedly and cautiously, even coldly. Anna was to reply modestly that she depended on the entire Republic and would only do what custom and the general will would require of her, and that she "entrusted her orphanage to God's holy protection" (after "Anna Jagiellonka" by Maria Bogucka, p. 118). The young Archduke, 30 years younger than the potential bride, undoubtedly received her effigy. News coming mainly from Vienna and Venice informed the general public about the course of 1575 royal election in the Commonwealth. The Fuggers, a prominent group of European bankers, learned about the election of Emperor Maximilian as king of Poland from reports sent from Vienna on December 16, 1575, and then from Venice (newspaper of 30 December) (after "Z dziejów obiegu informacji w Europie XVI wieku" by Jan Pirożyński, p. 141).
In the Jagiellonian University Museum in Kraków there is a painting attributed to Tintorretto from about 1575 (after "Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego" by Karol Estreicher, p. 100). This painting was offered to the Cracow Academy by Franciszek Karol Rogawski (1819-1888) in 1881 (oil on canvas, 110 x 96 cm, inventory number 2526). According to Rogawski's record, the portrait features the queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro (1454-1510), and was acquired at Sedelmayer's auction in Vienna. It had earlier belonged to the Viennese gallery of Joseph Daniel Böhm (1794-1865) and was also attributed to Paolo Veronese, Battista Zelloti and circle of Bernardino Licinio (after "Foreign Painting in the Collections of the Collegium Maius" by Anna Jasińska, p. 146).
The crown on her head alludes to a royal dignity, however, the woman's costume does not resemble well known effigies of the queen of Cyprus by Gentile Bellini and can be compered to the dress of La Belle Nani by Paolo Veronese (Louvre Museum), dated to about 1560, or to the costume of a lady from The Madonna of the Cuccina Family (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden), also by Veronese, painted around 1571. Her face has the appearance of not being taken live, as points out Enrico Maria Dal Pozzolo ("Un Michele da Verona e uno Jacopo Tintoretto a Cracovia", p. 104), who also attribute the canvas to Tintorretto. Therefore the painting was created after another effigy, a drawing or a miniature.
The same woman was also depicted holding a cross and a book in a painting in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel (inventory number GK 491), a copy of which was in the Swedish royal collection (18th century copy of lost original is in the Gripsholm Castle, inventory number NMGrh 187). The painting in Kassel is attributed to circle of Titian or specifically to his pupil Girolamo di Tiziano, also known as Girolamo Dante, and was acquired before 1749. This effigy is a pendant to portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in white by Titian, identified by me. The woman bears strong resemblance to effigies of Anna Jagiellon, especially the miniature by Lucas Cranach the Younger in the Czartoryski Museum and her tomb sculpture at the Wawel Cathedral.
Polish-Lithuanian magnates owned a number of paintings by Titian and Tintorretto, like Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł, who according to the Catalogue of his picture gallery, published in 1835 (Katalog galeryi obrazow sławnych mistrzów z różnych szkół zebranych przez ś. p. Michała Hieronima xięcia Radziwiłła wojew. wil. teraz w Królikarni pod Warszawą wystawionych), had a copy of Venus of Urbino by Titian (Portrait of Princess Isabella Jagiellon nude, identified by me), item 439 of the Catalogue, or "Portrait of a lady in a dark green dress trimmed with gold braid. She takes a flower from the basket with her right hand, and leaning, holds a crimson scarf with her left hand. Painting well preserved. - Painted on canvas. Height: elbow: 1, inch 16.5, width: elbow: 1, inch 10" (Portret damy, w sukni ciemno-zielonej, galonem złotym obszytej. Prawą ręką bierze z koszyka kwiatek, lewą oparta, trzyma szal karmazynowy. Obraz dobrze zachowany. - Mal. na płót. Wys. łok. 1 cali 16 1/2, szer. łok. 1 cali 10, item 33, p. 13), a landscape with staffage (item 213, p. 64) and an Italian landscape with a tree (item 273, p. 83), all attributed to Titian or Saint Paul and Anthony in the desert, painted on wood, attributed to Tintorretto (item 365, p. 108).
In 1574 Anna decided to reactivate the postal service between Poland and Venice, suspended in 1572 after death of her brother, and to do so at her own expense (after "Viaggiatori polacchi in Italia" by Emanuele Kanceff, p. 106). The Queen, heiress of the Neapolitan sums, used Montelupi's postal facilities, who through their own agents, maintained close contact with the bankers in Naples, who sent them sums of money with great frequency (after "Saeculum Christianum", Vol. 1-2, p. 36).
Anna was a well known benefactor of the Cracow Academy (now Jagiellonian University) and she visted it twice on 20 July 1576 and on 24 April 1584. Three days after her last visit she sent the doctors of the Academy a mug of pure gold and a few beautifully bound books.
If Elizabeth I (1533-1603), hereditary Queen of England, favoured the French fashion, especially "when the Anjou marriage negotiation were at their height" in about 1579 (Janet Arnold's "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd", 2020, p. 188), the elected Queen of the Polish-Lithuanian Republic, could prefer the fashion of the Venetian Serenissima.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Jacopo Tintoretto, ca. 1575, Jagiellonian University Museum in Kraków.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) holding a cross and a book by circle of Titian, 1560-1578, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) holding a cross and a book by Georg Engelhard Schröder after original by circle of Titian, 1724-1750, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Portrait of Henry of Valois by workshop of Tintoretto
After the death of Sigismund II Augustus in 1572, Catherine of Medici, Queen of France, willing to make her favourite son Henry of Valois, Duke of Anjou the king of Poland, sent her court dwarf Jan Krasowski, called Domino to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Under the guise of visiting his family in his homeland, he was to make some inquiries and explore the mood in the Commonwealth. Catherine used all her power to offer the crown to her son by influencing the noble electors.
In order to be more agreeable to the Ottoman Empire and strengthen a Polish-Ottoman alliance, on 16 May 1573, Polish-Lithuanian nobles chose Henry as the first elected monarch of the Commonwealth. He was officially crowned on 21 February 1574.
Expecting that Henry will marry her and she will become a Queen, Infanta Anna Jagiellon the wealthiest woman in the country and a sister of his predecessor, ordered French lilies to be embroidered on her dresses.
Despite the fact that he arrived to Poland with a large retinue of his young male lovers, known as the mignons (French for "the darlings"), including René de Villequier, François d'O and his brother Jean, Louis de Béranger du Guast and especially his beloved Jacques de Lévis, comte de Caylus (or Quélus), and that "he even flattered the Polish lords by cleverly adopting their attire", as wrote Venetian envoy Girolamo Lippomano, he was not feeling well in the unknown country.
After death of his brother Charles IX, Catherine urged him to return to France. During the night of 18/19 June 1574, Henry secretly fled the country.
The portrait of a man in black hat by workshop of Tintoretto from private collection in Milan is almost identical with the portrait of Henry depicted against the wall hanging with his coat of arms as King of Poland in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest by Italian painter (inventory 52.602) and his portrait holding a crown in the Doge's Palace in Venice (Sala degli Stucchi) by workshop of Tintoretto.
It bears no distinction, no reference to his royal status, as in mentioned two portraits in Budapest and Venice, he is depicted as a simple nobleman. It is higly probable then that it was one of a series of state portraits commissioned by Anna in Venice before Henry's coronation, as a clear signal that he should marry her before becoming a king.
The Infanta was most probably well aware of his inclination towards men, as apart from Krasowski, there were also other Polish dwarfs at the French court. Raised at the multicultural court of the Jagiellons, where people spoke Latin, Italian, Ruthenian, Polish and German, they were perfect diplomats. In 1572 king Sigismund Augustus sent to Charles IX, four dwarfs and in October that year, Claude La Loue brought another three dwarfs from Poland as a gift from Emperor Maximilian II, father of Charles IX's wife Elisabeth of Austria (after Auguste Jal's "Dictionnaire critique de biographie et d'histoire", 1867, p. 896).
A portrait, said to be Mariana of Austria with a female dwarf wearing a wimple from a private collection in Spain, lost, is very similar to the portrait of Elisabeth of Austria in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which is attributed to Giacomo de Monte (Netherlandish Jakob de Monte, according to some sources). Painter of similar name, Giovanni del Monte, possibly Giacomo's brother, is mentioned as a court painter of Sigismund Augustus before 1557. It is therefore highly probable that the portrait of Queen of France with her dwarf was created for or at the initiative of the Polish-Lithuanian court.
Portrait of Henry of Valois, elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by workshop of Tintoretto, ca. 1573, Private collection.
Portrait of Elisabeth of Austria, wife of Charles IX as a widow with a female dwarf wearing a wimple by Jakob de Monte, after 1574, Private collection, lost.
Miniature portrait of George Radziwill by workshop of the Bassanos or Sofonisba Anguissola
"In the name of the Lord, in the year 1575. On the 11th of October, which then fell on Tuesday, I left Buivydiškės. I left there my sick brother, the great court marshal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Nicolaus Christopher, and went to Italy with my younger brother, Albert", wrote in Latin in a diary of his journey George Radziwill (1556-1600), future cardinal (after "Dziennik podróży do Włoch Jerzego Radziwiłła w 1575 roku" by Angelika Modlińska-Piekarz).
Born in Italian style villa of his father in Lukiškės in Vilnius, George was raised and educated as a Calvinist. After his mother's death, in 1562, he spent some time at the royal court (perhaps as a page). Between 1571-1573, together with his brothers Albert and Stanislaus, he studied in Leipzig. In the summer of 1573, he accompanied his brother Nicolaus Christopher "the Orphan" to France and after his return, together with his younger brothers, he converted to Catholicism on April 11, 1574.
Through Warsaw (October, 24-26), where he spent time with Infanta Anna Jagiellon, and Vienna (November, 12-20), where he met Emperor Maximilian II and his sons and where he saw "a beast of strange size, an elephant, sent as a gift to the emperor by Philip, king of Spain" on December 3 or 4 he arrived to Venice, the city "which, because of its beauty and its location, undoubtedly holds the priority palm among the cities of the whole world". He went to stay at the Magnificent White Lion, a German inn. He left the city in a hurry two days later, because of the suspicion of the plague, but during his brief stay he admired the St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Arsenal. "After leaving the arsenal, I was driven around the city for two hours, where I saw many magnificent and very beautiful buildings, especially in the great street that stretches the entire width of the city, in colloquial language it is called the Grand Canal, the beauty of which I could never get enough of". He did not specify which places he visited, it is possible that he was also taken to the famous Venetian painting workshops. George commissioned works of art in Italy for himself and his brother, like in 1579, when one of the Roman painters made an altar for Nicolaus Christopher "the Orphan" (after "Zagraniczna edukacja Radziwiłłów: od początku XVI do połowy XVII wieku" by Marian Chachaj, p. 97).
From Venice he went to Padua and then via Florence further to Rome to study philosophy and theology. In the years 1575-1581 he stayed in Italy, Spain and Portugal. In 1581, already as a bishop (from 1579), he was strongly condemned by King Stephen Bathory for the incident with the confiscation and burning of Protestant books in Vilnius. That same year, in 1581 he was again in Venice, together with his elder brother Nicolaus Christopher (after "Ateneum Wilenskie", Volume 11, p. 158). Two years later, in 1583, he was ordained a priest (April 10), consecrated a bishop (December 26), and received the cardinal's beret in Vilnius on April 4, 1584. In March 1586 he set out for Rome, where on June 26 he received the cardinal's hat from Pope Sixtus V.
A two sided miniature in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (inventory number 1890, 4051, oil on copper, 10.2 cm) is on one side a reduced and simplified version of portrait of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" by Francesco Bassano the Younger or workshop, created between 1580-1586, identified by me. The composition of the miniatures is not similar, so they were probably not created at the same time. Both portraits, although close to miniatures by the Bassanos in the Uffizi (1890, 4072, 9053, 9026), also relate to works of Sofonisba Anguissola, who moved to Sicily (1573), and later Pisa (1579) and Genoa (1581) and who could copy the paintings by the Bassanos. The young man in a ruff is presenting a ring on his finger, comparable to that visible in portraits of cardinal George Radziwill, possibly a souvenir of conversion, and his face resemble other effigies of the cardinal.
According to Silvia Meloni, a copy of the recto of this miniature is kept in Udine, noth of Venice, which presents on the back the eagle testing its children in the sun. Eagle was a symbol of the Radziwills and cardinal George used it in his coat of arms, like the one published in 1598 in Krzysztof Koryciński's In felicem ad vrbem reditvm [...] Georgii S. R. E. cardinalis Radziwil nvncvpati [...]. All travelers returning from Venice to Poland or going to Rome from Poland trough Venice had to drive close to Udine. According to George's diary he was in San Daniele del Friuli near Udine in 1575.
Miniature portrait of George Radziwill (1556-1600) by workshop of the Bassanos or Sofonisba Anguissola, 1575-1581, Uffizi Gallery.
Portraits of Anna Jagiellon by Francesco Bassano and circle of Veronese
On 15 December 1575, in Wola near Warsaw, infanta Anna Jagiellon and her husband Stephen Bathory, Voivode of Transylvania were elected as monarchs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Since the end of the 1570s Anna's court was bursting with life and she kept lively correspondence with many Italian princes, like Francesco I de Medici and his mistress Bianca Cappello, the daughter of Venetian nobleman Bartolomeo Cappello, exchanging news on politics and fashion, sending and receiving gifts (cosmetics, medicaments, crystal bowls and cups, luxury fancy goods, small pieces of furniture e.g. marble tables, silver incrusted boxes etc.) and even courtiers. "From February of 1581 to December of that year, several letters from the agent of Bianca Cappello [...] Alberto Bolognetti, described the perfect female dwarf he found for Cappello in Warsaw; the nana is described as having great "proportions" and being "very beautiful." The nana's travels through Cracow and Vienna were fully documented [...]" (Touba Ghadessi's "Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance", p. 63).
The portrait of a lady by circle of Paolo Veronese from the 1570s, traditionally identified as effigy of Catherine Cornaro (1454-1510), Queen of Cyprus, and known in at least three variants (in Vienna, Montauban and private collection), bears a strong resemblance to the miniature of Anna when a princess of Poland-Lithuania from about 1553. Also the gold cross pendant set with diamonds, visible on the portrait, is very similar to the one depicted on the print in the Hermitage Museum showing Anna (inventory ОР-45839).
The picture in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum, inventory number GG 33) was painted in the same period and in the same style as the portrait of a bearded man with hourglass and astrolabe attributed to Francesco Bassano (Kunsthistorisches Museum, inventory number 5775), identifed by me as the portrait of king Stephen Bathory, Anna's husband. The portrait of the king was most probably offered before 1582 to Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria for his collection in the Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, while the "portrait of the Queen of Cyprus" was initially installed at the Stallburg, where various holdings of the Habsburg family were brought together and displayed, and later transferred to the Belvedere in Vienna (after "Wien. Fremdenführer durch die Kaiserstadt und Umgebung" by Dr. J. Spetau, p. 122). Like in the case of the Queen's likeness in her widowhood by Martin Kober, acquired from the Imperial collection in Vienna in 1936 (Wawel Royal Castle), her Habsburg relatives undoubtedly also received other effigies from different periods of her life. The Queen also sent them other valuable gifts, like oriental fabrics, also visble in described portaits by Francesco Bassano. The 1619 inventory of the estate of Emperor Matthias lists several textiles of Ottoman and Safavid manufacture offered by Anna to either Matthias or his brother Emperor Rudolf II, veils and handkerchiefs (after "Objects of Prestige and Spoils of War" by Barbara Karl, p. 136).
The portrait of a woman from Barbini-Breganze collection in Venice, today in Stuttgart, bears a strong resemblance to the portrait of Anna by Tintoretto in the Jagiellonian University (pose and features) and to her effigy in Vienna holding a zibellino (features and garments), also by Tintoretto.
Anna's strong familial and intellectual connections to Italy and a reputation as an advocate for women's educational pursuits within the scientific disciplines, persuaded Camilla Erculiani, an Italian apothecary, writer and natural philosopher from Padua in the Venetian Republic, to dedicate her work "Letters on Natural Philosophy" (Lettere di philosophia naturale), published in Kraków in 1584, to Anna. The Queen was also known for promoting education of girls at her court (after "Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy" by Meredith K. Ray, p. 118).
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Francesco Bassano, ca. 1580, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by workshop of Francesco Bassano, ca. 1580, Private collection.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by workshop of Francesco Bassano, ca. 1580, Musée Ingres in Montauban.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in a robe of pink damask over a patterned brocade dress by Parrasio Micheli, 1575-1585, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.
Allegorical portrait of Anna Jagiellon by Francesco Montemezzano
In July 1572 died Sigismund II Augustus, leaving the throne vacant and all the wealth of the Jagiellon dynasty to his three sisters. Anna, the only member of the dynasty present in the Commonwealth, received only a small portion of inheritance, but still became a very rich woman. Sigismund's death changed her status from a neglected spinster to the heiress of the Jagiellon dynasty.
In June 1574 an unexpected turn of events made her one of the favorites in the second election, after Henry of Valois left Poland and headed back to France. Jan Zamoyski reconciled different camps promoting Anna to the crown. On December 15, 1575, Anna was hailed the King of Poland in the Old Town Square in Warsaw. Jan Kostka and Jan Zamoyski, representing the parliament, came to her to ask for her consent. It was then that Anna was supposed to utter the phrase that she "would rather be a queen than a king's wife". A day later, the nobility recognized her definitively as the "Piast" king and Stephen Báthory, Voivode of Transylvania, was proposed as her husband.
The painting identified as allegory of Pomona from the old collection of the Czartoryski Museum bears a great resemblance to other effigies of Anna. A woman in rich costume is being offered a basket with apples, denoted as symbol of the royal power and a symbol of the bride in ancient Greek thought, and pink roses, which represented innocence and first love - Báthory was the first husband to the 52 years old queen.
Allegorical portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Francesco Montemezzano, 1575-1585, Czartoryski Museum in Kraków.
Portraits of Anna Jagiellon by workshop of Tintoretto and Francesco Montemezzano
"There is a bridge across the Vistula near Warsaw, built at a great cost of Queen Anna, sister of King Sigismund Augustus, famous all over the Crown", wrote Venetian-born Polish writer Alessandro Guagnini dei Rizzoni (Aleksander Gwagnin) in his book Sarmatiae Europeae descriptio (Description of Sarmatian Europe), printed in Kraków in 1578.
On 5 April 1573, during the Royal Election after death of king Sigismund Augustus, the longest bridge of Renaissance Europe was opened to the public. The construction cost 100,000 florins, and Anna Jagiellon, willing to become a Queen, also allocated her own funds for this purpose. It was a great achievement and major political success praised by many poets like Jan Kochanowski, Sebastian Klonowic, Andrzej Zbylitowski and Stanisław Grochowski.
The bridge, built of huge oaks and pines brought from Lithuania, was 500 meters long, 6 meters wide, it consisted of 22 spans and stood on 15 supports/towers that protected the construction. The construction, however, required constant renovations and was partially broken several times by ice floes on the Vistula River. It was severely damaged after Anna's coronation (1 May 1576) and in his letters from 15 August 1576 to the starosts, King Stephen Bathory recommended the delivery of wood for repair. Again in 1578 and the renovation was managed by Franciszek Wolski, voit of Tykocin. The wood material was floated from the San river. The works were completed in 1582 and "Anna Jagiellon, Queen of Poland, spouse, sister and daughter of grand kings, ordered the construction of this brick fortified tower", according to inscription on bronze plaque in Museum of Warsaw commemorating the fortified Bridge Gate.
Anna, as her brother, undeniably ordered some portraits to commemorate her role in construction and maintenance of the bridge. The portrait from private collection in Milan, attributed to Tintoretto or Veronese and depicting a blond woman in a crown against the view of a bridge, fit perfectly. Her facial features resemble greatly the portrait by Tintoretto in the Jagiellonian University Museum.
The painter depicted the bridge only symbolically in a small window. The recipients of the painting should know what it is about, there was no need to change the convention of Venetian portrait painting to show the whole construction.
On her gown there is a symbol of six pointed star, in use since ancient times as a reference to the Creation and in Christian theology - star of Bethlehem. The star, was symbolic of light and of the preaching of Saint Dominic, who was the first to teach the Rosary as a form of meditative prayer, and become an attribute of Virgin Mary, as Queen of Heaven and as Stella Maris. The title, Stella Maris (Star of the Sea), is one of the oldest and most widespread titles applied to Virgin Mary. It came to be seen as allegorical of Mary's role as "guiding star" on the way to Christ.
The crown of stars is visible in a painting by Tintoretto in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin (acquired from Francesco Pajaro in Venice in 1841), created in about 1570 showing Madonna and Child venerated by St. Marc and St. Luke, and in a painting of Madonna of the Rosary from Sandomierz, created by Polish painter in 1599 in which old Queen Anna was depicted with other members of her family and Saint Dominic.
Thanks to Queen Anna's efforts the rosary confraternities, which mainly existed in Kraków were extended to all of Poland on 6 January 1577 and the annual feast of rosary was solemnly celebrated throughout the Commonwealth. She also donated, among other things, a few precious jewels and necklaces with which the image of Black Madonna of Częstochowa was adorned. In 1587 the Queen received the Golden Rose from Pope Sixtus V, which she offered to the collegiate church of St. John in Warsaw, lost.
The same woman in similar pose and in similar gown was depicted in painting by Francesco Montemezzano from William Coningham's collection in London, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with a symbolic view of the bridge in Warsaw by workshop of Tintoretto, 1576-1582, Private collection.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by workshop of Tintoretto, 1576-1582, Private collection.
Portrait of Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596), elected co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with a dog by Francesco Montemezzano, ca. 1582, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mystical marriage of Saint Catherine with a portrait of queen Anna Jagiellon by Venetian painter
In 1556 having ambitions of becoming a Viceroy of Naples, Bona Sforza d'Aragona, Anna's mother, agreed to lend to her distant relative king Philip II of Spain a huge sum of 430,000 ducats at 10% annual interest, so-called "Neapolitan sums". Even when paid, the interest payment was late and according to some people the loan was one of the reasons why Bona was poisoned by her trusted courtier Gian Lorenzo Pappacoda.
On November 10, 1573, and November 15, 1574 Catherine Jagiellon, Queen of Sweden, who had the right to a part of the Neapolitan sums in her dowry (50,000 ducats) agreed to renounce and cede it to her sister Anna, as the dispute deteriorated Polish-Swedish relations.
The Commonwealth had bad experiences with a "foreign" candidate, Henry of Valois, who fled the country through Venice just few monts after election, therefore the only possible succesors of over 50 years old queen were children of her sister Catherine, Sigismund born in 1566 (elected as Commonwealth's monarch in 1587) and Anna born in 1568.
The painting in Madrid is very similar in style to two portraits of Anna from the same period (in Vienna and Kassel). The lady in her 40s or 50s depicted as the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven is a clear indication that the scene has no purely religious meaning and it is very similar to other effigies of Anna, especially to the portrait by Tintoretto in Kraków.
According to the researchers the canvas should be attributed to Palma il Giovane, who created paintings for Anna's nephew and sucessor, Sigismund III Vasa (Psyche cycle and a painting for the St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw, destroyed during World War II) or Domenico Tintoretto, who painted several paintings for Anna's Chancellor, Jan Zamoyski.
In the collection of the Royal Wilanów Palace in Warsaw there is a painting representing highly erotic subject of Leda and the swan by Palma il Giovane or his workshop from the last quarter of the 16th century. It is uncertain how it found its way there, so the option that it was commissioned by Anna, who, as her mother Bona, was strongly engaged in maintaining good relation with her husband Stephen Bathory, is very probable.
The mystical marriage of Saint Catherine, a symbol of spiritual grace, should be interprated then that Catherine's children still have claims to the Neapolitan sums and the crown. Its history before 1746 is unknown, therefore it cannot be excluded that the painting was sent to the Spanish Habsburgs, just as her portrait in Vienna, personally by the queen.
In November 1575, hence shortly before her election, Anna sent to Spain her envoy Stanisław Fogelweder, who was her ambassador there until 1587. She also had her informal envoys in Spain, dwarves Ana de Polonia (Anna of Poland, died 1578) and Estanislao (Stanislaus, died 1579).
Mystical marriage of Saint Catherine with a portrait of queen Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) by Venetian painter, possibly Palma il Giovane or Domenico Tintoretto, 1576-1586, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Leda and the swan by Palma il Giovane or workshop, fourth quarter of the 16th century, Wilanów Palace in Warsaw.
The Banquet of Cleopatra with portraits of Anna Jagiellon, Stephen Bathory and Jan Zamoyski by Leandro Bassano
On 1 May 1576, then 52 years old Infanta Anna Jagiellon married ten years younger Voivode of Transylvania Stephen Bathory and was crowned as co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Soon after the wedding the king started to avoid his elderly wife. He dedicated her just three wedding nights and didn't look into her bedroom afterward. The papal nuncio in Poland, Giovanni Andrea Caligari, reported in August 1578, that the king does not trust her, that he is afraid of being poisoned by her, an art her mother, Bona, was well acquainted with, and he adds in a letter of February 1579, that she is haughty and vigorous (altera e gagliarda di cervello). One night, Anna wanted to visit Bathory, but he escaped. Many people witnessed this event, the Queen developed a fever and was subjected to phlebotomy.
King Stephen reportedly never held a great attraction for the marriage state and women in general, and he married Anna only to do a nice thing for the nation, she however was under the illusion that she would keep her husband with her and seduce him with boisterous balls and feasts. Primate Jan Tarnowski wrote in a letter to a Lithuanian magnate that "as she caught up a man, she carries her mouth high and proud".
The Queen had a grudge against Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, who according to Bartosz Paprocki "wanting to be a lord in Masovia, he sowed disagreement between the king and the queen" and "caused that the king did not live with the queen". Some "distasteful" rumors were also spread during the expedition to Polotsk in 1578, when the king slept in the same hut with Gaspar Bekes, his trusted friend (after Jerzy Besala's "Wstręt króla do królowej").
When Stephen left his wife in 1576, he did not see her, with some breaks, until 1583. She resided in Warsaw in Masovia where in a spacious and richly furnished wooden mansion in Jazdów (Ujazdów), built by her mother Queen Bona, she often held festivities and court games, he in Grodno (in todays Belarus). In January 1578 she organized in Jazdów famous wedding celebrations for Jan Zamoyski and his Calvinist second wife Kristina Radziwill, which lasted for several days.
In February 1579, the Queen prepared a court ball, awaiting Stephen's arrival. In the evening, the Warsaw Castle was illuminated, and the inhabitants were waiting for the king's arrival. Unfortunately, only the messenger with the letter arrived. The king wrote in it that due to the preparations for the war expedition, he would spend the whole year in Lithuania. The disappointed queen "ordered the lights to be turned off and the instruments to be taken out, and with great anger she retreated to her chambers", wrote the nuncio in a letter of February 26. The courtiers rumored that he wanted to divorce her.
The King and Queen reunited in June 1583 in Kraków for the opulent wedding celebrations of Zamoyski with his third wife and a king's niece, Griselda Bathory. The wedding feast was held in the chambers of Queen Anna at the Wawel Castle. The lavish tournaments and a procession of masks was illustrated by an Italian artist in a "Tournois magnifique tenu en Pologne", today in the National Library of Sweden.
Rich Venetian fabrics, like these used in chasubles founded by Anna and her husband (Cathedral Museum in Kraków) or vessels, like enamelled basin with her coat of arms and monogram (Czartoryski Museum), acquired by Anna in Venice, were undoubtedly used during the feasts. The sources confirm that allegorical paintings were brought to the Polish court from Venice for Sigismund III Vasa, Anna's sucessor, like Psyche cycle by Palma il Giovane or Diana and Caliosto by Antonio Vassilacchi.
"You subjects learned this riding from your king", snapped resentful Anna in 1583, when someone from her court set off on a journey.
The Banquet of Cleopatra by Leandro Bassano in Stockholm shows an episode described by both Pliny's's Natural History (9.58.119-121) and Plutarch's Lives (Antony 25.36.1), in which the spartan Roman warrior Antony being seduced by the sensual opulence of Cleopatra.
The Queen of Egypt takes an expensive pearl, reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, because of an association between pearls and Venus, the goddess of love, and dissolves it in her wine, which she then drinks. It is a culmination of a wager between Cleopatra and Mark Antony as to which one could provide the most expensive feast, which Cleopatra won. Lucius Munatius Plancus, a Roman senator had been asked to judge the wager.
The three protagonists are clearly Anna Jagiellon as Cleopatra, her husband Stephen Bathory as Mark Antony and his friend Jan Zamoyski as Lucius and the painting was commissioned by the Queen to one of her residences, most probably Jazdów.
It is recorded in the Swedish royal collection as far as 1739, therefore, most probably, it was taken from Poland during the Deluge (1655-1660), like the marble lions from Ujazdów Castle, or during the Great Northern War (1700-1721).
In 1578 with the support of Queen Anna the brotherhood of Saint Anne was founded in Warsaw at the Bernardine Church of Saint Anne, and approved by Pope Sixtus V with the bull Ex incumbenti in 1579. The first member and guardian of this fraternity was Jan Zamoyski, chancellor and great hetman of the Crown.
The painting by the same author, Leandro Bassano, from the Swedish royal collection, showing Saint Anne and the infant Virgin Mary was also undeniably created for Anna Jagiellon around the same time as the Banquet of Cleopatra. In 1760 this Catholic painting with Bernardine nuns was in the collection of Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, who freely converted from Calvinism to Lutheran when she moved to Sweden. It is another indication that this painting also was taken from Poland during the Deluge by Swedish or Prussian (Brandenburgian) forces.
Also other paintings by Bassano family and their workshop in Poland were created for partrons in Poland, like the Forge of Vulcan by Francesco Bassano the Younger in the National Museum in Warsaw. It was aquired in 1880 from Wojciech Kolasiński. Taking into consideration that other versions of this painting are in royal collections of "friendly" countries (Prado Museum in Madrid, inventory P005120, recorded as far as 1746 and Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, inventory 5737, recorded in Ambras collection in 1663), it is highly possible that it was commissioned or aquired by Bathory or Anna's successor Sigismund III. Another painting shows Adoration of the Magi with a man in Polish costume (almost idedntical as in the effigy of a Polish nobleman in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) as one of the Magi.
The Banquet of Cleopatra with portraits of Anna Jagiellon, Stephen Bathory and Jan Zamoyski by Leandro Bassano, 1578-1586, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Saint Anne and the infant Virgin Mary by Leandro Bassano, 1578-1586, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Forge of Vulcan by Francesco Bassano the Younger, 4th quarter of the 16th century, National Museum in Warsaw.
Adoration of the Magi with a Polish nobleman by Francesco Bassano the Younger, 4th quarter of the 16th century, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portraits of Jadwiga Sieniawska, Voivodess of Ruthenia by the Bassano workshop and Jacopo Tintoretto
"You equated the state with the shy Diana, / You equated the face with the rosy Venus. [...] / Adornment of the earth! happy, happy, / To whom God has appointed you kind, / To whom Hymenaios in the steady words / And with eternal torches joined you", wrote in his poem entitled "To Miss Jadwiga Tarłówna, (later voivodess of Ruthenia)", a Polish poet of the late Renaissance Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński (ca. 1550 - ca. 1581). It is considered an epithalamium, a wedding song for the wedding with the lord of Berezhany (Brzeżany), Hieronim Sieniawski (1519-1582), who married Tarłówna in 1575.
Jadwiga was the fifth child of Jan Tarło, standard-bearer of Lviv, and Regina Malczycka. She came from the ancient Tarło family from Szczekarzowice. Her parents owned Chapli (Czaple nad Strwiążęm) near Sambir (Sambor) and a part of Khyriv (Chyrów) in the Ruthenian Voivodeship (Ukraine). "Lords of Hungary and Wallachia" wanted to marry her and King Sigismund Augustus promised her hand to Bogdan IV (1555-1574), Prince of Moldavia in 1572, but he was deposed that year (after "Brzeżany w czasach Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: monografia historyczna" by Maurycy Maciszewski, p. 78-80).
After death of her father (died in 1570 or 1572) and before marriage, she most probably lived at the very Italianized court of king's sister, Infanta Anna Jagiellon. Jadwiga received from father as a dowry only 3,000 zlotys and 1,500 zlotys in jewels, and from her mother 2,000 zlotys. It was a considerable amount for those times, but far from being a magnate's fortune. In June 1574, Hieronim buried his third wife, Anna née Maciejowska, and ordered a beautiful marble tombstone for her. Just few months later, in 1575, at the age of 56, he married Jadwiga who was about 25 years old (born in about 1550). The bridegroom bequeathed 14,000 zlotys to her as a dower. The next year (1576), she gave birth to Hieronim's only son, Adam Hieronim. Her husband died in 1582 and was buried in the family chapel in Berezhany. The young widow founded a beautiful tomb monument for him and his father and dedicated herself to raising her only son and did not remarry. She was glorified on a marble plaque in the castle church in Berezhany for restoring the weakened fortune to good condition after her husband's death: "These monuments were laid to her father-in-law and to her sweet husband by Jadwiga née Tarło, both with her powerful virtue, which she shines in her homeland, and with the sharpness of her mind. May our ages produce more of likewise matrons here and everywhere! The Republic would flourish if each of them would restore lost goods in this way after her husband's death" (Haec socero et dulci posait monumenta marito / Tarlonum Hedvigis progenerata domo, / Virtate omnigena patrio quae claret in orbe, / Nec minus ingenii dexteritate sui. / O utinam similes illi praesentia plures / Saecula matronas hic et ubique ferant ! / Publica res floreret abi post fata mariti / Quaelibet amissas sic repararet opes).
According to the sculptor's monogram (H.H.Z.) hidden behind the statue of Hieronim, the monument was created by Hendrik Horst (d. 1612), a Dutch sculptor from Groningen, active in Lviv since 1573. The overall design of this tomb monument, destroyed during World War II, resemble the monument to King Sigismund II Augustus in the Wawel Cathedral, founded by Queen Anna Jagiellon and created between 1574-1575 by Santi Gucci, and monument to Doge Francesco Venier (1489-1556) by Jacopo Sansovino and Alessandro Vittoria in San Salvador in Venice, created between 1556-1561. Until 1939 in the armoury of the Berezhany Castle in the western tower, there was a large painting depicting the funeral procession of Mikołaj Sieniawski (ca. 1489-1569), Jadwiga's father-in-law, in Lublin in 1569 with king Sigismund Augustus and lords of the kingdom.
The deathbed conversion of Hieronim Sieniawski, a definitive Calvinist, was also influenced by his fourth wife, Tarłówna, a zealous Catholic according to papal nuncio, with the aid of Benedictus Herbestus Neapolitanus (Benedykt Zieliński or Benedykt Herbest), educated in Rome. Also Hieronim's sisters converted shortly after his death, closing numerous Calvinist churches on their estates (after "Calvinism in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth 1548-1648" by Kazimierz Bem, p. 181). In 1584 she issued a location privilege for the new town of Adamówka, named in honor of her son, later a suburb of Berezhany and most probably founded the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Her only son, who most probably, like all his three sons later, studied in Padua before 1593, employed at his court Venetian engineer and architect Andrea dell'Aqua.
A painting by workshop of Jacopo Bassano (1515-1592) of unknown provenance in the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, shows a wealthy lady in the mythological scene of Abduction of Europa. In the same museum there is also a portrait of Princess Elizabeth Radziwill (d. 1565) by Lambert Sustris, identified and attributed by me.
In the 1560s Jacopo Bassano created several versions of Adoration of the Magi (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, The State Hermitage Museum) with a man in a costume of a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman depicted as Melchior, the old man of the three Magi, comparable to effigies of Constantine (ca. 1460-1530), Prince of Ostroh by Lucas Cranach the Elder. He wears a green kaftan with sweeping floor-length sleeves and a fur collar, very similar to those visible in the effigy of a Polish horseman by Abraham de Bruyn, published in 1577 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) or in his Twelve Polish and Hungarian types, published in 1581 (also in the Rijksmuseum) or in the picture of a Polish-Lithuanian noble in "Theatrum virtutum ac meritorum D. Stanislai Hosii" by Thomas Treter, created between 1595-1600 (National Library in Warsaw). The effigy of the old man represented as Melchior, possibly intentionally or unintentionally, bear a resemblance to the effigy of Jadwiga's father-in-law, Mikołaj Sieniawski, Voivode of Ruthenia (and a Calvinist), from the tomb monument founded by her. According to some sources Mikołaj also converted to the Catholic faith shortly before his death (died in 1569), therefore he could commisson a series of his effigies as one of the Magi, or the painter just inspired by the images of Mikołaj commissioned in his studio.
In the myth, the god Zeus (Jupiter) assumed the form of a bull and enticed Europa to climb onto his back. The bull carried her to Crete, where Europa became the first Queen and had three children with Zeus. Unlike the earlier, very erotic version of the scene painted between 1560-1562 by Titian for King Philip II of Spain (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston) with Europa sprawled helplessly in open-legged posture and her face not visible, in Bassano's painting the woman's face is clearly visible. This portrait-like historié picture was therefore commissioned by this woman.
In the foreground there is a rabbit as an allegory of fertility, a duck, associated with Penelope, queen of Ithaca, as a symbol of marital fidelity, and a small dog, allegory of fidelity and devotion. A Cupid sitting on a tree in the upper right corner is prepared to aim an arrow at her heart. The island of Crete is visible in the far background, but the landscape around is similar to topography of Berezhany as depicted on the Austrian map of 1779-1783. There is a large lake (regulated in the 18th century) and two hills, which were depicted by the painter as rocky Alpine hills. Another, horizontal (96 x 120 cm) version of this composition, from private collection in Rome and attributed to circle of Francesco Bassano (1549-1592), was sold in 2021 (Finarte Auctions, 16.11.2021, lot 73). In both paintings the woman has a fashionable hairstyle from the late 1570s or early 1580s and the painting in Rome was most probably sent as a gift to the Pope or one of the cardinals (this woman managed to convert to Catholicism the Voivode of Ruthenia!). A number of paintings by Francesco Bassano and his workshop are also in Poland (Adoration of the Magi with a Polish nobleman and Forge of Vulcan in the National Museum in Warsaw, Forge of Vulcan in the National Museum in Poznań or Annunciation to the shepherds in the Wawel Royal Castle and another in the Museum of the Warsaw Archdiocese).
The same woman was also depicted in a portrait of a lady in a green dress (a color being symbolic of fertility), attributed variously to Jacopo and Leandro Bassano, in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. The picture was previously in the Edward Cheney collections in Badger Hall in Badger, near Wolverhampton, England (demolished in 1952). A pendant on a gold chain around her neck is a jewel in which two different stones and a pearl are set, each with its own precise meaning: the ruby indicates charity, the emerald indicates chastity, and a pearl is a symbol of marriage fidelity. The woman's dress and hairstyle are very simular to those visible in a self-portrait with madrigal by Marietta Robusti in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, dated to about 1578 (inventory 1890 n. 1898). A signed painting by Leandro Bassano (signature: Leandro) from Jan Gwalbert Pawlikowski collection is in the Wawel Royal Castle and Lamentation of Christ, attributed to him is in the Vereshchagin Art Museum in Mykolaiv, close to Odessa. Resurrection of Lazarus from the altar of the Mocenigo family in the church of Santa Maria della Carità in Venice (today in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice), another signed work by Leandro Bassano (LEANDER/ BASSANE.is/ F.), dated to between 1592-1596, shows a man in a costume of a Polish-Lithuanian noble.
She was also depicted as a widow in a portrait by Jacopo Tintoretto in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden. This painting was probably acquired in Venice by Duke Francesco I d'Este (1610-1658) and listed as "Portrait of a woman dressed in black - Titian" (Ritratto di donna vestita de nero - Tiziano) in the inventory of 1744 of the Galleria Estense in Modena, then sold to Augustus III of Poland-Lithuania-Saxony in 1746 (as portrait of Caterina Cornaro). This portrait is dated to early 1550s, however similar costume of a Venetian widow (Vidua Veneta / Vefue Venetiene) is visible in an engraving representing Ten women dressed according to Italian fashion by Abraham de Bruyn, created in about 1581 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). The style of this picture can be compared with portrait of the Procurator Alessandro Gritti in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, dated to between 1581-1582, and portrait of Piotr Krajewski (1547-1598), żupnik of Zakroczym in the Masovian Museum in Płock, dated '1583'. The latter painting is generally attributed to circle of Martin Kober, however the man's face is painted in the same style as the widow in Dresden. Krajewski, a nobleman of Leliwa coat of arms, was the owner of villages Mochty and Smoszewo and a manager (żupnik) which oversaw the salt storehouse in Zakroczym near Warsaw, the seat of Infanta Anna Jagiellon. His portrait was most probably commissioned in Venice and a court painter in Warsaw added coat of arms and inscription (painted in different style).
In the Zhytomyr Region History Museumin Ukraine there is a portrait of Giovanni Francesco Sagredo (1571-1620), a Venetian mathematician and close friend of Galileo, painted by Gerolamo Bassano. The painting comes from the nationalized collections of barons de Chaudoir (the family may come from a line of French Protestant emigrants who fled in 1685 from Belgium and one de Chaudoire worked at the court of King Stanislaus Augustus). In the 1590s Sagredo studied privately with Galileo in Padua and in 1596 at the age of 25 he became a member of the Great Council of Venice. His portrait attributed to Gerolamo Bassano in the Ashmolean Museum depict him in the robes of the a Procurator of Saint Mark, therefore the portrait from Zhytomyr like the effigy from private collection, attributed to circle of Domenico Tintoretto, should be dated to before 1596, therefore could be acquired by Adam Hieronim during his potential studies in Italy. Sagredo was depicted in a crimson tunic similar to Polish-Lithuanian żupan.
It is possible that all mentioned paintings by Venetian painting workshops, in Odessa, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr, originate from the same collection - "the Eastern Wawel": Berezhany Castle, dispersed among several museums in Ukraine. Despite that no signed likenesses of Jadwiga Sieniawska née Tarło or her close relatives have preserved, basing on all these facts the mentioned potraits should be indentified as her effigies.
Abduction of Europa with portrait of Jadwiga Sieniawska née Tarło, Voivodess of Ruthenia by workshop of Jacopo Bassano, 1578-1582, Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art.
Abduction of Europa with portrait of Jadwiga Sieniawska née Tarło, Voivodess of Ruthenia by workshop of Francesco Bassano, 1578-1582, Private collection.
Portrait of Jadwiga Sieniawska née Tarło, Voivodess of Ruthenia in a green dress by Jacopo or Leandro Bassano, ca. 1578, Norton Simon Museum.
Lamentation of Christ by Leandro Bassano, late 16th century, Vereshchagin Art Museum in Mykolaiv.
Portrait of Jadwiga Sieniawska née Tarło, Voivodess of Ruthenia in mourning by Jacopo Tintoretto, ca. 1582, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden.
Portrait of Piotr Krajewski (1547-1598), żupnik of Zakroczym by workshop of Jacopo Tintoretto, 1583, Masovian Museum in Płock.
Portrait of Giovanni Francesco Sagredo (1571-1620) by Gerolamo Bassano, 1590s, Zhytomyr Region History Museum.
Portraits of king Stephen Bathory by Venetian painters
Official portraiture showed Bathory as he should look like and as he was perceived, imagined by average and less educated subjects, i.e. a strong, powerful, masculine monarch in rich national costume, a man capable to protect the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Tsar Ivan the Terrible, a brutal tyrant, who used terror and cruelty as a method of controlling his country and who invaded the Commonwealth during the second royal election after Henry of Valois's sudden return to France in mid-June 1574 through Venice. The Tsar had captured Pärnu on 9 July 1575, took as many as 40 thousand captives (according to Świętosław Orzelski) and devastated much of central Livonia. Anna Jagiellon and Bathory were elected just few months later on December 15.
In private effigies or these dedicated to his European colleagues Bathory could allow himself to be depicted as educated in Padua lover of astronomy, in a cloak of a simple soldier in his army or as an old, tired man.
The portrait by Tintoretto from the Spanish royal collection, shows Bathory in a toga-like attire similar to the costume of a Venetian magistrate. It is a kopieniak a sleeveless raincoat of Turkish origin (kepenek), popular at that time in Hungary (köpenyeg). According to Stanisław Sarnicki's "Księgi hetmańskie", published in 1577-1578, kopieniak was a sort of Gabina (gabìno), a toga in ancient Rome, while according to "Encyklopedja powszechna" (Universal encyclopedia, vol. 15 from 1864, p. 446) in Poland the attire and a word were popularized by Bathory, "who used the kopieniak in hunting and during war expeditions".
After king's death some of his robes valued at 5351 zlotys were given to his courtiers. The inventory made in Grodno on 15 December 1586 includes many kopieniaks, made by his Hungarian tailor Andrasz, like the most valuable "scarlet kopieniak lined with sables with one silk button and a loop, 1548 zlotys worth", "12 navy blue half-kopieniaks lined with sables, with gold buttons" or "4 kopieniaks of different colors".
The portrait of a bearded man with hourglass and astrolabe by Francesco Bassano from Ambras Castle in Innsbruck is very similar in style and composition to the portrait of Anna Jagiellon in Vienna. Before 1 February 1582 Bathory offered to Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria many items captured during the Siege of Pskov to his large collection of armaments in Ambras, including his armor accompanied by a portrait and resume.
Among the things given in deposit to king's courtier Mr Franciszek Wesselini (Ferenc Wesseleny´i de Hadad) in the inventory of king's belongings, there were "A gold carriage chest with the coat of arms of His Highness Augustus, in which there are various small things. Golden saddle of the deceased king Sigismund Augustus. A casket with small things and crane feathers" and also "A leaky watch (water hourglass)" and "Large old Turkish carpets, which were brought by Mr. Grudziński from Hungary from Machmet Basha", most probably offered by Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
The inventory does not include any Western, black costumes, however since the king used many items of his predecessor Sigismund Augustus, he undoubtedly had access to his extensive black Italian wardrobe. Curiously the black Italian hose with protruding codpiece were at that time in Poland considered by simple people as more effeminate than dress-like żupan of colorful Venetian fabric. "The nation is effeminate [...] Franca [syphilis], musk, lettuce, with them it came, These puffed hose, stockings, mostardas, The Italian haughty nation has recently brought here" (269, 272-274), wrote in his satire "Conversation of the New Prophets, Two Rams with One Head" (Rozmowa nowych proroków, dwu baranów o jednej głowie) published in 1566/1567, Marcin Bielski.
His interest in astronomy is confirmed by his support to the sorcerer Wawrzyniec Gradowski from Gradów and with a sojourn at his court of John Dee, an English mathematician, astronomer and astrologer and Edward Kelley, an occultist and scryer in March 1583 and April 1585, who were paid 800 florins by the king. He also transformed the Jesuit gymnasium in Vilnius into an academy (1578), where astronomy, poetry and theology were taught. Leaving Transylvania for Poland in 1576, he consulted astrologers, with whom he also set the date of his wedding with Anna Jagiellon.
Therefore Bathory was maybe more effeminate in his private life then in his public appearance, he was however one of the most eminent monarchs of this part of Europe, a wise and brave king who led the Polish-Lithuanian Republic to its greatest glory and power.
After 50 his health rapidly declined. As Sigismund Augustus, Bathory most probably suffered from syphilis, treated by his Italian physicians Niccolò Buccella and Simone Simoni. "The king his grace had on his right leg two fingers below the knee, up to the ankle, a kind of rash, in which there were sometimes shallow, flowing wounds. On that leg, lower than the knee, he had an apertura [ulcer]: and when little was leaking from it, he had no appetite, the nights were restless and sleepless." The portrait in Budapest by Leandro Bassano, which is very similar to other effigies of Bathory, undeniably show him in the last year of his life.
Portrait of king Stephen Bathory in kopieniak coat by Tintoretto, ca. 1576, Prado Museum in Madrid.
Portrait of king Stephen Bathory with hourglass and astrolabe by Francesco Bassano, ca. 1580, Ambras Castle in Innsbruck.
Portrait of king Stephen Bathory sitting in a chair by Leandro Bassano, ca. 1586, Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
Portrait of Cardinal Henry I, King of Portugal by Domenico Tintoretto
In 1579 brothers of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616), George (1556-1600), future cardinal, and Stanislaus (1559-1599), arrived in the capital of Portugal. "The coadjutor of Vilnius Radziwll, wrote to me from Lisbon on April 3 that he greeted the king dressed in cardinal's robes, but holding pleasantly a scepter in his old and weakened hand", wrote in a letter from Rome on June 6, 1579 the royal secretary Stanisław Reszka (1544-1600) about the audience before Cardinal Henry I (1512-1580), King of Portugal (after "Z dworu Stanisława Hozjusza: listy Stanisława Reszki do Marcina Kromera, 1568-1582" by Jadwiga Kalinowska, p. 221). Then, via Turin and Milan, the Radziwill brothers arrived in Venice in September 1579. From there they set off via Vienna to Poland and finally reached Kraków by the end of the year (after "Radziwiłłowie: obrazy literackie, biografie, świadectwa historyczne" by Krzysztof Stępnik, p. 298).
In 2022 the portrait of Cardinal-King of Portugal from private collection, created in Venice, Italy, was sold at the auction in Munich, Germany (Hampel Auctions, December 8, 2022, lot 238). It was painted by Domenico Tintoretto in 1579 as according to Latin inscription it depict the Cardinal-King at the age of 67 (HENR.S CARD.S / REX. PORTV / GALIAE. ETCZ [...] /. AETATIS / SVAE. LXVII.). Cardinal Henry, born in Lisbon on January 31, 1512, become the king of Portugal at the age of 66 (coronation in Lisbon on August 28, 1578) after death of his great-nephew King Sebastian, who died without an heir in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir that took place in 1578.
In January 1579 Jerónimo Osório da Fonseca (Hieronymus Osorius, 1506-1580), Bishop of the Algarve, Portuguese historian and polemicist, wrote a letter in Latin to "to the invincible Stephen Bathory, king of Poland" (inuictissimo Stephano Bathorio regi Poloniae) expressing his gratitude for reading his books (scripta namque mea tibi usque adeo probari ut in castris etiam, quotiens esset otium, otium illud te libenter in libris meis assidue uersandis consumere) (after "Opera Omnia. Tomo II. Epistolografia" by Sebastião Pinho, p. 214). Osório was a member of the royal council (Mesa da Consciência e Ordens), who advised the Cardinal-King on political matters.
It cannot be excluded that the portrait of the Cardinal-King was commissioned in Venice by the Radziwill brothers, or by the Cardinal-King through their intermediary, as a gift to the royal couple of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Queen Anna Jagiellon and her husband Stephen Bathory.
Portrait of Cardinal Henry I (1512-1580), King of Portugal, aged 67 by Domenico Tintoretto, 1579, Private collection.
Portraits of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" by Domenico Tintoretto and Francesco Bassano
Around 1550 in Lukiškės, a part of the city of Vilnius, located to the west and southwest of the Old Town, Nicolaus "the Black" Radziwill (1515-1565), cousin of Queen Barbara, built a magnificent renaissance villa or a summer manor house, beautifully located in the bend of the Neris river, surrounded by the steep banks of the river and a pine forest. The estate was owned by the Radziwill family from 1522 and called Radziwill Lukiškės, later Vingis in Lithuanian or Zakręt in Polish, both meaning a bend or a curve.
Lukiškės (Łukiszki in Polish) took its name from the name of a merchant, Łuka Pietrowicz, most probably a Ruthenian, who founded a settlement here in the 14th century in the land given to him by Vytautas the Great. It was also here that Vytautas settled the Tatars, who had their mosque in Lukiškės, and in the 15th century the district was also called Tatar Lukiškės (after "Przewodnik po Wilnie" by Władysław Zahorski, p.83).
Nicolaus "the Black", the strongest supporter of the Reformation in Lithuania, arranged a chapel for the Calvinists in one of the rooms. Protestants were active in the manor in the years 1553-1561, and the estate became the cradle of the Reformation in Lithuania. "In a room covered with a pall, in front of a table on which there were branched candlesticks with three Graces of Greek mythology, Czechowicz with Wędrychowski, Catholic priests in the past, taught from the pulpit the Lithuanian nobility", wrote Teodor Narbutt in his work published in Vilnius in 1856 ("Pomniejsze pisma historyczne szczególnie do historyi Litwy odnoszące się", p. 66). In 1558 a reformed school also started operating in the palace. Nicolaus "the Black" died in Lukiškės in May 28/29, 1565 and the estate was inherited by his sons. The eldest, Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616), received his primary education in Lukiškės in the Protestant gymnasium founded by his father. "In the 1550s and the 1560s the palace in Lukiškės was one of the most important centers of political, religious and cultural life of the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" (after "Miles Christianus et peregrinus: fundacje Mikołaja Radziwiłła "Sierotki" w ordynacji nieświeskiej" by Tadeusz Bernatowicz, p. 139). Between 1566-1574, the sons of Nicolaus "the Black" converted from Calvinism to Catholicism.
According to legend, Nicolaus Christopher received the nickname "the Orphan" in early childhood. Allegedly, once the King Sigismund Augustus found a child left unattended in one of the rooms of the royal palace, he caressed the child saying: "poor orphan". On June 20, 1569 he was granted the post of Court Marshal of Lithuania. Soon "the Orphan" became close to the king and carried out his personal assignments until his death.
In 1567, Nicolaus Christopher "the Orphan" inherited his father's estate and became the guardian of his younger brothers and sisters. He was a capable diplomat and in 1573, he headed the embassy to Paris to Henry of Valois. The journey at the turn of 1573 and 1574 lasted six months. After returning to the Commonwealth, he fell seriously ill and vowed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as soon as his health allowed. It is believed that Nicolaus Christopher was ill with gout and some kind of venereal disease. He set out in the autumn of 1580 and after treatment near Padua and Lucca, he spent the entire spring of 1581 in Venice, also visiting Padua and Bologna. There was a plague in the Middle East at that time, so "the Orphan" changed his plans and returned the Commonwealth in April 1581. In 1582 he again left for Italy, from where in 1583 he went to the Holy Land.
Together with his brothers Albert (1558-1592) and Stanislaus (1559-1599), he created the Nesvizh, Kletsk and Olyka entails in 1586, becoming the first Nesvizh ordynat. He was also Grand Marshal of Lithuania from 1579 and castellan of Trakai from 1586. In 1584 Stanislaus, nicknamed "the Pious", first ordynat of Olyka, offered part of the Lukiškės estate to the Jesuits and in 1593 he also donated the remaining part of the Lukiškės estate with the palace and other buildings.
Jesuit Lukiškės became the intellectual and cultural center of Vilnius at that time. In the years 1593-1774, traditional ceremonies of conferring academic degrees were held there. From 1646, there was a garden of medicinal herbs, and tinctures and mixtures were sold in the Jesuit Academic Pharmacy. In March 1647 the Jesuits offered a sumptuous feast in the villa in Lukiškės to the royal couple, Ladislaus IV and Marie Louise Gonzaga, who visited the academy. Between 1655 and 1660, during the Deluge, like much of the capital of Lithuania, Lukiškės and Tatar estates were destroyed. In the place of a manor house or near to it, in the years 1757-1761, the Jesuits built a baroque three-story palace to design by Johann Christoph Glaubitz. According to Teodor Narbutt ("Pomniejsze pisma historyczne szczególnie do historyi Litwy odnoszące się", p. 66-67), in the chapel in the left wing of the palace there was a beautiful painting of the "Three Marys going to the tomb of the Savior, painted by the Italian school", possibly from the Radziwill collection, lost after 1793.
During his stays in Venice in 1580 or 1582 "the Orphan" commissioned a marble altar of the Holy Cross, created in 1583, which was originally intended for the parish church in Nesvizh, built in the years 1581-1584, later moved to the new Corpus Christi Church, constructed between 1587-1593 by Gian Maria Bernardoni. The altar is attributed to Girolamo Campagna (1549-1625), a sculptor from Verona and a pupil of Jacopo Sansovino, and a signature of his collaborator Cesare Franco (Franchi, Francus, Francho) from Padua is visible on the base: CESARE DE FRANCHI PATAVINO OPVS FEC ... /...CHI LAPICIDA VENETIIS 1583. The sculptures were probably transported to Nievizh in 1586, and the permit issued by the Doge of Venice, Pasquale Cicogna (1509-1595), for the transport of marbles probably concerns the altar of the Holy Cross (after "Rzeźby Campagni i Franco w Nieświeżu a wczesny barok" by Tadeusz Bernatowicz, p. 31) or other sculptures commissioned in Venice.
Marble bust of a painter Francesco Bassano the Younger (1549-1592), the eldest son of Jacopo and brother of Leandro, from his tombstone in the church of San Francesco in Bassano (today in the Museo Civico di Bassano del Grappa), created in about 1592, is also attributed to Campagna as well as bust of Christopher Nicolaus Radziwill (1590-1607), Nicolaus Christopher's son, in the Corpus Christi Church in Nesvizh.
Portrait of young man in a black coat lined with lynx fur and with a landscape visible in the distance through a window, was acquired by the Pushkin Museum in Moscow in the 1930s from an unknown source as the work of the painter from the Bassano circle (inventory number 2842). It is today attributed to Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635), the eldest son of Jacopo, who from 1578 was already involved in Tintoretto's Gonzaga cycle and participated in the redecoration of the Doge's Palace between 1580 and 1584.
The man presents his estate which resemble greatly the topography of the Vingis estate (Radziwill Lukiškės) in Vilnius, depicted on a map created in 1646 (collection of the Vilnius University), as well as on watercolor paintings by Seweryn Karol Smolikowski created in 1832 (National Museum in Warsaw, inventory number Rys.Pol.14339 MNW and Rys.Pol.14340 MNW), and by Marceli Januszkiewicz created in 1836 (National Museum of Lithuania). The architecture of his Italian-style villa is similar to the pavillons of the Radziwill Palace in Vilnius, the larger palace of the Calvinist branch of the family, depicted in 1653 medal by Sebastian Dadler. There is a church or a chapel far in the background with high tower, similar to that visible on 1646 map of Lukiškės (F), undoubtedly a Catholic temple. It can be assumed that it symbolizes the triumph of Catholicism over the cradle of the Reformation in Lithuania. The young man from the portrait is therefore the eldest son of Nicolaus "the Black", Nicolaus Christopher "the Orphan". He was depicted in very similar costume and in similar compositon (window, table) in a print created by Tomasz Makowski in Nesvizh in 1604 - Panegyric of the Skorulski brothers (Jan, Zachariasz and Mikołaj) on the occasion of receiving the office of voivode of Vilnius by Nicholaus Christopher (National Museum in Kraków, inventory number MNK III-ryc.-36976).
The same man, in similar costume, was also represented in another painting which was attributed to Domenico Tintoretto - Portrait of a man holding his right hand on his heart. This work comes from the collection of Géza von Osmitz (1870-1967) in Bratislava (sold in Vienna, 12 March 1920, lot 68). The style of this painting is more close to the Bassanos, especially portrait of King Stephen Bathory by Francesco Bassano the Younger from the Ambras Castle, identified by me.
The man from both described portraits bear a great resemblance to effigies of Nicolaus Christopher, all created in his later age, like engraving by Lukas Kilian, created in Augsburg in about 1610 (National Library in Warsaw, inventory number G.10401) or engraving by Dominicus Custos, published in 1601, after a drawing by the Veronese painter Giovanni Battista Fontana (1541-1587), who decorated the walls of the Spanish Hall at Ambras (Lithuanian Art Museum, inventory number LDKVR VR 667).
A two sided miniature in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (inventory number 1890, 4051, oil on copper, 10.2 cm) is on one side a reduced and simplified version of the painting by Bassano, showing the man in a similar pose but with a different hairstyle. Both portraits, although close to miniatures by the Bassanos in the Uffizi (1890, 4072, 9053, 9026), also relate to works of Sofonisba Anguissola, who moved to Sicily (1573), and later Pisa (1579) and Genoa (1581).
Portrait of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616) with a view of the Vingis estate (Radziwill Lukiškės) in Vilnius by Domenico Tintoretto, 1580-1586, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Portrait of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616) by Francesco Bassano the Younger or workshop, 1580-1586, Private collection.
Miniature portrait of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616) by workshop of the Bassanos or Sofonisba Anguissola, 1580-1586, Uffizi Gallery.
Entombment of Christ with the portrait of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" by Francesco or Leandro Bassano
On September 16, 1582 Prince Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616), Grand Marshal of Lithuania, accompanied by a dozen or so people (friends and servants), set off from his family castle in Nesvizh towards Venice from where in 1583 he went to the Holy Land. Through Dalmatia, the Greek islands, Tripoli, Damascus, he reached Jerusalem in the middle of the year, where in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher he was awarded the title of Knight of the Holy Sepulcher. Then through Egypt, where he had the opportunity to see the famous Great Sphinx, the eastern coast of Italy and again Venice he returned to his homeland on July 7, 1584.
Nicolaus Christopher was the son of Nicolaus Radziwill the Black and Elżbieta Szydłowiecka, daughter of Chancellor Krzysztof Szydłowiecki. After his father's death, as a result of his stay in Rome (he also visited Milan, Padua and Mantua), he converted in 1567 from Calvinism to Catholicism. Suffering from syphilis, in February 1580 he again went to Italy for treatment, near Padua and Lucca, and spent the turn of 1580-1581 in Venice, with an attempt to make an expedition to the Holy Land. He vowed that if his health would improve, he would go on a pilgrimage. Just few months after return from the Holy Land, on November 24, 1584, he married Princess Elżbieta Eufemia Wiśniowiecka (1569-1596), who was only 15 at the time and was 20 years younger than himself, and he had 6 sons and 3 daughters with her. In 1593, he and his wife left for the last time in his life the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, for treatment in a health resort in Abano Terme near Padua. Nicolaus Christopher died on February 28, 1616 in Niasvizh.
During his lifetime Radziwill founded himself a tombstone in the Jesuit Church in Nesvizh - mentioned in the inscription on the pedestal, as well as in the sermon given by the Jesuit Marcin Widziewicz during his funeral. The co-founder was the wife of Nicolaus Christopher, therefore it should be dated to 1588-1596. The general conception of the tomb was probably modelled after the tomb of Pope Sixtus V in Rome, executed between 1585-1591 by Domenico Fontana and the tomb of Queen Bona Sforza in Bari, created between 1589-1593. Nicolaus Christopher saw the coffin with the body of the Queen in Bari in March 1584 and not without significance were his contacts with Queen Anna Jagiellon, the founder of the tombstone in Bari. The center of his tombstone is filled with a plate with a relief image of the prince in profile kneeling in prayer, with his head raised and in pilgrim's attire. It is crowned with a triangular pediment with the Order of the Knight of the Holy Sepulcher. The tomb was designed by a Jesuit architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni (d. 1605) and created by an anonymous Italian sculptor active in Lesser Poland, possibly from the royal court.
The painting by Francesco or Leandro Bassano from the late 16th century in the Lithuanian National Art Museum in Vilnius, shows the scene of Entombment of Christ with a kneeling donor in the right corner, whose pose is identical with the pose of Nicolaus Christopher in his tombstone. The painting was owned by the Society of Friends of Science in Vilnius in 1937 and its earlier history is unknown. Similar scene of the Entombment was published on page 61 of Stanisław Grochowski's "The Jerusalem procession in the church of the glorious tomb of the Lord Jesus [...] taken from the books of the Jerusalem Peregrination or the Pilgrimage [...] of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwll, prince on Olyka and Nesvizh [...]" (Hierozolimska processia w kosciele chwalebne[g]o grobu Pana Iezusowego [...] wzięta z ksiąg Hierozolymskiey Peregrynatiiey albo Pielgrzymowania [...] Mikołaia Chrzysstopha Radziwiła na Ołyce y Nieświeżu książęcia [...]), published in Kraków in 1607.
The man bears a great resemblance to effigies of Nicolaus Christopher "the Orphan", especially to his earliest known portrait, a drawing by David Kandel in the Louvre Museum, created between 1563 and 1564 during his studies in Strasbourg.
Entombment of Christ with the portrait of Prince Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616) as donor by Francesco or Leandro Bassano, 1584-1596, Lithuanian National Museum of Art in Vilnius.
Portrait of Gustav Eriksson Vasa by Sofonisba Anguissola
In 1575 another inconvenient royal child was sent to be raised abroad, this time from Sweden to Poland. In August 1563 King Eric XIV of Sweden imprisoned Catherine Jagiellon, Duchess of Finland in Gripsholm Castle. She was released in 1567, but during this four-year imprisonment she gave birth to a daughter and a son, future Sigismund III. Catherine was crowned queen of Sweden in spring of 1569, when Eric was deposed. In March 1575, the Swedish Council of State decided to separate the seven-year-old boy Gustav Eriksson Vasa, the only son of Eric XIV, from his mother Karin Månsdotter, as king John III feared that the deposed Eric's followers in Sweden would use Gustav to be able to carry out their reinstatement plans. At Catherine's request her sister Anna agreed to take care of him.
He was well educated, attended the best Jesuit schools in Toruń and Vilnius and Collegium Hosianum in Braniewo. He knew many languages as well as astrology, chemistry and medicine. He travelled to Rome in 1586 and to Prague to meet Emperor Rudolf II, who learned about his chemical talent. As education and travel at that time were far more expensive than nowadays, he was not living in poverty as a prisoner or even a slave in chains in a poor and barbaric country, as some people want to believe.
A small portrait of a child by Sofonisba Anguissola in profuse mannerist frame from private collection in Switzerland shows a boy wearing an elegant black velvet doublet trimmed in gold, black hose and a black cape, like an attendant of the Jesuit school. The boy's features are very similar to these known from portraits of Eric XIV, his daughter Sigrid and to the portrait of a woman from Gripsholm Castle from about 1580, which is identified as Eric's step-sister Princess Elizabeth or his wife Karin Månsdotter. His pose and costume are almost identical with these visible in portrait of king John III of Sweden, husband of Catherine Jagiellon and Gustav Eriksson's uncle, in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, a copy of original portrait by Johan Baptista van Uther from 1582. Anguissola's portrait can be threfore dated to 1582, a year when Gustav Eriksson reached his legal age of 14, and it was commissioned by his foster mother, proud of her boy starting education, most probably as one of a series for herself, her friends in Poland and abroad.
Portrait of Gustav Eriksson Vasa (1568-1607) by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1582, Private collection.
Portrait of Beautiful Nana and her husband by Sofonisba Anguissola
Another mysterious portrait by Anguissola from the 1580s was acquired in 1949 by the National Museum in Warsaw from private collection. It was previously attributed to Giovanni Battista Moroni and it shows a man with his daughter.
The girl is holding a flower with four petals, similar to a primrose considered as a symbol of true (faithful) love, just as in "The Primrose" by John Donne (1572-1631), to white Caucasian rockcress (Arabis caucasica) or myrtle, consecrated to Venus, goddess of love and used in bridal wreaths - Pliny call it the "nuptial myrtle" (Myrtus coniugalis, Natural History, XV 122).
She wears a coral necklace, a fertility symbol in ancient Rome (after Gerald W. R. Ward's "The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art", 2008, p. 145), as in portraits of young brides by Florentine painter Domenico Ghirlandaio and in Polish folk costumes, and a symbol of protection, meant to bring good luck, as in portraits of court dwarf Magdalena Ruiz.
The red-haired man with blue eyes holds firmly a hand of young blue-eyed blond girl, this is not her father, this is her husband.
In 1581 Anna Jagiellon sent to her friend Bianca Cappello, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, one pretty, graceful female dwarf who could dance and sing. Monsignor Alberto Bolognetti, Bishop of Massa Marittima organized a travel for her from Warsaw through Kraków and Vienna. She was accompanied by "a Polish Gentleman named Mr. Giovanni Kobilmiczhi, and I [...] lingua Cobilnisczi, who is setting off in a carriage. I believe that the girl will feel comfortable, being highly recommended to the gentleman, and provided with whatever she needs to protect her from cold" (un Gentilhuomo Polaco nominato Signore Giovanni Kobilmiczhi, et mi [...] lingua Cobilnisczi, Il quale mettendo a viaggio in carozza. Mi credo che la fanciulla si condurrà comodamente, havendola lo massime al gentilhuomo molto raccomandata, et provista di qual che suo bisogno per difenderla dal freddo), according to the letter of February 15, 1581. The man was most probably Jan Kobylnicki, a courtier of king Stephen Bathory.
Beautiful Nana (Italian for female dwarf) was probably married after her arrival to Florence, possibly even with Kobylnicki or other Pole, and it was probably the Queen who commissioned her portrait with her husband from Anguissola, who moved from Pisa near Florence to Genoa in 1581. Consequently a two-sided portrait miniature of a female dwarf and her husband in the Uffizi Gallery painted in the style of Sofonisba from the same period, should be considered as effigy of parents of beautiful Nana.
Portrait of Beautiful Nana and her husband by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1581-1582, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait miniature of mother of Beautiful Nana by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1581-1582, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portrait miniature of father of Beautiful Nana by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1581-1582, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portraits of Griselda Bathory and Elżbieta Łucja Gostomska by Sofonisba Anguissola
To strengthen the influence of the Bathory family in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, king Stephen planned the marriage of his Calvinist niece Griselda (née Christine) with the widowed Grand Chancellor of the Crown, Jan Zamoyski, one of the most powerful men in the country.
They were married on June 12, 1583 at the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków. Griselda came to Kraków with a retinue of 1,100 people, including six hundred soldiers guarding the her dowry. The wedding celebration with truly royal splendor lasted ten days.
After Bathory's death in 1586, Zamoyski helped Sigismund III Vasa gain the Polish throne, fighting in the brief civil war against the forces supporting the Habsburgs.
Griselda died four years later on 14 March 1590 in Zamość, an ideal city designed by Venetian architect Bernardo Morando. The city was not far from the second largest city of the Commonwealth, Lviv, dominated by a Royal Castle.
The portait of a young lady by Sofonisba Anguissola from the National Art Gallery in Lviv is very similar to the portrait of Anna Radziwill née Kettler from about 1586 in the National Museum in Warsaw. Anna Radziwill was a wife of a brother of first wife of Zamoyski. Their headdresses or bonnets are very much alike, as well as the dress, ruff, jewels and even the pose. The woman in Anguissola's painting is holding a zibellino, a symbol of a bride, and a small book, most probably a Protestant bible. The features of the woman's face are very similar to portraits of Griselda's uncle, cousin and brother.
A miniature in Sofonisba's style in the Uffizi Gallery (Inv. 1890, 9048, Palatina 778), shows a girl in very similar dress inspired by Spanish fashion to that in Lviv portrait. Her jewelled headdress is not Western however, it is in Eastern style and similar to Russian kokoshnik (from the Old Slavic kokosh, which means "hen" or "cockerel"). Such headdresses carried the idea of fertility and were popular in different Slavic countries. In Poland they preserved in some folk costumes (wianek, złotnica, czółko) and become dominant at the court of Queen Constance of Austria in Warsaw in the 1610s and 1620s.
The girl is therefore Elżbieta Łucja Gostomska (later Sieniawska), who in about 1587 at the age of 13 (born 13 December 1573), entered the court of Anna Jagiellon and whose miniature the Queen could send to her friend Bianca Cappello in Florence. She was the child of a Calvinist Anzelm Gostomski (d. 1588), voivode of Rawa. Her mother, Zofia Szczawińska, fourth wife of Anzelm, who raised her in Sierpc was affraid that her beautiful and wealthy daughter would be abducted by suitors. In 1590, despite her aversion to marriage, she married the Calvinist Prokop Sieniawski, then the court cupbearer, whom Queen Anna and her relatives chose for her.
Consequently also other portrait, depicting a lady with a pendant with Allegory of Abundance, and attributed to Spanish school (Alonso Sánchez Coello) could be a work of Anguissola and identifed as a court lady of Anna Jagiellon. She could be Dorota Wielopolska, lady-in-waiting of the Queen who in May 1576 married Piotr Potulicki, Castellan of Przemyśl. The queen organized for her a lavish feast and a tournament at the Wawel Castle. The painting was aquired by the National Museum in Kraków from a private collection in Gdów near Wieliczka, which was owned by the Wielopolski family.
Portrait of Griselda Bathory (1569-1590) by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1586-1587, National Art Gallery in Lviv.
Miniature portrait of Elżbieta Łucja Gostomska (1573-1624) by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1586-1587, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Portrait of a young woman with a pendant with Allegory of Abundance, most probably Dorota Wielopolska by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1580s, National Museum in Kraków.
Portrait of Jan Tomasz Drohojowski by Leandro Bassano
Jan Tomasz Drohojowski (1535-1605) from Drohojów, near Przemyśl, was a son of Krzysztof Drohojowski, a nobleman of Korczak coat of arms, and Elżbieta Fredro. He had five sisters and two brothers, Kilian and Jan Krzysztof (died before December 12, 1580), the royal secretary. He studied at the University of Wittenberg (enrolled on June 21, 1555), with his brother Kilian in Tübingen, then alone in Basel in 1560. Well educated, knowing French, Italian and Latin, he began to serve the king Sigismund Augustus. He was sent by him with a mission to Italy. According to Krzysztof Warszewicki (1543-1603), he brought the king as a gift a horse of wonderful color and virtue (equum admirabilis coloris et bonitatis Regi donavit). After return he became the royal secretary and in 1569 in this capacity he signed three privileges. At the time of the king's death, he was in Knyszyn and prevented the royal property from being looted and at the Sejm of 1573, Jan Tomasz called for a punishment of those guilty of looting royal valuables.
Shortly thereafter, Jan Tomasz went to Kraków to participate in the reception ceremony of king Henry of Valois. He stayed in Kraków, performing his duties as secretary and courtier of the king, and he even borrowed a certain amount to king Henry. Then he was sent on several ambassadorial missions, including to France. He was present at the anointing of king Henry at Reims on February 13, 1575. On March 2, 1575 in a letter from Prague to Infanta Anna Jagiellon he reported to her about the coronation of Henry and his marriage with Louise of Lorraine. The Infanta, in a letter of April 10, 1575, written from Warsaw to her sister Sophia, calls Jan Tomasz a courtier of the King.
After returning from the mission in Courland in 1578, he hosted king Stephen Bathory for 5 days in Przemyśl (for which he spent 911 zlotys) and become the starost of Przemyśl. Also in 1578, he founded octagonal chapel of St. Thomas (Drohojowski Chapel) at the Przemyśl Cathedral, built in the Renaissance style. To put up one tower at the Przemyśl castle he spent 180 zlotys. At the end of January 1579 he was sent by the king to Constantinople (Istanbul).
In a letter of January 13, 1581 from Warsaw to Andrzej Opaliński (1540-1593), Court Crown Marshal, Mr Bojanowski calls Jan Tomasz, Gian Tomaso in Italian. In May 1583, princess Griselda Bathory, niece of the king, stayed in Drohojowski's Palace in Voiutychi, designed in Renaissance style by Italian architect Galeazzo Appiani from Milan, with her entire retinue of 500 infantry soldiers and 78 mounted knights. In 1588 he escorted to Krasnystaw, Archduke Maximilian of Austria (1558-1618), who stood as a candidate for the throne of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, taken captive at the Battle of Byczyna (24 January). Before December 20, 1589 Jan Tomasz was appointed the crown referendary because the letter of king Sigismund III from that date already gives him this title.
His career was facilitated by family ties with Jan Zamoyski, Great Hetman of the Crown, who entrusted the guardianship of his son Tomasz to him in 1589. He became friends with Mikołaj Herburt (1524-1593), castellan of Przemysl and he married his daughter, Jadwiga Herburt. From this marriage he had a son, Mikołaj Marcin Drohojowski, most probaly born in the late 1580s (he loses a trial in 1613 and in 1617 he sold Rybotycze estate to Mikołaj Wolski (1553-1630)). Jan Tomasz died in the Przemyśl castle on November 12, 1605 at the age of 70.
The portrait of a nobleman in a black French style costume lined with fur by Leandro Bassano, was offered to the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm in 1917. The aristocratic tone of this portrait is accentuated by the verticality of the figure, his pose and gloves. The date in upper left corner of the canvas was not added very skillfully, therefore we can assmue that it was added later by the owner or at his request, not by the original painter. According to this inscription in Latin, the man was 53 in June 1588 (AET . SVAE . / LIII / MĒS . VI / 1588), exactly as Jan Tomasz Drohojowski. Below there is also another date in Latin: March 27 (27 mês martij), which could be the date of birth of Jan Tomasz's son Mikołaj Marcin. The man's costume and pose as well as facial features bears a striking resemblance to a portrait of Jan Tomasz's brother Jan Krzysztof (d. 1580), the royal secretary, in the Przemyśl Cathedral. This portrait, created in the first half of the 18th century, is a copy of other effigy and is a pendant to a portrait of his brother Jan Tomasz, who as a starost (capitaneus) of Przemyśl, administrative official, equivalent to the County Sheriff, was depicted in an armor and holding an axe.
Portrait of Jan Tomasz Drohojowski (1535-1605), starost of Przemyśl aged 53 by Leandro Bassano, 1588, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto
After the death of Stephen Bathory in December 1586, when 63 years old elected Queen Anna Jagiellon, could finally rule on her own, she was most probably too sick and too tired to do this. She supported the candidature of her niece Anna or her nephew Sigismund, children of her beloved sister Catherine, Queen of Sweden as candidates in next election. Sigismund was elected the ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on 19 August 1587.
Raised in Protestant Sweden, where Flemish Domenicus Verwilt and Dutch Johan Baptista van Uther with their stiff realism were chief portraitists at the court of his father and his predecessor, he found "degenerated", frivolous style of the Venetians not very appealing to him, at least initially. Although, he commissioned paintings in Venice, all most probably destroyed, no portrait is mentioned in sources. He supported Martin Kober, a Silesian painter trained in Germany, as his main court portraitist. It was therefore his aunt Anna Jagiellon, who could order a series of portraits of her protégé from Tintoretto for her and for her Italian friends.
The portrait of a blond hair young man, wearing a tight black doublet in El Paso Museum of Art is very similar to other known portraits of the king, especially his effigy in Spanish costume by Jakob Troschel from about 1610 (Uffizi in Florence) and a portrait holding his hand on a sword, attributed to Philipp Holbein II, from about 1625 (Royal Castle in Warsaw).
Chronologically this portrait fit perfectly known portraiture of the king: portrait as a child aged 2 from 1568 (AETATIS SVAE 2/1568), created by Johan Baptista van Uther as gift for his aunt (Wawel), as a Duke of Finland aged 18 (AETATIS SVAE XVIIII), consequently from 1585, also created by van Uther in Sweden (Uffizi), next this portrait by Domenico Tintoretto from about 1590, when he was 24 and was already in Poland and then the miniature at the age of 30 (ANNO AETATIS XXX) from about 1596 by workshop of Martin Kober or follower (Czartoryski Museum). The painting was inscribed on the column (AETATIS…X…TORET), now mostly effaced.
His left hand looks like if was posed on a sword at his belt, however no object is present. It was probably less visible in a drawing or miniature sent to Tintoretto, hence he left his hand strangely in the air, a proof that the sitter was not in painter's atelier. Forgetting of such an important object in the 16th century male portraiture, could be also a result of a rush to accomplish some big royal commission. The Order of the Golden Fleece, basing on which some of Sigismund's portraits were identified, was granted to him in 1600.
It is highly probable that the painting showing the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in the National Museum in Warsaw, created by Domenico Tintoretto around that time (after 1588) was also commissioned by Anna. It was bequeathed to the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw by Piotr Fiorentini in 1858 and later purchased by the Museum. Its earlier history is unknown, therefore Fiorentini, born in Vilnius, who later lived in Kraków and Warsaw, could have acquire it in Poland or Lithuania. Anna was engaged in embellishment of the main church of Warsaw - Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and she also built 80-meter-long corridor (covered passage) connecting the Royal Castle with the Cathedral.
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1590, El Paso Museum of Art.
Baptism of Christ by Domenico Tintoretto, after 1588, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of princess Anna Vasa in Spanish costume by Domenico Tintoretto
In about 1583, after her mother's death, Anna Vasa like her aunt Sophia Jagiellon in 1570, converted to Lutheranism. Already in 1577, papal diplomacy proposed to marry her to an Austrian archduke, Matthias or Maximilian.
She arrived to Poland in Ocober 1587 to attend her brother's coronation and she stayed until 1589, when she accompanied Sigismund to meet their father John III of Sweden in Reval and then followed John to Sweden. Anna returned to Poland to attend the wedding of Sigismund with Anna of Austria in May 1592. When just few months later, on 17 November 1592, John III died, Sigismund was willing to abdicate in favor of Archduke Ernest of Austria, who was about to marry his sister Anna. This was also intended to alleviate the Habsburgs, who already lost in two royal ellections.
Archduke Ernest, the son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain, together with his brother Rudolf (Emperor from 1576), was educated at the court of his uncle Philip II in Spain.
To announce this turn in country's politics, where Anna Vasa become a focal point, her aunt most probably commissioned a series of portraits of her niece.
The portait by Domenico Tintoretto from the collection of Prince Chigi in Rome, now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, shows a woman in black saya, a Spanish court dress, from the 1590s, similar to that visible in the portrait of the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia by Sofonisba Anguissola in the Prado Museum from about 1597. However the white ruff collar, cuffs and her gold necklace are definitely not Spanish, they are more Central European and very similar to garments visible in portraits of Katarzyna Ostrogska from 1597 in the National Museum in Warsaw and in the portrait of Korona Welser by Abraham del Hele from 1592 in the private collection, they are not Venetian. The features of the woman's face are the same as in Anna Vasa's portrait from about 1605 and her miniatures from the 1590s identified by me (Marcin Latka). A book on the table beside her is therefore Protestant Bible, published in the small octavo format and landscape with rivers and wooded hills is how Tintoretto imagined her native Sweden.
The portrait of a man with a red beard from the same period in the National Museum in Warsaw and attributed to Tintoretto's workshop is almost identical in composition, techinique and dimensions. He is holding a similar book. It is therefore an important royal court official. The royal secretary from 1579 and a staunch Calvinist Jan Drohojowski (d. 1601) fit perfectly. From 1588 he was also a castellan of Sanok, hence one of the most powerful protestants in the country.
Drohojowski was the son of Stanisław Drohojowski, the promoter of Calvinism. His mother Ursula Gucci (d. 1554), also known as Urszula Karłowna, was also a protestant. She was a lady-in-waiting of Queen Bona and a daughter of Carlo Calvanus Gucci (d. 1551), a merchant and contractor, who arrived in Kraków in the retinue of Queen Bona and was later made Żupnik of the Ruthenian lands.
Portrait of princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) in Spanish costume by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1592, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Portrait of Jan Drohojowski, castellan of Sanok by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1592, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portraits of Anna of Austria and Anna Vasa by Sofonisba Anguissola
In 1586, to strengthen her nephew's chances in royal election, Queen Anna Jagiellon proposed a marriage between Sigismund and Anna of Austria (1573-1598). The Habsburgs had strong influences in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and their claims to the throne were supported by part of the nobility. Due to the political instability and Maximilian of Austria's desire for the Polish crown, Anna's parents, preferred the match with Henry of Lorraine.
The plans resummed in 1590 when Anna's engagement with Duke of Lorraine was broken off. In April 1592, the betrothal was formally celebrated in the Imperial Court in Vienna. Despite the opposition of the nobles, Sigismund and 18 years old Anna were married by proxy in Vienna on 3 May 1592. She arrived to Poland with her mother Archduchess Maria Anna of Bavaria and a retinue of 431 people. The young king welcomed his wife accompanied by the "old queen" Anna Jagiellon and his sister Princess Anna Vasa in Łobzów Palace near Kraków where four tents were set up, decorated in Turkish style for the feast. The young queen received rich gifts, including "Kanak necklace with large diamonds and rubies and oriental pearls, which are called Bezars 30" from the king, "a chain of oriental pearls and a diamond necklace, and two crosses, one ruby, the other diamond" from the "old queen" and "kanak necklace with a cross of rubies and diamonds pinned on one" from Princess Anna, among others. Also "the envoy from the Lords of Venice" brought gifts valued at 12,000 florins.
Anna of Austria's Spanish connections become very important soon after her arrival, when after death of his father Sigismund left for Sweden and was willing to abdicate in favor of Archduke Ernest of Austria, who was about to marry his sister Anna Vasa. Two of Anna's effigies by Martin Kober from about 1595 were later sent to dukes of Tuscany (both Francesco I and Ferdinando I were half-Spanish by birth, through their mother Eleanor of Toledo).
Three miniatures and a portrait, all in Sofonisba Anguissola's style, can be dated to around that time. One minature from the Harrach collection in Rohrau Castle in Austria, possibly lost, identified as effigy of Anna of Austria, shows de facto Anna Vasa with an eagle pendant. The other in the Uffizi Gallery (Inv. 1890, 8920, Palatina 650) depict Anna Vasa in more northern costume. The latter miniature is accompanied by very similar miniature of a lady in Spanish cosume with a necklace with Imperial eagle (Inv. 1890, 8919, Palatina 649), it is an effigy of Anna of Austria, the young queen of Poland and relative of the Holy Roman Emperors and the King of Spain.
The portrait by Sofonisba from private collection, which shows a blond lady with a heavy gold necklace is very similar to other effigies of Queen Anna of Austria, especially her portrait in Kraków, most probably by Jan Szwankowski (Jagiellonian University Museum) and engravings by Andreas Luining (National Museum in Warsaw) and Lambert Cornelis (Czartoryski Museum in Kraków).
The miniature of a man from the collection of Dukes Infantado in Madrid, painted in Sofonisba Anguissola's style shows a man in Eastern costume. His attire is very similar to these visible in a miniature with Polish horsemen from Albert of Prussia's "Kriegsordnung" (Military ordinance), created in 1555 (Berlin State Library) and in a portrait of Sebastian Lubomirski (1546-1613), created in about 1613 (National Museum in Warsaw). The features of the man's face are similar to miniature of Sigismund III Vasa (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum) and his portrait by Martin Kober (Kunsthistorisches Museum), both created in the 1590s. In the same collection of Dukes Infantado, there is also a miniature attributed to Jakob de Monte (Giacomo de Monte) from the same period, showing king's mother-in-law Archduchess Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551-1608).
Portrait of Queen Anna of Austria (1573-1598) by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1592, Private collection.
Miniature portrait of Queen Anna of Austria (1573-1598) in Spanish cosume by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1592, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Miniature portrait of Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1592, Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Miniature portrait of Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) with eagle pendant by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1592, Rohrau Castle.
Miniature portrait of King Sigismund III Vasa in Polish costume by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1592, collection of Dukes Infantado in Madrid.
Portraits of Sigismund Bathory at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto
After failed plans to cede the throne of the Commonwealth to Archduke Ernest, as no monarch could do this without approval from the Diet, the Holy See had proposed the marriage of Princess Anna Vasa to Sigismund Bathory, who both could rule the country during the absence of the king (Sigismund III left for Sweden in 1593).
Sigismund was the nephew of king Stephen Bathory, who on 1 May 1585 confirmed his legal age by dissolving the council of twelve noblemen who ruled Transylvania in his name and made János Ghyczy the sole regent.
After death of his uncle in 1586, he was one of the candidates to the throne of the Commonwealth. Sigismund knew Latin and Italian and in 1592 at his court in Alba Julia he had a large group of Italian musicians like Giovanni Battista Mosto, Pietro Busto, Antonio Romanini, or Girolamo Diruta among others.
In summer of 1593, he went to Kraków in disguise to start negotiations regarding his marriage with Anna Vasa. Possibly on this occasion either the Polish court or Sigismund himself ordered a series of portraits from Domenico Tintoretto. It is unknown why negotiations were eventually unsuccessful, possible reason might be his homosexuality. The elites were probably afraid of another frivolous "Valois", who will escape from the country after few months or it was Anna who refused to marry him.
Three years later however, on August 1595, Sigismund married Maria Christina of Austria, a sister of Anna of Austria (1573-1598), hence becoming brother-in-law of the king of Poland. It was regarded as a major political gain, but Sigismund refused to consummate the marriage.
In summer of 1596 he sent his confessor, Alfonso Carrillo, to Spain. The Jesuit asked Philip II for finacial aid, as well as the Order of the Golden Fleece for Sigismund. The king promised Carrillo, in addition to 80,000 ducats in aid and granting of high distinction, diplomatic aid to Poland.
On 21 March 1599 Sigismund formally abdicated receiving the Silesian duchies of Opole and Racibórz as compensation and left Transylvania for Poland in June. On 17 August 1599 Pope Clement VIII dissolved his marriage.
A young man in a ruff from the 1590s, known from a series of portraits by Domenico Tintoretto, his workshop and some Italian painter, resemble greatly Sigismund Bathory, who was 21 in 1593. One version, in Kassel, bears an inscription ANNO SALVTIS / .M.D.L.X.X.X.V. (In the year of Salvation 1585) on a letter placed on a table beside him, it is a letter from Sigismund's uncle, King Stephen of Poland confirming his rights to Transylvania and therefore his claims to King's inheritance. The other in private collection in Marburg is inscribed TODORE del SASSO / CIAMBERLANO / AETATIS SVAE XXXVI with an image of a key, therefore claiming to be Chamberlain Todore del Sasso, aged 36, however no such man is confirmed in sources, especially as a recipient of the Order of the Golden Fleece known from so many portraits, the inscription must be false. It cannot be also Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino as the effigy does not match with his features and he had his exquisit court painter Federico Barocci. Another portrait from the Swedish royal collection by Domenico's workshop is in Stockholm. It was probably sent to Sigismund III, when he was in Sweden for his coronation.
There is also another version, but by a different painter, in Mexico. It is attributed to Giovanni Battista Moroni or to Domenico Tintoretto, therefore stylistically close, to a painter born in Cremona, Sofonisba Anguissola, court painter of Spanish monarchs. The effigy is very similar to previous portraits, just the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece was added. It was commissioned by Polish court or Sigismund himself in about 1596 basing on effigy from 1593.
Portrait of Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1593, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel.
Portrait of Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto or workshop, ca. 1593, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Portrait of Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania at a young age by Domenico Tintoretto or workshop, ca. 1593, Private collection.
Portrait of Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania at a young age by circle of Giovanni Battista Moroni, most probably Sofonisba Anguissola after Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1596, Museo Nacional de San Carlos in Mexico.
Portrait of Agnieszka Tęczyńska as Saint Agnes by Francesco Montemezzano
In October 1594, when she was just 16 years old, the eldest daughter of Andrzej Tęczyński, Voivode of Kraków, and Zofia nee Dembowska, daughter of Voivode of Belz, married the widower Mikołaj Firlej, Voivode of Kraków from 1589. The wedding feast with the participation of the royal couple took place in the "Painted Manor" of the Tęczyński family in Kraków, later donated to the barefoot Carmelites (1610). The groom, brought up in Calvinism, secretly converted to Catholicism during his trip to Rome in 1569. He studied in Bologna.
Agnieszka was born in the lavish Tenczyn Castle, near Kraków on January 12, 1578 as the fourth child. Both of her parents died in 1588 and most probably then she was raised in the royal court of Queen Anna Jagiellon. In 1593 she accompanied the royal couple, Sigismund III and his wife Anna of Austria, on their trip to Sweden.
For some time, Tęczyńska's confessor was the Jesuit Piotr Skarga. After her husband's death in 1601, she took up the upbringing of her children, the administration of huge assets and she became involved in philanthropic and charitable activities. Widowed, Tęczyńska fell into devotion. She died in Rogów on June 16, 1644, at the age of 67, and was buried in the crypt at the entrance to the church in Czerna, she founded.
In the preserved paintings, offered to different monasteries, she is depicted in a costume of a widowed lady or in a Benedictine habit, like in a full-length portrait in the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków from about 1640, created by circle of royal court painter Peter Danckerts de Rij or in a three-quarter length portrait in the National Museum in Warsaw, created by Jan Chryzostom Proszowski in 1643. The latter portrait, very Italian in style, was most likely inspired by a portrait of Queen Anna Jagiellon by Sofonisba Anguissola.
A portrait in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH) depicts a lady with a lamb, an attribute of Saint Agnes, a patron saint of girls, chastity and virgins. "During the Renaissance, women who were soon to be married often associated themselves with this saint because Agnes chose to die rather than marry a man she did not love", according to MFAH catalogue. She is holding a Catholic book, most probably a volume of Saint Thomas Aquinas' "On the truth of the Catholic faith" (Incipit liber primus de veritate catholicae fidei contra errores gentilium). A rose-bush is in this context a symbol of the Virgin Mary and of messianic promise of Christianity because of its thorns (after James Romaine, Linda Stratford, "ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art", 2014, p. 111).
Woman's face is very similar to the effigies of Agnieszka Tęczyńska, later Firlejowa from the last decade of her life and to the portrait of her nephew, Stanisław Tęczyński in Polish costume, created by Venetian painter active in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Tommaso Dolabella.
The portrait was in von Dirksen's collection in Berlin before 1932 and stylistically is very close to portraits of Queen Anna Jagiellon by Francesco Montemezzano (died after 1602), a pupil and a follower of Paolo Veronese.
Portrait of Agnieszka Tęczyńska as Saint Agnes by Francesco Montemezzano, ca. 1592-1594, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Portrait of Queen Anna Jagiellon by Sofonisba Anguissola
In about 1550, a young Cremonese painter, Sofonisba Anguissola, created her self-portrait (private collection) in a rich dress and in a pose exactly the same as that visible in a portrait of Catherine of Austria, Duchess of Mantua and later Queen of Poland. Catherine's portrait, in Voigtsberg Castle, is attributed to Titian. Sofonisba either created this portrait, participated in its creation or saw it somewhere, as Mantua is not far from Cremona. It could be threfore Catherine, who introduced her to the Polish court, when in June 1553 she married Sigismund II Augustus. Around that time Sofonisba created her self-portrait at the easel, one of the best of her self-portraits, which she could sent to the Polish court as a sample of her talent. This portrait is now in the Łańcut Castle.
The portrait which was previously identifed as effigy of Catharine Fitzgerald, Countess of Desmond and Duchess of Dorset (d. 1625) in Knole House is very similar to effigies of Anna Jagiellon by Martin Kober and his workshop in coronation robes from the Sigismund's Chapel (1587) and in widow's clothing (1595) at the Wawel Castle. It was recently identified as portrait of Sofonisba Anguissola basing on a leaf from van Dyck's Italian Sketchbook. The inscription in Italian was evidently added later, as the year 1629 is mentioned in the text (the painter was in Italy between 1621 and 1627).
The drawing shows an old lady, similar to that from the Knole portrait. According to inscription it is an effigy of Sofonisba, whom the Flemish painter visited in Palermo: "Portrait of Lady Sofonisma painter made live in Palermo in the year 1629 on the 12th of July: her age 96 still having her memory and brain very prompt, very courteous" (Rittratto della Sigra. Sofonisma pittricia fatto dal vivo in Palermo l'anno 1629 li 12 di Julio: l'età di essa 96 havendo ancora la memoria et il serverllo prontissimo, cortesissima). However Sofonisba died on 16 November 1625 and according to sources she was born on 2 February 1532, hence she was 92 when she died. Van Dyck was in Palermo in 1624. If he could confuse the dates of Sofonisba's life, he could also confuse the portrait of Queen of Poland by her hand, created in about 1595, that she had, with her self-portrait (Keller Collection, 1610). He may also have seen the portrait elsewhere in Italy, or even in Flanders or England. The Knole portrait was most probably acquired from the English royal collection, therefore it is highly probable that Anna sent to Queen Elizabeth I her effigy, one from a series created by Anguissola.
In July 1589, English envoy Jerome Horsey, wanting to see Anna, sneaked into her palace in Warsaw: "before the windows whereof were placed pots and ranks of great carnations, gillyflowers, province roses, sweet lilies, and other sweet herbs and strange flowers, giving most fragrant, sweet smells. [...] Her majesty sat under a white silk canopy, upon a great Turkey carpet in a chair of estate, a hard-favored queen, her maids of honor and ladies attendants at supper in the same room". Queen Anna allegedly asked him, how Queen Elizabeth could "'spill the blood of the Lord's anointed, a queen more magnificent than herself, without the trial, judgment and consent of her peers, the holy father the Pope and all the Christian princes of Europe?' 'Her subjects and parliament thought it so requisite, without her royal consent, for her more safety and quiet of her realm daily endangered.' She shook her head with dislike of my answer", reported Horsey.
Anna died in Warsaw on 9 September 1596 at the age of 72. Before her death she managed to accomplish tomb monuments for herself (1584) and her husband (1595) in Kraków, created by Florentine sculptor Santi Gucci, and for her mother in Bari near Naples (1593), created by Andrea Sarti, Francesco Zaccarella and Francesco Bernucci. She was the last of the Jagiellons, a dynasty that ruled over vast territories in Central Europe since the late 14th century, when Polish nobles proposed to pagan Duke of Lithuania, Jogaila, to marry their eleven-year-old Queen Jadwiga and thus become their king.
Counter-Reformation, that she supported, and foreign invasions destroyed Polish tolerance and diversity, greedy nobles destroyed Polish democracy (Liberum veto) and invaders turned much of the country's heritage into a pile of rubble. The only portrait of the Queen in the nest of the Jagiellons - Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków was acquired from the Imperial collection in Vienna in 1936, just three years before World War II broke out. It was created by Kober in about 1595 and sent to the Habsburgs.
Self-portrait at the easel by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1554-1556, Łańcut Castle.
Portrait of Queen Anna Jagiellon by Sofonisba Anguissola, or a copy by Anton van Dyck, ca. 1595 or 1620s, Knole House.
Portrait of Queen Anna Jagiellon, a drawing by Anton van Dyck after lost painting by Sofonisba Anguissola, 1620s, British Museum.
Portrait of Prince Jerzy Zbaraski as Saint George by Paolo Fiammingo
In 1591, after initial studies in the country, the young Zbaraski brothers Jerzy (George) or Yuriy (1574-1631) and Krzysztof (Christopher) or Kryshtof (1579-1627), descendants of Ruthenian Prince Fyodor Nesvitsky (died before 1442), went on a long trip abroad. They visited Germany, Italy and France. They studied in Padua (1592-1593) and visited Venice, Rome and Naples. In France, they went to Lyon, Bordeaux and Paris. While studying abroad, the brothers converted from Calvinism to Catholicism, however, they were supporters of religious tolerance and opponents of the enormous influence of the Jesuit Order.
They returned to the country at the turn of 1594 and 1595. In the following year (1596) they participated in the expedition to Hungary, in the Moldavian expedition and in the siege of Suceava. In 1598 Jerzy was in the retinue accompanying King Sigismund III Vasa in Sweden.
Probably at the turn of 1600 and 1601, both Zbaraski brothers went to the Netherlands, where Jerzy studied Greek and history under Justus Lipsius in Louvain. Between 1602-1605, Krzysztof stayed in Italy again, where he mastered mathematical science under the supervision of Galileo. In 1616 also Jerzy returned to Padua where he enrolled at the university.
In 1620, after the death of Janusz Ostrogski, Jerzy Zbaraski was appointed Castellan of Kraków. Like his yonger brother Krzysztof, he was not married and had no children. The Zbaraski brothers were the heirs of their father's enormous fortune, in addition to the estates of their mother, Duchess Anna Chetvertynska (Czetwertyńska), a member of the Ruthenian princely family, who according to Józef Wolff were descendants of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev. In the 16th century Chetvertynski family owned large estates in Ukraine and Belarus and like Zbaraski family, they had Ruthenian Pogonia, displaying Saint George defeating the dragon, in their coat of arms.
Already in June 1589, in the retinue of bishop Radziwill and voivode Mikołaj Firlej, Jerzy visited the imperial court in Prague, where he had the opportunity to admire exquisite art collections of Emperor Rudolf II. From Venice, Jerzy, a great connoisseur and lover of art, brought the painting of Our Lady of Myślenice, later famous for miracles. According to "The History of the Miraculous painting of Our Lady in Myślenice", published in 1642 in Kraków, the original painting belonged to Pope Sixtus V, who left it in his will to the granddaughter of his sister, who became the abbess of a convent in Venice. When Prince Jerzy Zbaraski saw it in the convent, he wanted to have it, but the abbess did not want to give him the original, but agreed to make a copy. During the plague in Kraków in 1624, the painting was supposed to be burnt as "infected", but was spared from destruction. In 1633, the painting was transferred to the parish church in Myślenice. The image of the Virgin Mary is painted on a wood panel (50.3 x 67.8 cm) and because of some style similarities it is attributed to the Prague school from the beginning of the 17th century. The face and pose of the Virgin is however almost identical as in the painting showing Bathsheba at her bath (sold at Cambi Casa d'Aste in Genoa on 30 June 2020, lot 100), created by Paolo Fiammingo (Paul the Fleming, ca. 1540-1596). Fiammingo, born Pauwels Franck, was a Flemish painter, who, after training in Antwerp, was active in Venice for most of his life. He also possibly worked in Florence. Around 1573 he settled permanently in Venice, where he became a student of Jacopo Tintoretto. He opened a successful studio, which received commissions from all over Europe. One of his most important clients was Emperor Rudolf II and Hans Fugger, the heir of a German banking dynasty, who commissioned him in 1580 to produce several paintings to decorate the Swabian Escorial - Kirchheim Castle near Augsburg.
The style of the hand of Mary in Myślenice painting is similar to that visible in the Lady revealing her breast (An honest courtesan) by Domenico Tintoretto, dated to the 1580s (Prado Museum in Madrid, inventory number P000382).
The portrait of a man as Saint George in private collection, attributed to Italian or Venetian school, is also similar to Tintoretto's style. This small painting (28.7 x 21.7 cm) was painted on copper and the style of painting resemble more precisely the image entitled Profession of arms from the Munich Residence, attributed Fiammingo and created in the 1590s (Alte Pinakothek in Munich).
Prince Jerzy Zbaraski was a founder of at least two churches dedicated to his patron saint, Saint George. One in the main seat of the Prince and his brother, Zbarazh in Volhynia, was the burial place of part of the Zbaraski family. The wooden church and fortified Bernardine monastery was founded in 1606, and from 1627 the new brick church was built, most probably to design by Venetian architect and engineer of His Highness King Sigismund III Vasa, Andrea or Andrzej dell'Aqua, driving nearly 1,600 piles into the marshy area. This church was destroyed in 1648. In 1630 Zbaraski also founded Saint George's church in Pilica. Between 1611-1612, Krzysztof commissioned to Vincenzo Scamozzi in Venice, a project for a fortified palace intendend for Zbarazh. In a commentary to his design, published in 1615 in his "L'Idea Della Architettura Universale", Scamozzi recalled numerous meetings and discusions on military architecture with the learned Ruthenian aristocrat. It was however a design of the Flemish military engineer Hendrik van Peene and Venetian Andrea dell'Aqua that was used to built the new Zbarazh fortress between 1626-1631. His treatise on artillery "Praxis ręczna działa" from 1630 (manuscript in the Kórnik Library), dell'Aqua dedicated to Prince Jerzy Zbaraski.
In 1627 Jerzy founded the Zbaraski Chapel at the Gothic Dominican Church in Kraków, as a mausoleum for himself and his brother. It was built by the masons and sculptors Andrea and Antonio Castelli, probably according to the design of the royal architect Constantino Tencalla. In the baroque chapel there are monuments to two brothers carved in black Dębnik marble and white alabaster. Jerzy is depicted sleeping in armour and in a pose almost identical to that in the tomb monument of King Sigismund I the Old in the Sigismund's Chapel (1529-1531). His hairstyle is typical of a Polish-Lithuanian magnate from this period and he is holding his mace like if he was holding his manhood, a less subtle allusion to his virility or promiscuity. It is possible that some of the highly erotic works by Fiammingo were commissioned by Prince Zbaraski.
The man depicted as Saint George resemble Jerzy Zbaraski from his tomb sculpture, his portrait painted in the 1780s after original from the 1620s (Wilanów Palace in Warsaw) and effigies of his brother Krzysztof (National Museum of the History of Ukraine and Lviv National Art Gallery).
Jerzy was accused of a dissolute lifestyle and when he decided to put an end to coin counterfeiters with whom he was about to cooperate, they "persuaded one lady who visited the prince to give him a poison" (after "Niepokorni książęta" by Arkadiusz Bednarczyk, Andrzej Włusek).
Despite having no children, the memory of the last Prince Zbaraski preserved in the exquisite works of art that he commissioned.
Portrait of Prince Jerzy Zbaraski (1574-1631) as Saint George by Paolo Fiammingo, 1592-1594, Private collection.
Our Lady of Myślenice by Paolo Fiammingo, 1592-1594, Saint Mary's church in Myślenice.
Portrait of royal courtier Sebastian Sobieski by Leandro Bassano
Around October 16, 1593, king Sigismund III Vasa departed from Gdańsk for his coronation as the hereditary king of Sweden. He was accompanied by his courtiers, including Sebastian Sobieski (ca. 1552-1614), third son of captain Jan Sobieski (ca. 1518-1564) and Katarzyna Gdeszyńska. Earlier that year, in February, Sebastian was sent by the King as his envoy to the Lublin Sejmik (regional assemby). It is the first confirmed important function of this royal courtier. "Instructions for the Lublin Sejmik given from His Majesty to Sebastian Sobieski, a royal courtier in Warsaw on February 16, 1593", is in the Czartoryski Library in Kraków (BCz 390).
Sobieski most probably studied at the Calvinist school in Bychawa near Lublin. On December 17, 1576, probably thanks to the intercession of the Crown Vice-Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, he was admitted, as a page, to the court of king Stephen Bathory. Then, like his brothers, due to growing influence of the Counter-Reformation movement at the royal court, he converted to Roman Catholicism. On May 1, 1584, he was transferred to the group of salatariati saeculares (lay beneficiaries) in which he was until the death of the king. He became a supporter of Zamoyski, supported the election of king Sigismund III and, apparently, he participated in the defense of Kraków against the attack of the troops of Archduke Maximilian II in 1587 and the Battle of Byczyna in 1588. From May 1596, he held the position of Standard-Bearer of the Crown and as such he was depicted in the "Entry of the wedding procession of Sigismund III Vasa into Kraków in 1605" (Royal Castle in Warsaw).
Portrait of a bearded man in oriental costume from private collection in France, due some similarity to the style and, possibly, dates of his life is attributed to Hans von Aachen (1552-1615), a German painter trained in Italy. In 1592, while he was still working in Munich, von Aachen was appointed a court painter of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor and moved to Prague in 1596.
According to inscription in Latin in upper right corner the man was 41 years old in 1593 (ANNO 1593 / ÆTATIS 41), exacly as Hans von Aachen, but also Sebastian Sobieski, born in about 1552. The portrait is evidently not a self-portrait of imperial court painter and this wealthy nobleman was depicted in a crimson silk żupan buttoned up to with gold buttons, very similar to żupan buttons of Stanisław Piwo, deputy cup-bearer of Płock, from the second quarter of the 17th century (Skrwilno Treasure, Toruń Regional Museum). His black coat trimmed with lynx fur it is almost identical to the one shown in the portrait of Jan Opaliński (1546-1598), created in 1591 (National Museum in Poznań), or in Twelve Polish and Hungarian types by Abraham de Bruyn, created in about 1581 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). His lace collar is very similar to the one in the effigy of The Marshal (Stanisław Przyjemski with a marshal staff) from Stanisław Sarnicki's "Statutes and records of crown privileges" by Jörg Brückner in Kraków, created in 1594 (Czartoryski Library). Letters on the table are very important documents, most probably envoy instructions given by the king. The style of painting is identical with portrait of Doge Marino Grimani (1532-1605), created in about 1595 by Leandro Bassano, signed: LEANDER A PONTE BASS [ANO] EQVES F. (Princeton University Art Museum). The man bear a resemblance to effigies of Sebastian Sobieski's brother Marek Sobieski (ca. 1550-1605), voivode of Lublin (1862 woodcut after lost portrait from the Zamoyski collection) and his brother's descendant (Marek's grandson), king John III Sobieski (portrait painting from the 1670s in the Kórnik Castle).
Mentioned portrait of Jan Opaliński in Poznań, a copy of a painting destroyed during World War I (from the burnt manor house in Rogów near Opatowiec), is considered by Michał Walicki as a very definite manifestation of the Venetian tradition "referring to the portraits of the Bassanos" (after "Malarstwo polskie: Gotyk, renesans, wczesny manieryzm", p. 33). Stilistically very similar was the painting which was before World War II in the Saint Lazarus hospital in Warsaw bearing the inscription in Latin: R. P. PETRVS SKARGA SOCIETATIS IESV. It represented the court preacher of King Sigismund III Vasa, Piotr Skarga (1536-1612), who became the first priest to hold it. The hospital was established in 1591 on his initiative for the poor and lepers and the founder was depicted sitting in his study before a table covered with an oriental carpet.
Portrait of royal courtier Sebastian Sobieski (ca. 1552-1614) aged 41 by Leandro Bassano, 1593, Private collection.
Portrait of Jan Opaliński (1546-1598) aged 45 by follower of the Bassanos, 1591, National Museum in Poznań.
Portrait of preacher Piotr Skarga (1536-1612) by follower of the Bassanos, after 1591, Saint Lazarus hospital in Warsaw, lost.
Portraits of Anna Vasa and Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa by Sofonisba Anguissola
In 1594 a marriage project appeared during Anna Vasa's stay in Sweden. The candidate was John George of Brandenburg (1577-1624), the administrator of Strasbourg from 1592 and a grandson of the Brandenburg elector, who was to become the governor of Prussia, a feudal fief of the Crown of Poland.
Negotiations on this marriage were conducted on the Brandenburg side by the Magdeburg chancellor Wilhelm Rudolf von Meckbach and Johann von Löben who both travelled to Kraków, and on the Polish side by royal secretary Jan Skrzetuski, who travelled to Berlin, and Samuel Łaski. The date of the wedding was set for April 10, 1598 in Stockholm and Anna even received a dowry of 100,000 thalers from her brother Sigismund III Vasa, as well as jewelery, horses, furniture and 10,000 guilders as a wedding gift. Anna and her descendants were to be granted the inheritance rights to Sweden.
Death of John George, Elector of Brandenburg on 8 January 1598, death of Sigismund's wife Anna of Austria (1573-1598) on 10 February and the outbreak of the uprising in Sweden made it impossible to conclude the wedding at the planned place and date. When Sigismund's uncle depose him in Sweden, these plans did not materialize.
The portrait of a noblewoman and her husband in costumes from the late 1590s by Sofonisba Anguissola is very similar to other effigies of Anna Vasa. Her costume in Spanish style and pose resemble closely portrait of queen Anna of Austria by Martin Kober, created in 1595 (Bavarian State Painting Collections and Uffizi Gallery in Florence) and portrait of Archduchess Maria Anna of Bavaria (1574-1616) by Joseph Heintz the Elder, created in 1604 (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna). The man's costume is typical for France and Protestant countries in the late 16th century.
After return to Poland Sigismund made Anna starost of Brodnica on October 2, 1604, after death of Zofia Działyńska née Zamoyska and in December 1605 she attended Sigismund's wedding in Kraków, sitting in the bride's carriage. The negotiations with John George of Brandenburg were finally discontinued in 1609 and on June 3, 1610 he married Eva Christine von Württemberg (1590-1657), while Anna remained unmarried.
The oval portrait in private collection, very similar to Anna's miniature in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, is also stylistically close to Sofonisba as well as a miniature of Prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa in the Bavarian State Painting Collections.
Portrait of Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) in Spanish costume by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1598, Private collection.
Portraits of Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) and John George of Brandenburg (1577-1624) by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1598, Private collection.
Portrait of Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625), starost of Brodnica by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1605, Private collection.
Miniature of Prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa by Sofonisba Anguissola, ca. 1605, Bavarian State Painting Collections.
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa in armour by Domenico Tintoretto
"The imago will be gratiosissima to the King. The King His Highness waits for paintings with great joy: a strange thing how he loves when he has something wonderful" (Imago będzie Królowi gratiosissima. Obrazów król Jmć czeka z wielką radością: dziwna rzecz jako się w nich kocha kiedy co cudnego ma), reveals in a letter dated July 12, 1588, written to Stanisław Reszka (1544-1600), who was in Rome, a Jesuit Bernard Gołyński (1546-1599) about the paintings commissioned by Sigismund III Vasa in Italy.
Sigismund was also a talented painter and goldsmith. According to historian Franciszek Siarczyński (1758-1829) in his "Picture of the Era of Sigismund III" (Obraz wieku panowania Zygmunta III), the king with the help of his court goldsmith, a Venetian Redutti (Reduta, Redura) made many church utensils, such as monstrances, chalices, lamps and candlesticks, which he gave to several churches.
In the collection of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich there is a painting which according to Edward Rastawiecki in his "Dictionary of Polish painters" (Słownik malarzów polskich, pp. 96-97) is "another work of this kind" and it was given to king's daughter Anna Catherine Constance Vasa, "on the back, the preserved inscriptions and seals confirm the origin and authenticity of this interesting souvenir". This work is however listed in Johann Nepomuck Edler von Weizenfeld's "Description of the electoral picture gallery in Schleissheim" of 1775 as the work of Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti, 1518-1594). Stylistically the painting is very close to this Venetian painter and his son Domenico (1560-1635).
The monarch with the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece is very similar to that visible in the study for a portrait of a king, most probably Sigismund III Vasa, in the collection of Francis Springell, attributed to Peter Paul Rubens, and to Sigismund's effigy in the Procession with St. Anianus by circle of Tommaso Dolabella in the Corpus Christi Church in Kraków. In the background, among the colonnades, there is a statue of the Madonna and Child, and in the clouds the figure which is interpreted as Saint Sigismund, patron saint of the monarchs. Heresy, depicted as an old woman, lies chained on the steps of the church. On the right are two Jesuits.
Saint Sigismund has also a chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece and he bears a strong resemblance to Sigismund III's father-in-law Archduke Charles II of Austria (1540-1590), son of Anna Jagellonica. His crown is bordered with ermine like the Archducal hat (coronet). Curiously also the crown of the main monarch is bordered with ermine. It might be the painter's mistake or that Sigismund III commissioned an effigy of his brother-in-law Ferdinand II (1578-1637) who was raised by the Jesuits and dealt with heresy in his country before becoming emperor in 1619.
Sigismund III received the Order of the Golden Fleece from his brother-in-law king Philip III of Spain in 1600. On this occasion he commissioned silver table service in Augsburg for 20,000 florins. The service, created by Hermann Plixen, was used for the first time during a banquet at the Castle in Warsaw on February 25, 1601. The king also commissioned other exquisite items in Augsburg, like the silver sarcophagus of Saint Stanislaus for the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, and in other locations. Through his agent in Persia, Sefer Muratowicz, he commissioned a series of kilims with his coat of arms in 1601 and in about 1611-1615 he purchased a series of 6 tapestries in François Spierincx's workshop in Delft with the Story of Diana. On October 29, 1621 Jan Brueghel the Elder wrote to E. Bianchi about sending a lot of paintings to the King (molti pitture al Re) and the "Battle of Kircholm in 1605" by Pieter Snayers, also created for Sigismund, is today in the Château de Sassenage. In Milan, in about 1600, he commissioned a crystal lavabo (ewer and basin) with his coat of arms and monogram (Treasury of the Munich Residence) and most probably the shishak helmet offered to Feodor I of Russia (Kremlin Museum), created before 1591. His portraits in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, lost during World War II, and in the Wilanów Palace in Warsaw represent him in a rich, chiselled, partially gilt and polychromed blue armor in the type of mezza armatura (half armor), probably made in Milan.
Portrait of a man in a suit of armour etched with gold by Domenico Tintoretto of unknown provenance (sold in 2016 at Christie's, lot 163), has almost identical dimensions as effigy of Sigismund III's sister Anna Vasa by Domenico Tintoretto in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (115.3 x 96.1 cm / 115.5 x 96.7 cm). It is possible that they were created at the same time. The man bears a great resemblance to the effigies of Sigismund III Vasa from the early 17th century, especially his portrait painted in Prague in about 1605 by court painter of Emperor Rudolph II, Joseph Heintz the Elder (Alte Pinakothek in Munich).
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa in a suit of armour etched with gold by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1592-1600, Private collection.
Allegory of suppression of heresy by Domenico Tintoretto, 1600-1619, Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa as Saint Sigismund by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto
Around 1600, most likely an Italian painter Ottavio Zanuoli (d. 1607), created a painting depicting the Communion of the Virgin, today in the Royal Convent of Las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Zanuoli was a court painter of Archduke Charles of Styria (son of Anna Jagellonica) and his wife Archduchess Maria Anna of Bavaria (granddaughter of Anna Jagellonica). According to handwritten list of all the effigies fixed on the back of the canvas, the painting represent the family of Archduke Charles, depicted as Saint John the Apostle, giving communion to the Virgin. His son Charles of Austria (1590-1624), Prince-Bishop of Wrocław from 1608, is holding a jug as a deacon of the mass. Behind Archduchess Maria Anna, represented as the Virgin Mary, are her daughters including Anna (1573-1598) and Constance (1588-1631), two wives of Sigismund III Vasa. The painting was undoubtedly a gift to Margaret of Austria (1584-1611), a daughter of Charles and Maria, who on 18 April 1599 married King Philip III of Spain, her first-cousin. Margaret became a very influential figure at her husband's court and a great patron of the arts.
In 1603 the Queen of Spain commissioned paintings to her private oratory in the Valladolid palace, painted by Juan Pantoja de La Cruz, today in the Prado Museum in Madrid. One, the Birth of the Virgin shows three of her sisters, together with their mother, Archduchess Maria Anna of Bavaria, the other, the Nativity of Jesus, shows three of her brothers and three of her sisters, the Queen as the Virgin Mary and her husband as a shepherd.
Around 1620, the youngest of Charles and Maria's daughters, Maria Magdalena, who on 19 October 1608 married Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was represented as Saint Mary Magdalene in a painting by Justus Sustermans, preserved in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and in a workshop copy in private collection.
Such effigies, in guise of Saints and biblical figures were also popular at the Polish-Lithuanian royal court at that time. The Communion of the Jagiellons at Jasna Góra in 1477 (Casimir IV Jagiellon with his sons admitted to Jasna Góra Confraternity), created by workshop of Venetian painter Tommaso Dolabella in the second quarter of the 17th century (Jasna Góra Monastery), shows King Sigismund III and his sons as their predecessors from the Jagiellon Dynasty kneeling before the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. In the Jasna Góra Monastery, there are also two other paintings created by workshop of Tommaso Dolabella depicting Saints Stephen and Ladislaus, Kings of Hungary, both bearing features of King Sigismund III Vasa and a costume known from other portraits of the king.
A painting by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto, also attributed to his brother Marco, whom the father's will names as a painter in Domenico's workshop, from a private collection in Southern Germany (oil on canvas, 113 x 89 cm, sold at Lempertz, Cologne on May 2003, lot 1133), basing on some details of the painting is identifed as depicting Saint Louis IX, king of France, kneeling before the Crucifix. The traditional symbols of this Saint are indeed visible in the painting, fleur-de-lis on his coat, pendant, crown and sceptre, however there is also a crown embroidered on his coat and the attire is not blue like in the French royal coat of arms, golden fleur-de-lis on a blue field, used continuously for nearly six centuries (1211-1792). Italian painters since the beginning of the 16th century were well aware how the French king should look like and paintings by Ambrogio Bergognone, active in and near Milan, created between 1500-1520 (Accademia Carrara in Bergamo), by Berto di Giovanni, active in Perugia, created in about 1517 (Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria), by Francesco Curradi, active in Florence, created in about 1600 (Private collection) and Matteo Rosselli, active in Florence, painted between 1613-1614 (Chiesa della Madonna in Livorno), depict the Saint in a mantle of French monarchs with golden fleur-de-lis on a blue field. The Saint from the Tintoretto's painting is therefore not Saint Louis IX. Another saint monarch connected with France is Saint Sigismund (Latin Sigismundus, died 524 AD), King of the Burgundians, patron saint of monarchs and of the Kingdom of Bohemia (in 1366, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, transferred Sigismund's relics to Prague and gave the saint's name to one of his sons, the later King Sigismund of Hungary). Arm reliquary of Saint Sigismund from the Guelph treasure, created in the late 11th century (Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin), was in the late 13th or early 14th century supplemented with an orb surmounted by a fleur-de-lis, a shortened representation of a lily-crowned scepter.
Altar painting with Saint Sigismund in the Parish church in Słomczyn near Warsaw (Konstancin-Jeziorna), created in about 1895 after a lost original, is very similar to the painting by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto. The Saint is kneeling before the Crucifix, his crown and sceptre are on a table covered with crimson fabric, his golden mantle and pendant are also very much alike. Another painting in the same church from the 19th century feretory depict Saint Sigismund in similar golden tunic and kneeling before the altar. The church in Słomczyn was founded at the beginning of the 15th century by Mrościsław Cieciszewski and the main patron of the parish from the very beginning was Saint Sigismund. During the Deluge (1655-1660) the church was plundered and invaders destroyed the altars.
In 1165 Werner, bishop of Płock (north of Warsaw), brought the relics of Saint Sigismund from Aachen. In 1370 King Casimir III the Great, commissioned a silver reliquary for the Saint, today in the Diocesan Museum in Płock, and in 1601 King Sigismund III Vasa ordered the 13th century diadem to be placed on the reliquary of his patron saint. Sigismund III was frequenlty depicted in a similar żupan-like attire to that visible in Tintoretto's painting, for example in the mentioned Communion of the Jagiellons, in another painting by circle of Tommaso Dolabella representing Tsar of Muscovy Vasili Shuisky swearing an oath of allegiance at the Parliament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1611 (Lviv Historical Museum) and in the plaque from his sarcophagus with King's military campaigns, created in 1632 (Wawel Cathedral). The man from the Tintoretto's painting bear a resemblance to the portrait of Sigismund III Vasa in a suit of armour etched with gold by the same painter, created between 1592-1600 (Private collection), his effigy in the Battle of Smolensk by Antonio Tempesta or Tommaso Dolabella, painted after 1611 (Private collection) and his profile on gold 10 ducats coin (portuguez), minted by Rudolf Lehman in Poznań in 1600 (National Museum in Kraków). The overall composition resembles the portrait of Piotr Skarga (1536-1612), court preacher of Sigismund III, created in 1588 by Karel van Mallery (National Library of Spain in Madrid).
The painting by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto was in the collection in Southern Germany, exaclty as Allegory of suppression of heresy by this painter from the collection of Sigismund III's daughter (Alte Pinakothek in Munich). The king often sent gifts to William V, Duke of Bavaria, like the reliquary of Saints John the Baptist and Dionysius the Areopagite, offered in 1614 (Treasury of the Munich Residence) or silver statue of St. Benno of Meissen offered to the altar of St. Benno in the Munich Cathedral, created by Jeremias Sibenbürger in 1625 in Augsburg (Diocesan Museum in Freising). Together with the statue of St. Benno, the king also donated two silver reliquaries in the shape of a hand (not preserved) and 10,000 guilders for celebrating the daily mass, the so-called Polish mass, in the Cathedral.
Portrait of King Sigismund III Vasa as Saint Sigismund kneeling before the Crucifix by workshop of Domenico Tintoretto, 1592-1600, Private collection.
Portrait of Janusz I Radziwill by Leandro Bassano
"The Polish Lord, at whose court Michelagnolo was already employed, has recently written, that he must go there as soon as possible, offering him a most honorable position, that is, a place at his table, dressed like the first gentlemen of his court, two servants, who will serve him, and a carriage with four horses, and more than 200 Hungarian ducats a year's allowance, that is about 300 scudi, except donations, which will be a lot; so that he is resolved to leave as soon as possible, nor expects anything other than the opportunity of good company, and I believe that he will depart in fifteen days, so I must arrange him with money for the journey, and in addition it is necessary for him to bring with him at the request of his Lord some things, for which among the provision for a journey and the said things I cannot fail to accommodate at least 200 scudi" (Signor Pollacco, a presso di chi è stato Michelagnolo, ha ultimamente scritto, che ei deva quanto prima andare là da lui, offerendoli partito honoratissimo, cioè la sua tavola, vestito al pari dei primi gentil' homini di sua corte, due servitori, che lo servino, et una carrozza da quattro cavalli, et di più 200 ducati ungari di provvisione l'anno, che sono circa 300 scudi, oltre ai donativi, che saranno assai; tal che lui è risoluto di andar via quanto prima, nè aspetta altro che l'occasione di buona compagnia, et credo che tra quindici giorni partirà, onde a me bisogna di accomodarlo di danari per il viaggio, et in oltre bisogna che porti seco ad instanza del suo Signore alcune robe, che tra 'l viatico et le dette robe non posso far di manco di non l'accomodare almeno di 200 scudi), informed his mother in a letter from Padua in the Venetian Republic of August 7, 1600 (Mss. Palatini, Parte I, Vol. IV, pag. 11.), Galileo Galilei, famous Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer.
Already in 1593 Michelagnolo Galilei (1575-1631), an Italian composer and lutenist, son of another composer and lutenist, Vincenzo Galilei, and the younger brother of Galileo went to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where foreign musicians were in great demand. Most likely invited by the influential Radziwill family, he stayed there till 1599 and returned to his previous employer in Poland-Lithuania in 1600 after a short stay in Italy.
The "Polish Lord", Michelagnolo's parton, is somerimes identifed as Christopher Nicolaus Radziwill (1547-1603) nicknamed "the Thunderbolt", voivode of Vilnius, Grand Hetman of Lithuania and a representative of the Birzai branch of the Lithuanian magnate family (after "Galileo Galilei e il mondo polacco" by Bronisław Biliński, p. 69), who employed several musicians at his court. Christopher Nicolaus was a son of Nicolaus "the Red" Radziwill (brother of Queen Barbara), a Calvinist and protector of the Calvinists in Poland-Lithuania. By his second wife Katarzyna Ostrogska (1560-1579), daughter of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), he had a son Janusz I (1579-1620), educated in Strasbourg and Basel. Janusz also traveled to Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, and France. From 1599 he was a cupbearer of Lithuania and on 1 October 1600 he married the Orthodox Princess Sophia Olelkovich-Slutska (1585-1612), the heiress of Slutsk and Kopyl (in present-day Belarus) and the richest bride in Lithuania.
Sophia, canonized by the Orthodox Church in 1983, died in childbirth on March 19, 1612, leaving all of her property to her husband, and just few months later, on March 27, 1613 in Berlin, Janusz married Elizabeth Sophie of Brandenburg (1589-1629), a daughter of the Brandenburg Elector John George (1525-1598) and a great-granddaughter of Barbara Jagiellon (1478-1534), Duchess of Saxony.
It is possible that Michelagnolo was invited to the Commonwealth for the wedding feast of Janusz and Sophia. According to a Galileo's letter from Padua of November 20, 1601 to his brother in Vilnius, he also traveled to Kraków and Lublin. In April 1606 he returned to Italy to live with his brother in Padua. On May 11, 1606 Galileo wrote to him from Venice about negotiating with a German Lord (Signore tedesco) and he secured him a place at court of the Bavarian Elector in Munich. In 1608 Michelagnolo was married to Chiara Anna Bandinelli in Bavaria, whom he most likely met in Lithuania and who was the sister or daughter of Roberto Bandinelli, nephew of the famous Florentine sculptor Bartolommeo called Baccio, who settled with his family in Lithuania (after "Archivio storico italiano", Volume 17, p. 31).
According to the catalogue of exhibition of portraits in the Hague in 1903 (Meisterwerke der Porträtmalerei auf der Ausstellung im Haag, p. 2, item 2a), in the collection of Princess Cecylia Lubomirska née Zamoyska (1831-1904) in Kraków there was a portrait of a lute player by Leandro Bassano. It was later owned by Cecylia's son Kazimierz Lubomirski (1869-1930), most probably lost during World War II.
A young man with several rings on his left hand is playing a serenade on a lute to his beloved. He is listened to by his dog, conventional symbol for fidelity, especially marital fidelity, wearing an expensive collar, possibly bearing his coat of arms. The window in the background shows his house, an Italian-style villa similar to the pavillons of the Radziwill Palace in Vilnius, the larger palace of the Calvinist branch of the family. The Radziwill Palace, initially a renaissance manor house built in the 16th century, was reconstructed and extended between 1635 and 1653 for Janusz II Radziwill (1612-1655), nephew of Janusz I (1579-1620). The lavish edifice was constructed by Jan Ullrich and Wilhelm Pohl to design by Italian architect, most probably Constantino Tencalla, and was depicted in 1653 medal by Sebastian Dadler, minted on the occasion of the inauguration of Janusz II as the Voivode of Vilnius.
The lute player from the Lubomirski collection was signed and dated by the artist. The inscription in Latin stated that the depicted man was 21 years old in 1600 (Anno aetatis suae XXI, MDC), exaclty as Janusz I Radziwill (born in July 1579 in Vilnius), when he married Sophia Olelkovich-Slutska. The sitter bear a great resemblance to other effigies of the Prince, especially a print by Jan van der Heyden after Jacob van der Heyden, created in 1609 (Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum), a portrait by unknown artist (State Historical Museum in Moscow) and a medal with his bust, published in Berlin in "Medals of the princely house of Radziwill" (Denkmünzen des Radziwillschen Fürstenhauses, 1846).
It is generally belived that Bassano's lute player is tantamount to a painting acquired in Venice by Count Stanisław Kostka Potocki (1755-1821), who recalled in a letter to his wife of September 22, 1785 from Venice: "I end my article on Venice by telling you that I have acquired one of the freshest paintings of Paolo Veronese that I have ever seen, it is a Holy Family of the size of your Rubens, I hope that you will be happy with it, adding here a portrait of Bassen playing the lute painted by himself which is really a masterpiece of this master, and you will be happy with this acquisition (je finis mon article de Venise, par te dire que j'ai fait l'aquisition d'un des plus frais tablaux de Paule Véronèse que la aie jamais vue, c'est une St. Famille de la grandeur à peu près de ton Rubens, j'espère que la en sera contente, ajoute ici un portrait du Bassen jouant du luth peint par lui meme qui est vraiment un chef d'œuvre de ce maître, et tu sera contente de moi, Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, 262 t. 1, page 60). Veronese's Holy Family is today most probably in the Wilanów Palace (inventory number Wil.1000, also considered to be the painting purchased in Paris in 1808) and it is currently attributed to his brother Benedetto Caliari. Even if the lute player from the Lubomirski collection was acquired by Potocki in Venice, it does not exclude that it represents a person from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as paintings commissioned abroad were frequently created in series, as gifts to relatives and friends. In this case the possibility that it was a gift to the tutor's brother, Galileo Galilei, or his family is probable. If Michelagnolo was a court musician of Christopher Nicolaus "the Thunderbolt", he could teach music to his son Janusz I.
"It was customary that the orders of Polish clients abroad were paid through the bankers' offices that organized the transport. Thus, the intermediary between Sigismund III and Chancellor Zamoyski, on the one hand, and Italian painters, on the other, was the Montelupi company from Kraków, whose post office brought finished and paid works to Poland. Gdańsk bankers mediated between our country and the Netherlands, and thanks to their efforts, paintings and fabrics ordered by Ladislaus IV in Antwerp were transported by sea through the Danish straits" (after "Obrazy z kolegiaty łowickiej i ich przypuszczalny twórca" by Władysław Tomkiewicz, p. 119). In the 1620s, most probably after death of Leandro Bassano, who died on April 15, 1622, a painter from the circle of Bassano brothers settled in Pułtusk, a significant economic centre of Masovia. Between 1624-1627 he created three paintings showing scenes from the life of Mary for the Łowicz Cathedral, commissioned by Henryk Firlej (1574-1626), Archbishop of Gniezno and Primate of Poland, son of Jan Firlej (1521-1574), and a self-portrait, today in the Dominican Monastery in Kraków.
Portrait of Janusz I Radziwill (1579-1620), aged 21 playing a lute by Leandro Bassano, 1600, Lubomirski collection in Kraków, lost.
Portrait of Sebastian Petrycy by Venetian painter
Sebastian Petrycy or Sebastianus Petricius Pilsnanus, was born in 1554 in Pilzno near Tarnów in south-eastern Poland as a son of Stanisław (died after 1590), a wine merchant. In 1583 he graduated with the degree in philosophy at the Kraków Academy and he began lecturing there. A year later, in 1584, Sebastian became a member of the Collegium Minus (College Minor) and took the chair of poetics and in 1588 he became a professor of rhetoric.
In February 1589, Petrycy was granted a leave to travel to Italy and study at a selected foreign university. He decided to study in Padua, where he received the degree of doctor of medical sciences at the beginning of March 1590.
When he returned to Kraków, he applied for the recognition of his diploma at the Faculty of Medicine, but was refused admission and left for Lviv, where he got married with already pregnant eighteen-year-old Anna (he was almost forty), the daughter of a wealthy merchant Franz Wenig, and opened his own medical practice. The death of his wife (February 28, 1596) and of his only daughter, Zuzanna, as well as the lost trial for the inheritance of his father-in-law, prompted him to return to Krakow (around 1600). He became the personal physician of the bishop of Kraków Bernard Maciejowski, who in 1603 was made cardinal by Pope Clement VIII. Between 1603-1604 he went with the cardinal to France and Lorraine and in 1606, as a physician of Jerzy Mniszek and his daughter Marina, he left for Moscow, which cost him almost a year and a half in captivity. During his court career, he worked on translations of Aristotle into Polish. He then returned to the medical profession and successfully practiced for the last 10 years of his life.
Petrycy died in 1626 in Kraków, and shortly before his death he founded a marble epitaph for himself depicting him in prayer, created by a royal court sculptor.
Portrait of a bearded man holding glasses, comes from the collection of John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick (1770-1859) at Northwick Park. It was previously attributed to Titian and Lotto Lorenzo, however stylistically is also close to Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594) and his son Domenico (1560-1635). The man's costume of crimson silk is very similar to Polish żupan, his coat is lined with fur. This effigy is very similar to portraits of Sebastian Petrycy and his son Jan Innocenty Petrycy (1592-1641), who like father was a physician, professor at the Academy and studied in Bologna. Mentioned portraits are today in the Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University and were created in the 1620s by workshop of Tommaso Dolabella (1570-1650), a Venetian artist settled in Kraków and a court painter of king Sigismund III Vasa. It is possible that Dolabella's workshop copied some family owned portraits, created in Venice. Consequently the effigy can be dated to beginning of the 17th century when Petrycy was a court physician in Kraków.
Portrait of Sebastian Petrycy (1554-1626) holding glasses by Venetian painter, possibly Domenico Tintoretto, 1600-1606, Private collection.
Portraits of Constance of Austria by Gortzius Geldorp
"Although the king was young, he was more inclined to peace than to war, and he did not even want to find employment in anything in the domain of the god Mars. I heard that one time, when the archbishop and chancellor informed him about the war, he wrote something down in a pugilares. They thought that he was anxious about the fate of the war until the king, who was a good painter, goldsmith and turner, showed them a painted little owl", recalled in his diary Albert Stanislaus Radziwill, Grand Chancellor of Lithuania about the beginnings of the reign of Sigismund III Vasa.
The King, so much inimical to idleness (tanto inimico dell'ozio), in his spare time he occupied himself with a certain artistic work, making his effigies, paintings and other items, which he offered as a gift, like "the one of which he painted with his own hand was the portrait of Saint Catherine of Siena last year" (una delle quali che fece di sua mano, fu il ritratto di S. Catherina di Siena l'anno passato), says of Sigismund III another contemporary witness, the papal nuncio Erminio Valenti (1564-1618), in a handwritten description of Poland and the royal court in 1603 (Relazione del Regno di Polonia).
In 1605 the king married his distant relative (as a granddaughter of Anna Jagellonica), the sister of his first wife and sister of Queen of Spain, Constance of Austria (1588-1631). Many eminent guests arrived to Kraków for Sigismund's wedding, the bride with her mother Archduchess Maria Anna, and her sister - Maria Christina, Princess of Transylvania, Radu Șerban, Voivode of Wallachia or his envoy, Mechti Kuli Beg, Ambassador of Persia, Afanasy Ivanovich Vlasiev, Ambassador of Russia, among others. The city was beautifully decorated on the entry of the wedding procession (mechanical Polish eagle, most probably from ephemeral decorations, preserved in the St. Mary's Church in Kraków). Also many artists came to Kraków at that time. The so-called "Stockholm Scroll", a unique, fifteen-metre long painting depicting the 1605 wedding procession, acquired during the Deluge and returned to Poland in 1974 (donated to the Royal Castle in Warsaw), is attributed to Balthasar Gebhardt, court painter of Archduke Ferdinand (1578-1637), Constance's brother.
Among the most distinguished works attributed to the king there is a gouache painting on parchment with Allegory of Faith in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. It bears the king's coat of arms, his monogram S under the crown, the date 1616 and monogram M.N.D.F.C. Below there is also a signature of king's wife Constantia Regina. Since the effigy of a woman bears resemblance to other effigies of the Queen, it was she who lend her features to the figure. Another painting traditionally linked with Sigismund is Mater Dolorosa in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich (inventory number 5082), painted on copper. It comes from the Castle Haag in Geldern in the district of Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia and was most probably part of Anna Catherine Constance's dowry. Sigismund's painting is a copy of a work by Gortzius Geldorp depicting a female saint in adoration signed with monogram 'GG F', painted on wood. Crispijn van de Passe the Elder created a print, published in Utrecht in 1612, with similar composition, showing the penitent Mary Magdalene (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inventory number RP-P-1906-2063), which is however more close to the Sigismund's painting then to the version by Geldorp. The woman in Geldorp's painting has more Habsburg facial features.
The same woman with protruding lower lip was depicted in two other paintings by Geldorp one signed with monogram and dated 'AN ° 1605.GG.F.' (sold in 2015 at Christie's, Amsterdam, lot 52, the other sold in 2011 at Christie's, New York, lot 140). Both paintings represent a lady as Berenice, wife of pharaoh Ptolemy III Euergetes. Berenice pledged to sacrifice her hair to the goddess Venus if her husband was safely brought home from battle during the Third Syrian War. Her hair became the constellation called Coma Berenices (Berenice's hair) and the symbol of power of marital love.
Very little is known about Gortzius Geldorp. He was born in Leuven (Louvain) in 1553 in what was then the Spanish Netherlands and learned to paint from Frans Francken I and later from Frans Pourbus the Elder. Around 1576 became court painter to the Duke of Terra Nova, Carlo d'Aragona Tagliavia (1530-1599), a Sicilian-Spanish nobleman, who in 1582 was appointed Governor of Milan and whom he accompanied on his trips. The Duke died in Madrid on September 23, 1599, and Geldorp died after 1619. It is very possible that he or his student came to Kraków in 1605.
Portrait of Queen Constance of Austria (1588-1631) as Berenice by Gortzius Geldorp, 1605, Private collection.
Portrait of Queen Constance of Austria (1588-1631) as Berenice by Gortzius Geldorp, ca. 1605, Private collection.
Portrait of Queen Constance of Austria (1588-1631) as a Saint in adoration (Saint Constance?) by Gortzius Geldorp, ca. 1616, Private collection.
Miniature portrait of Rafał Leszczyński by workshop of Frans Pourbus the Younger
Rafał Leszczyński, great-grandfather of King Stanisław Leszczyński (Stanislas Leczinski), was born in October 1579 as the only son of Andrzej Leszczyński (d. 1606), voivode of Brześć Kujawski and Anna Firlej, a daughter of Andrzej Firlej (d. 1585), castellan of Lublin. He had three half-brothers: Jan, Grand Chancellor of the Crown, Wacław, the Primate of Poland, and Przecław, voivode of Tartu.
He studied at the school of the Czech Brethren in Koźminek, then he was educated in Silesia (Głogów), Heidelberg (1594), Basel (1595), Strasbourg (1596-1598) and Geneva (1599). He visited England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Italy, where in Padua in 1601 he was a student of the famous Italian physicist, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei. He began his public activity as an envoy to the Sejm from the Sandomierz Voivodeship in 1605. In 1609, he became the marshal of the Central Tribunal, in 1612 - castellan of Wiślica and in 1618 - castellan of Kalisz. As one of the leaders of the Polish Protestants, he was in opposition to the pro-Habsburg policy of King Sigismund III Vasa. He was also called the "Pope of the Polish Calvinists".
After return to Poland (1603), he maintained contacts with foreign scientists. He was interested in military and cartography. He commissioned a map of the south-eastern borderlands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, unfortunately, despite the help of the geodesist and cartographer Maciej Głoskowski, the work was not completed. In addition to Latin, he spoke French, German, and Italian fluently. He wrote poems, like a paraphrase of Guillaume du Bartas's poem "Judith", published by Andrzej Piotrkowczyk in Baranów in 1620. In his beautiful Renaissance castle in Baranów, built by Santi Gucci, he kept a large library, which, according to an inventory from 1627, had about 1,700 volumes.
A miniature portrait from Leon Piniński's collection, today in the Lviv National Art Gallery (inventory number Ж-50), shows a man in a fashionable Italian/French costume. It was painted on copper and according to inscription in Latin the man was 28 years old in 1607 ([...] SVAE 28. ANNO DOMINI 1607.), exacly as Rafał Leszczyński. The style of this miniature resemble greatly a miniature portrait of an unknown man from about 1600 in the Victoria and Albert Museum, also painted on copper, and attributed to a Flemish painter (inventory number P.28-1942) and miniature portrait of an unknown man in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, created in 1614 (Aº 1614), painted on copper and attributed to a Dutch painter (inventory number SK-A-2104). Portrait of the sculptor Pierre de Francqueville (Pietro Francavilla, 1548-1615) by workshop of Frans Pourbus the Younger in private collection, created between 1609-1615 (after original in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, inventory number 746 / 1890), represent similar style of painting and costume. Such collar is also visible in a portrait of an unknown man in the Wilanów Palace in Warsaw, created in about 1600 and attributed to Agostino Carracci (inventory number Wil.1627).
Major Flemish portrait and miniature painter working in northeast Italy at the beginning of the 17th century was Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622), who from October 1600 was a court painter of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua. He also travelled to Innsbruck (1603 and 1608), Turin (1605 and 1608), Paris (1606) and Naples (1607), and in 1609 Queen Marie de' Medici called him to Paris as court painter. Frans and his workshop also took orders from abroad, not seeing the actual model. Several portraits of Philip III, King of Spain and his wife Margaret of Austria are attributed to him or his workshop (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Phoebus Foundation). His visits to Prague and Graz are not confirmed, however a portrait of Emperor Rudolf II (bust-length, wearing a breastplate, private collection) and a portrait of Archduchess Constance of Austria (1588-1631), future Queen of Poland, and her sisters (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna) are all attributed to him. Around 1604 Hans von Aachen and the second court painter in Prague, Joseph Heintz, also painted their portraits in direct rivalry with Pourbus. In 1609 a painter from the circle of Hans von Aachen created a portrait of a gentleman, aged 40 (inscribed and dated A 1609 A 40., upper right), painting a miniature (private collection). The man was the same age as Pourbus when he moved to Paris in 1609.
In 1607 the second son of Rafał Leszczyński was born, named Rafał after his father. On this occasion, Leszczyński, who just inherited the Baranów estate from his father, could commission a series of effigies of himself and his family in Italy. It is also possible that a painter from the workshop of Frans Pourbus in Mantua was at that time in Poland. The man from the described miniature resemble the effigies of Rafał Leszczyński's stepbrothers Jan (1603-1678) and Wacław Leszczyński (1605-1666).
Miniature portrait of Rafał Leszczyński (1579-1636) aged 28 by workshop of Frans Pourbus the Younger, 1607, Lviv National Art Gallery.
Portrait of Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622) aged 40, painting a miniature by circle of Hans von Aachen, 1609, Private collection.
Portrait of Adam Wenceslaus, Duke of Cieszyn by Bartholomeus Strobel or circle
Another painting created by Prague school of painting of Joseph Heintz the Elder and Hans von Aachen is a small oval portrait of a man in a gorget. The man also wears a white silk doublet, a military tunic embroidered with gold and a wired reticella lace collar. The painting comes from a private collection in Warsaw and was sold in 2005 (Agra-Art SA, 11 December, Nr 7831). The style of the painting is close to Bartholomeus Strobel, a Mannerist-Baroque painter from Silesia, born in Wrocław, who worked in Prague and in Vienna from about 1608. In 1611 he returns to Wrocław to help his father with work in the Augustinian church and in 1619, thanks to the support of King Sigismund III Vasa, he obtained the status of a court painter (servitor) of Emperor Matthias.
This portrait can be compared with signed works by Strobel, portrait of Władysław Dominik Zasławski-Ostrogski from 1635 in the Wilanów Palace in Warsaw (signed and dated: B. Strobell 1635) and the Crucifixion in the Church of St. James in Toruń (signed and dated: B. Strobel 1634).
According to inscription in Latin (AETATIS SVAE 37 / ANNO 1611), the man was 37 years old in 1611, exaclty as Adam Wenceslaus (1574-1617), Duke of Cieszyn when he was appointed supreme commander of the Silesian troops by the new King of Bohemia Matthias, Emperor from 1612. Counting on imperial favors Adam Wenceslaus, raised in Protestantism, converted to Catholicism and expelled the pastor Tymoteusz Lowczany from Cieszyn on February 23, 1611. He accompanied King Matthias at the ceremonial entry to Wrocław with a retinue of almost three hundred horses.
The portrait is similar to the effigy of Duke Adam Wenceslaus in the Museum of Cieszyn Silesia, attributed to Piotr Brygierski (ca. 1630-1718). The costume (gorget, silk doublet, military tunic and collar) and facial features are very much alike.
Portrait of Adam Wenceslaus (1574-1617), Duke of Cieszyn, aged 37 by Bartholomeus Strobel or circle, 1611, Private collection.
Portrait of Sigismund Charles Radziwill by Gortzius Geldorp
In 1616, Sigismund Charles Radziwill (1591-1642), son of Nicolaus Christopher Radziwill "the Orphan" (1549-1616) and Elżbieta Eufemia Wiśniowiecka (1569-1596) arrived at the royal court in Warsaw and obtained, in 1617, the titular dignity of Carver of the court of Queen Constance of Austria.
He studied at the Jesuit College in Nesvizh, and then in Bologna. In 1612, he joined the Order of the Knights of Malta (Knights Hospitaller) and fought with the Turks in the Mediterranean. After returning to Poland in 1614, his father founded him a Maltese commandery in Lithuania.
At the beginning of 1618, summoned by the Grand Master, he went to Malta. In January 1619, he was in Vienna where a great congregation of Knights Hospitaller was held. He was appointed by the Grand Master general commissioner, together with Charles II Gonzaga (1609-1631), Duke of Nevers. "Having received a license from His Highness the Emperor ... tomorrow, God willing, I am leaving", he wrote in a letter dated January 15, 1619 from Vienna to his brother John George Radziwill (1588-1625). In February 1619 he was in Venice, and he reported again to his brother: "I found his lordship Alexander, our brother, in good health in Venice and I hope that Our Lord will brought him quickly back and your Majesty will see him in our country".
After return to the Commonwealth in 1621 he participated in the battle of Khotyn and in 1622 he commanded the unit of the Polish-Lithuanian light cavalry (Lisowczyks) in the Imperial army. He died on November 5, 1642 in Assisi in Italy.
Before the discovery of a portrait of a man in black costume dated 1619 and signed by Gortzius Geldorp with his monogram 'GG.F.', it was generally believed that he died in 1616 in Cologne. A copy of Titian's Violante by his hand, sold in 2016 in Vienna (Dorotheum, lot 122, monogrammed upper left: 'GG.F.'), indicate that he was in Venice and in Vienna. According to inscription in Latin in upper right corner of mentioned portrait of a man in black costume the sitter was aged 28 in 1619 (AETATIS. SVAE. 28. / .1619.) exactly as Sigismund Charles Radziwill when he was in Venice and in Vienna. The costume of a man and his facial features bear a startling resemblance to effigy of Sigismund Charles Radziwill in the State Hermitage Museum (ОР-45868), created after original from about 1616. His Spanish style costume, typical for the Imperial court in Vienna, is almost identical to that visible in the portrait of Antonio Barberini, Grand Prior of Rome of the Order of Malta, created in 1625 by Ottavio Leoni. Similar outfits are also visible in portraits by Bernardo Strozzi, like in the likeness of Giovanni Battista Mora the Elder, nobleman of Vicenza near Venice, in the Walters Art Museum and in the portrait of Mikołaj Wolski (1553-1630) by Venanzio di Subiaco in the Camaldolese Monastery in Bielany, created in about 1624.
Portrait of Sigismund Charles Radziwill (1591-1642) aged 28 by Gortzius Geldorp, 1619, Private collection.
Portrait of Łukasz Żółkiewski by Johann Philipp Kreuzfelder
At the end of the 16th century, Flemish/Dutch art was the dominant model for Nuremberg portrait painters. Under the influence of Nicolas Neufchatel and Nicolas Juvenel, two prominent Flemish/Dutch artists settled in the imperial city, the highly developed Antwerp portraiture found its way into local portraiture (after catalogue entry by Judith Hentschel for 1626 portrait of a woman). The pupils of Juvenel were among the most successful and sought-after portrait painters in the city and outside.
Jakob Troschel (1583-1624) from Nuremberg, a court painter of King Sigismund III Vasa, was trained in Juvenel's close circle - according to Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr's "Historische Nachricht ..." he learned from Johann Juvenel and Alex Lindner, and Johann Philipp Kreuzfelder (1577-1636), son of a Nuremberg goldsmith, completed his apprenticeship at Juvenel's workshop between 1593 to 1597. In 1612 and 1617 Kreuzfelder portrayed the Nuremberg councillors and in 1614 Bartolomeo Viatis (1538-1624), a merchant from Venice (City of Nuremberg's Art Collections), then he worked as a portrait painter for the Counts of Oettingen and Hohenlohe-Langenburg. He is believed to have stayed in Rome with the artist Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610) and influences from both Flemish and Italian portraiture may be found in his work. Kreuzfelder has been assigned the monogram 'JC' (for Johannes Creutzfelder) by researchers.
In 1626 the painter probably also travelled to Munich, as signed portrait by his hand depicting a lady in rich black dress (sold at Koller Auctions, October 01, 2021, Lot 3013) bears a coat of arms similar to that of Sentlinger family, a wealthy Munich patrician family, and to Constance in the south of Germany in 1628, as effigy of Nikolaus Tritt von Wilderen, a member of the city council of Constance, is attributed to him.
A small portrait of a young nobleman (34 x 25.5 cm, oil on copper) from private collection in the south of Germany (sold at Lempertz KG, November 19, 2022, Lot 1516) was painted in the style symilar to the portrait of a woman from the Sentlinger family. He wears elaborately painted, silk, black doublet and loose breeches. The finely painted white lace trimmings of the lavish collar and cuffs, is characteristic of Kreuzfelder. Also the artist's signature in upper right is very similar. The painting was attributed to German School early 17th century and the monogram was deciphered as TB f. (?) (overlapping), however, it could be also JPC f. for Johannes Philippus Creutzfelder fecit in Latin. Accoring to the rest of inscription, also in Latin, the depicted man was 25 years old in 1619 (Aetatis. 25 / 1619), exaclty as Łukasz Żółkiewski (1594-1636), the younger son of the Chamberlain of Lviv Mikołaj Żółkiewski (d. 1596). He studied abroad, possibly at the Jesuit College of Ingolstadt, a city between Nuremberg and Munich in the Duchy and Electorate of Bavaria, very popular among Polish-Lithuanian nobility at that time. King Sigismund III ordered works of art in Bavaria and sent them to William V, Duke of Bavaria, while king's mistress, influential "minister in a skirt" or "Jesuit's bigotry" Urszula Meyerin (1570-1635), was most likely born near Munich in Bavaria.
Nephew of the famous hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski (1547-1620), Łukasz took part in the Turkish campaign of 1620 and was captured at the battle of Cecora, in which his uncle lost his life. Four years later, in 1624, he accompanied Prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa (future Ladislaus IV) on a foreign trip at the behest of King Sigismund III. Żółkiewski, who become the voivode of Bratslav, died childless in a battle with the Cossacks in November or December 1636 and was buried in the Jesuit church in Pereiaslav, which he founded a year earlier (1635) along with the Jesuit College. Later, the Cossacks destroyed Pereiaslav including the church, and they threw out the body of the founder from the coffin (after "Ilustrowany przewodnik po zabytkach kultury na Ukrainie" by Jacek Tokarski, Zbigniew Hauser, Volume 4, p. 180).
The family resemblance of the 25-year-old man to effigies of hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski, Łukasz's uncle, is striking. The shape of the face, lower jaw and lower lip, hair color and hairstyle are very much alike.
The style of the portrait resemble greatly two miniatures from the National Museum in Warsaw (inventory number Min.1014 and Min.1015), identifed as effigies of Gotthard Kettler (1517-1587), Duke of Courland, which was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and his wife Anna of Mecklenburg (1533-1602). It cannot be excluded that Kreuzfelder arrived at some point of his career to the Commonwealth or Żółkiewski commissioned a series of his effigies during his potential sojourn in Nuremberg, because the painter was known among Polish-Lithuanian clients.
Portrait of Łukasz Żółkiewski (1594-1636), aged 25 by Johann Philipp Kreuzfelder, 1619, Private collection.
Miniature portrait of Gotthard Kettler (1517-1587), Duke of Courland by Johann Philipp Kreuzfelder, first quarter of the 17th century, National Museum in Warsaw.
Miniature portrait of Anna of Mecklenburg (1533-1602), Duchess of Courland by Johann Philipp Kreuzfelder, first quarter of the 17th century, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portraits of Tomasz Zamoyski and Katarzyna Ostrogska by Domenico Tintoretto
In the years 1615-1617, "fulfilling the last will of his father", Tomasz Zamoyski (1594-1638), son of Jan Zamoyski, Grand Chancellor of the Crown (1542-1605) and Barbara Tarnowska (1566-1610), daughter of Stanisław Tarnowski (d. 1618), castellan of Sandomierz, undertook foreign peregrinations. Almost all young magnates made such educational journeys at that time.
Through Kraków in the south of Poland, he reached Gdańsk in the north, where he stayed "about six Sundays" - from around December 12, 1614 to the last days of January 1615, also visiting Malbork and Elbląg. In the last days of January 1615, after receiving letters of recommendation from king Sigismund III Vasa, young Zamoyski set off from Gdańsk accompanied by a small court with Father Wojciech Bodzęcki, professor at the Zamość Academy, and Piotr Oleśnicki, Tomasz's cousin, who studied in Paris and Padua at the expense of Jan Zamoyski.
From Lübeck he went to Amsterdam, and from there to England. He arrived in London in mid-July 1615 and spent about 5 months there. James I, captured by Tomasz's wit and kindness, often invited him to hunting and banquets. At the request of Zamoyski the king released several English Catholics from prison - including Father Fludd who was held at Gatehouse Prison. "He was held in high esteem by the King, who often had audiences with him. He often went hunting with his son Charles. The royal horses were always at the disposal of the Lord himself and his servants for fun. King James was given an expensive hat decoration with heron feathers", wrote Tomasz's servant Stanisław Żurkowski in a biography.
Wanting to get to know the country better, he went on a trip around the island, which lasted about two months. Then he travelled to France. Zamoyski probably arrived to Tours, where King Louis XIII was staying at that time, in the first days of March 1616. From Tours the he went to Orléans then to Paris. His stay in the capital of France was very busy: he learned the French language, "listened to the courts in the parliament", he was "in academies on various acts and disputes", he improved his skills in fencing and horse riding, and he learned to play the lute. He attended the audiences of King Louis XIII, held receptions for officials and officers of the French court and visited them. He befriended the princes de Guise, de Rohan, de Nevers and de Montmorency.
From France young Zamoyski came to Italy in January 1617. From an early age, he had contact with the culture of Italy as his father was educated there. He visited Naples and Rome, where he had audiences with Pope Paul V. Then he went to Loreto, Padua and Venice. Also in Italy he maintained the splendor of his retinue. He visited the studios of masters of engraving, painting and goldsmiths, he acquired luxury goods, he organized parties and gave gifts to people from the ruling class. The cost of Zamoyski's journey was amounted to enormous sum of over 20,000 zlotys, while the income from 1 village at that time fluctuated between 140 and 240 zlotys annually.
In the first days of November 1617, through Switzerland, Bavaria, Bohemia and Silesia, Zamoyski returned to Poland, where in Kościan, he was welcomed by servants from Zamość and soldiers from his private units. A few days later, he arrived in Poznań, where "he put away his foreign clothes, cut his hair and returned to Polish attire", as recalled Żurkowski in his biography. From Poznań he went to Łowicz, to pay a visit to the Archbishop of Gniezno, Wawrzyniec Gembicki in his magnificent palace, and then to Warsaw, where he stayed for about two weeks. It was not until December 20 that he arrived in Zamość, where he was solemnly welcomed. Soon after his return his political career advanced, in 1618 he became the voivode of Podolia and in 1619 the voivode of Kiev (after "Peregrynacje zagraniczne Tomasza Zamoyskiego w latach 1615-1617" by Adam Andrzej Witusik). He also decided to marry Katarzyna Ostrogska (1602-1642), granddaughter of Zofia Tarnowska (1534-1570), Princess of Ostroh on paternal side, and great-granddaughter of Duchess Anna of Masovia (1498-1557) on maternal side. 18-year-old Katarzyna and 25-year-old Tomasz were married in the Corpus Christi Church in Jarosław on March 1, 1620. As a dowry, Katarzyna received 53,333 zlotys, 6 castles, 13 cities, about 300 villages and folwarks. She was born in 1602 in the family of Alexander Prince of Ostroh, voivode of Volhynia, and his wife Anna Kostka (1575-1635), as the youngest of eight children. The family lived in the city of Jarosław. Her father died suddenly the year after her birth, leaving a rich inheritance to his three daughters who reached adulthood: Zofia, Anna Alojza and Katarzyna.
The portrait of a young man in a black coat lined with fur, attributed to Domenico Tintoretto, today in the National Gallery in London (inventory number NG173), was presented in 1839 by Henry Gally Knight (1786-1846), a British politician and writer. His right hand rests on a table placed before an open window, and on which is a silver vase containing a sprig of myrtle, consecrated to Venus, goddess of love and used in bridal wreaths. In his left hand he holds a black cap. An open window looks out over a landscape of farmland with two rustic buildings, possibly barns, with what look like thatched roofs supported on wooden trunks or poles, typical for Poland, Ukraine and large estates of the Zamoyskis near Zamość. Merchants from such distant countries as Spain, England, Finland, Armenia and Persia arrived for the annual three-week-long big fair, one of the largest in Europe, in nearby Jarosław - according to Łukasz Opaliński (1612-1662), 30,000 cattle were sold at one Jarosław fair (Polonia Defensa Contra Joan. Barclaium, 1648). The same man was also depicted in a full-length portrait, also by Domenico Tintoretto, which before World War II was in the Łańcut Castle close to Jarosław (catalogue "For Peace and Freedom. Old masters: a collection of Polish-owned works of art ...", pic. 37). He wears a fashionable French/English black costume, very similar to the one shown in the portrait of a young man, attributed to Salomon Mesdach, dated on the table: Aº 1617 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inventory number SK-A-913). A view of a canal in Venice is visible through the window behind him, suggesting that the portrait is a souvenir of his visit to the city. The man in both portraits bear great resemblance to effigies of Tomasz Zamoyski in Polish costume, as a child aged 12, created by Peter Querradt in 1606 (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) and aged 44, created by Jan Kasiński in 1637 (Diocesan Museum in Sandomierz).
Portrait of a lady, known as Donna delle Rose, in Villa Gyllenberg in Helsinki was painted in the same style as the portrait of a man with myrtle in the National Gallery in London. This work is also attributed to Domenico Tintoretto, it has similar composition and similar dimensions (116.5 x 85.5 cm / 119.5 × 98 cm), therefore can be considered as a pendant or a portrait from a series created at the same time. The modish attire worn by this young woman bespeaks great affluence. Her costume is very similar to Venetian court dresses visible in a print published in 1609 in Giacomo Franco's "Costumes of Venetian Men and Women" (Habiti d'hvomeni et donne venetiane). The northern ruff, however, was replaced with a reticella collar from the late 1610s, like an open peacock's tail behind the head, propped up with sticks, similar to Italian and French collars of courtiers of King Sigismund III Vasa. The Procession with St. Anianus by workshop Tommaso Dolabella (Corpus Christi Church in Kraków) and Banner with Adoration of St. Francis by Jan Troschel (Leżajsk Monastery), testifies to the diversity of the court fashion in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 1620s with Polish, Spanish, Italian, French and German styles represented. White rose in her hair symbolizes purity and innocence of a bride. The woman's face bear great resemblance to preserved portraits of Katarzyna Ostrogska, all created when she was a widow and offered to different monasteries (Museum of Zamość), or to the portrait of her daughter Gryzelda Wiśniowiecka (Kozłówka Palace).
Lady Zamoyska in a Venetian costume painted by Domenico Tintoretto? This was not surprising for the inhabitants of the Zamoyski estates. There were many Italians in Zamość, at the Academy, in the service of the Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, starting with the court architect, Venetian Bernardo Morando. In 1596 Boniface Vanozzi, secretary of Cardinal Enrico Gaetani in Poland, described Zamość, Renaissance ideal city build for the Chancellor, "a lover of the Italian nation" (amatore della natione italiana), from scratch: "He began to build this town in 1581 and already today it has up to 400 houses, mostly built in Italian style". Before 1604 he commissioned to the main altar of the Collegiate Church in Zamość, several paintings in the workshop of Domenico Tintoretto. Negotiations with the artist were conducted on behalf of Zamoyski by representatives of the Italian Capponi and Montelupi families and completed paintings were delivered to Poland in 1604. The largest painting depicted the Risen Christ with St. Thomas the Apostle - the patron of the temple, paintings in the side parts: St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist - the patrons of the founder, and the painting in the top of the altar - God the Father. This altar was transported to the church in Tarnogród in 1781 and only the side paintings preserved.
Tomasz, his father and his wife in Venetian costume were also depicted in two paintings in the Church of the Assumption in Kraśnik (Thanksgiving mass and Rosary procession). Both were created by Tommaso Dolabella in 1626. From 1604 Kraśnik was part of the Zamość estate and the protector of the church was Tomasz Zamoyski, voivode of Kiev. The voivode and his wife founded stalls for the church with their coat of arms and in one of the side altars there is painting of Salvator Mundi by Paris Bordone or his workshop.
Portrait of Tomasz Zamoyski (1594-1638) in French/English costume from the Łańcut Castle by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1617, present whereabouts unknown.
Portrait of Tomasz Zamoyski (1594-1638) by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1620, National Gallery in London.
Portrait of Katarzyna Ostrogska (1602-1642) in Venetian costume by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1620, Villa Gyllenberg in Helsinki.
St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist from the Zamość Collegiate by Domenico Tintoretto, ca. 1604, Church of the Transfiguration in Tarnogród.
The palace was built between 1639-1642 by Lorenzo de Sent for the Grand Crown Chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński in Mannerist style. It was constructed on the plan of an elongated rectangle with two hexagonal towers at garden side of the building. The palace was crowned with a terrace with a balustrade, above which stood the upper part of the great representative hall, covered with a spherical roof. A possible inspiration for the palace's upper pavilion and its characteristic roof was Bonifaz Wohlmut's reconstruction of Queen Anne's Summer Palace in Prague, 1557-1563.
Adam Jarzębski, styling himself as Musician of His Highness Ladislaus IV and manager of the construction of the royal palace at Ujazdów, in his "Short Description of Warsaw" (The Main Road, or a Short Description of Warsaw) from 1643, described the residence of Jerzy Ossoliński:
Facade with statues of four kings, below inscriptions and a brass statue of Poland holding a sickle, with a plow and a sheaf and marble portal (2427-2435), in the middle of a building a hall covered with roof tiles with gilded brass statues in the corners (2445-2450),
Elongated outbuilding with servant lodgings and a kitchen (2711-2713), stables building opposit with a gate (2720-2725),
Vestibule with marble portals and iron doors of master craftsmanship (2505-2508), and a staircase with a grille and a large, solid lock (2520-2525),
Large dining room (2465) with niches with statues of white marble and a brass statue of a Cupid holding a bow above the door, chandelier and tapestries (2475-2485), with a door to a wine cellar (2491) and a room with silver and gold tableware (2495-2496),
Hall with upper windows and a fireplace of black highly polished marble with equestrian portrait of king Ladislaus IV Vasa on white horse against a battle scene (2527-2538), a row of family portraits by painter Hans (?) Amman, and paintings reproducing the epic tales of the ancestors, including a story of a knight wounded during a jousting tournament who was healed by Saint Anne, other stories and battle scenes, above busts of Roman Emperors of white marble (2553-2570), stucco trees in corners, most probably by Giovanni Battista Falconi, ceiling decorated with figures, animals and floral motifs and a painting depicting coronation of Queen Cecilia Renata of Austria in presence of chancellor Ossoliński, door portals of black marble with portiere tapestries with Topór (the Axe) coat of arms (2575-2600), polished marble floor (2605-2607),
Lord's chambers with tapestries, French-style parade bed, tables with gold trinkets and silverware and decorative clocks beside the bed, coffers, fireplace adorned with a mosaic (2611-2632),
Cabinet of curiosities in a right side tower with bronze statues of different horses, birds and people (2635-2644), silver plated cupboard-cabinet with gold inscriptions describing the contents of each drawer (2649-2652), marble table with rarities on it (2659-2662),
Chapel in the left side tower with an altar with an exquisite painting, relics in glass vessels, offered by the Pope, silver coffer reliquary with bones bound by gold chains, wax miniatures, a table with a casket and a door to a staircase (2667-2692).
In 1633 Ossoliński was sent with a diplomatic mission to the Pope in Rome by newly elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ladislaus IV Vasa. The King offered him the starostwo of Bydgoszcz, 60,000 zlotys, six horses, a saber (scimitar) worth 10,000 zlotys, five Brussels' tapestries making up the series of the Story of Moses commissioned by King Sigismund Augustus in the 1550s, three of which were given to the Pope, and a construction site in Warsaw.
An event from 1633 is also worth mentioning when Ossoliński, traveling to Rome via Veneto, fascinated by the beauty of one of the villas near Padua, ordered to immediately take its dimensions. He made his entry to Eternal City wearing a żupan, richly embroidered with gold, buttoned up with 20 large buttons with diamonds, gold sabre set with jewels valued at 20,000 Polish zlotys and mounting a Turkish stallion having golden horseshoes and a horse tack set with precious stones.
In 1638 a life-size statue was cast in brass by Gerdt Benning in Gdańsk according to the design by Georg Münch for then the vice-chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński, most probably to his Castle in Ossolin. It is possible that the same workshop created statues to his Warsaw's palace.
Contrary to the Crown Court Marshall Adam Kazanowski, who had a transsexual man at his court, the Chancellor Ossoliński kept a transsexual woman in his palace: "a boy who thinks he is a girl, and who also wears a dress: He imitates a girl quite well; especially in that, he is very eager of being cuddled", as recounted Jean Le Laboureur in his "Account of the voyage of the Queen of Poland", published in Paris in 1647 (p. 212).
An engraved effigy of the Chancellor by Willem Hondius from 1648 was created after a portrait by Bartholomäus Strobel. It is possible then that Strobel created more painting for Ossoliński, including for his Warsaw's residence.
In 1645 the chancellor commissioned the silver-ebony altar for the Chapel of Black Madonna of Częstochowa adorned with his coat of arms. The design was most probably by a Royal court artist Giovanni Battista Gisleni, while silver elements were created by the Royal goldsmith Johann Christian Bierpfaff in Warsaw in 1650.
The "Inventory of belongings spared from Swedes and escapes made on December 1, 1661 in Wiśnicz" in the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, lists some of the preserved paintings from Chancellor's rich collection inherited by his daughter Helena Tekla Ossolińska, wife of Aleksander Michał Lubomirski, owner of the Wiśnicz Castle. 30 paintings from Chancellor's collection in the inventory include the paintings by Raphael, Titian, Guido Reni, Guercino, Domenichino, Veronese, Ribera, Albrecht Dürer and Daniel Seghers. There were also there a painting of the Leda and a swan, a gift from the Emperor, a Cupid sharpening his bow, possibly a copy of the famous work by Parmigianino, acquired in Rome, a "large Blessed Virgin Mary, a wreath around her made of fruits, which the angels holds", most probably by duo of Rubens and Jan Brueghel, and a large canvas showing Chancellor's Entry into Rome in 1633.
Ossoliński died in his palace in Warsaw on August 9, 1650, at the age of 55. He was buried in the church of St. Joseph in Klimontów, which he built. His opulent palace in Warsaw was destroyed during the invasion of the Commonwealth by neighbouring countries, known as the Deluge (1655-1660).
Adam Jarzębski, styling himself as Musician of His Highness Ladislaus IV and manager of the construction of the royal palace at Ujazdów, in his "Short Description of Warsaw" (The Main Road, or a Short Description of Warsaw) from 1643, dedicated to his benefactor Crown Court Marshall Adam Kazanowski, thoroughly described the residence of this baroque celebrity.
Kazanowski gained prominence as a close friend and companion of crown prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa, who was elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1632 as Ladislaus IV. Together with his brother, Stanisław Kazanowski, Adam was raised with crown prince and accompanied him during his attempt to become a Russian Tsar, in the Khotyn war of 1621 and the 1624 to 1625 European voyage. A breakthrough event for Adam was when his elder brother Stanisław, favourite of crown prince, attacked with syphilis was expelled from the court for promiscuity in 1620. Zygmunt Kazanowski, father of both, had great hopes for the relationship of his older son and young Vasa. Faced with the threat of his imminent death, he persuaded the sick to recommend his younger brother to the prince. Both brothers were accused by Jerzy Ossoliński in his Memoirs of organizing "suspicious" amusements for young prince. When the crown prince became king, Adam was showered with gifts and new official titles.
In 1628, at the age of about 29, Kazanowski decided to get married. He chose Elżbieta Słuszczanka, a daughter of wealthy Castellan of Minsk, Aleksander Słuszko, for the future bride. The marriage meant for him not only a substantial dowry, but also valuable connections in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Aleksander Słuszko dismissed the suitor, justifying the refusal with his daughter's young age, as Elżbieta was then only 9 years old. However, thanks to the intervention of the crown prince, Aleksander Słuszko changed his mind. The wedding took place in the spring of 1633, when Elżbieta has reached the legal age of 14. Adam, who also became the Grand Pantler of the Crown that year, gained 50,000 zlotys of dowry. In addition, the young couple received 20,000 zlotys from the king and the value of the gifts was estimated at 40,000 zlotys.
When crown prince Ladislaus Sigismund became an adolescent, his father Sigismund III Vasa bought him a wooden mansion of Andrzej Bobola at the Cracow Suburb Street in Warsaw. In 1628, shortly after his return from a journey to Western Europe, the prince ordered Constantino Tencalla a court architect to build him a new palace in the Italian style. Four yers later, in 1632, Ladislaus gave the palace to Kazanowski, which caused serious misunderstanding with his father, and a special Parliament committee was appointed to determine the circumstances behind this gesture. In 1637, Kazanowski enlarged the building, holding to Tencalla's original designs. The new structure was a large four-storied palace with a garden, enormous terrace, central courtyard, copper roofs and tower tops decorated with gilded crowns.
629 verses (1025-1654) of Jarzębski's work portray the lavish mannerist and early baroque palace constructed between 1628 and 1643 in the center of informal capital of the Commonwealth:
Large arsenal filled with cannons, muskets, excellent armors, tents and turkish garments, lances and spears arranged on the walls, field guns, matchlocks and a skin of a lioness (1057-1066),
Long gallery filled with paintings on both sides with nudes above the table, portraits of the King Ladislaus IV Vasa and his wife Cecilia Renata of Austria, painted Ad vivium and noble ladies, stone statue of Atlas supporting the armillary sphere on the table in the middle (1095-1108),
Small arbor room adjacent to gallery with a French window, columns, stone floor and a view of the river Vistula (1121-1127),
Dining room with windows on two storeys, a large chandelier with a clock showing hours, a balcony for musicians and Flemish tapestries woven with golden thread (1131-1153), chairs covered with gilded cordovan, plaques with coat of arms of the Lords and Marshals between windows in upper part and landscape paintings and cordovan in lower part, tile stove (1177-1187), window with a wine lift from basement, a large silver wine vessel of 150 litres on wheels in the shape of Bacchus wearing a wreath, sitting on a barrel and holding a goblet, several other barrels half the size of the main and a silver wine fountain in the middle of the room, silver ewers, pitchers and trays (1188-1214), the King and the Queen, envoys of Muscovy, of Emperor, of the King of Spain, of Turkey, of France and of Persia were entertained here (1162-1171),
Vaulted steam baths near the coach house with two chambers, hot stone, heating house, cold and hot water, copper bathtubs and white benches (1255-1272),
Room on upper floor covered with cordovan, with a fireplace, marble portals with gold inscriptions, statues in overdoor (1305-1318) and muskets on the walls (1323),
Rooms with paintings and tapestries: animalistic paintings and still-lifes with vegetables by master painters in the first, next room with staircase, seascapes and paintings of ships, casket regals, a harpsichord, a lute, a violin, cymbals, a viol and a harp and doors hung with portieres (1325-1343), next room with live animals, monkey on a chain, white parrot, singing birds in cages, still life paintings with fruits and wines, tapestries, a fireplace and a marble table (1349-1364),
Lord's bedroom with a table, a painting of Adam and Eve, a bed against tapestries, good paintings, a fireplace and marble floor, a folding bench with wheels (1381-1392), trellis giving to the chapel, altar with gilded grille and a window to the ladies' room (1365-1376),
Lord's study with a mirror, angels' statues holding candles, paintings, tapestries and polished marble floor (1407-1418),
Library with foreign books in different languages, khanjar daggers on the table, daggers set with turquoises, gold bowls and rock crystal vessels (1425-1431),
Lady's rooms, in one of them tortoiseshell caskets, pendant paintings, one with an old man with a sore eye, tapestries and looms (1437-1449), bedroom covered with goldcloth, a draped bed made of a rich fabric, mirror in silver frame above the table, the other in gold plated frame, automaton clock with a man, paintings in ebony frames, marble floor and marble table (1457-1469), a bedroom with a bed of green goldcloth with fringe and a portrait of mother of Her Majesty, Zofia Konstancja Zenowicz, in the next room in the corner of the palace a portrait of father of Her Majesty, Aleksander Słuszka, in his old age above the door, in both rooms marble fireplaces, tables covered with kilims and marble floors (1473-1495),
Treasury on the groundfloor, the first room filled with guns: bird shotguns, Turkish trench guns, carabins, muskets and Italian pistols, laid with gold and silver, tables covered with Persian kilims (1508-1520), treasury room with gilded stuff set with turquoises, eastern backswords, gold sabres, gold and gilded saddles and horse tacks, sable coats, large trays and ewers in boxes and antique treasures, snake skin and a turtle from India (1530-1561),
Belvedere room with grille with a view of a garden (1579-1582), wine basement with barrels of wine, mild, sweet and spicy (1590-1596), and a beer basement (1601), in the room above a workshop of Dutch painters (1603-1608), next a room with silverware (1612), and a room with hunting falcons (1613), marble pantry with venison, partridges (1641-1645) and a room of captive Muslim Tatar servants (1649-1651).
Three years later, in 1646, Jean Le Laboureur, a companion of the French Ambassador Extraordinaire to Poland, Renée du Bec-Crespin, comtesse de Guébriant, visited the palace and described it in his "Account of the voyage of the Queen of Poland", published in Paris in 1647. He devoted five pages of his book to the building:
Five or six large chambers and several smaller rooms, filled with silk and gold oriental fabrics, beds of gold fabric, cabinets of uncommon workmanship, tables with different items of gold, silver, amber and stones (p. 211).
Large room with marble floor, as the rest of the lodgings, with a large wine fountain, made of silver in the middle, large platform above the door for the musicians, table with 80 silver-gilt Italian style tazzas (four rows of twenty each) with dried fruit, large pears in sugar, oranges, lemons, melons (p. 213), buffet with extraordinary gold and silver vessels, including Bacchus "of a natural height" sitting on a silver barrel with gold wheels, rock crystal glasses with silver-gilt mountings, Elżbieta Słuszczanka was dancing here with her brother Bogusław Jerzy Słuszka, Court Treasurer of Lithuania and marquis Gonzaga Myszkowski with his wife (p. 214).
Kazanowski, struck by the sudden invasion of gout, welcomed the guests at the staircase of his palace carried in a litter (p. 210), accompanied by 300 armed guards, more than 50 pages dressed in yellow satin and short jackets of blue satin, his wife and her ladies (p. 211).
In one of the chambers Le Laboureur noted "two extraordinarily small female dwarfs who were standing up like a sentry, to guard two small dogs, who were not less dwarf in their species, for they are the size of a mice, and both were resting in a white basket little larger than the hand, on a pillow of perfumed satin", while the ladies of Elżbieta Słuszczanka had a transsexual man, a woman who behaved like a man, "for their entertainment" (p. 212). In 1643 Kazanowski also arranged a marriage of dwarfs, "an unheard wedding, full of laughter", according to Albrycht Stanisław Radziwiłł.
Following her visit, Kazanowski and his wife, sent to Madame de Guébriant some small amber cabinets and clocks set with diamonds (p. 212).
Little is known about artistic patronage of the Crown Court Marshall. Among confirmed artists at his court was certain Ezechiel Sykora, born in Litomysl in Czechia in 1622, who latinized his family name to Paritius. After Kazanowski's death in 1649 he left Warsaw and went to Silesia. As a żupnik (manager) of the Royal Salt Mines, he commissioned from Gdańsk engraver Willem Hondius in 1645 a series of views of the Wieliczka salt mine.
Kazanowski had also a book of friendship (album amicorum/Stammbuch), wich was in collection of Edward Rastawiecki in Warsaw in 1853. Small oblong book bind in crimson velvet had 125 parchment leaves and majority of contributions from the years of between 1624 and 1625 of his European journey and a few from 1627 to 1644, mainly of ambassadors of the Spanish Empire. During his stay in Brussels in 1624 with the crown prince he received from infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia a gold medallion set with precious stones on a gold chain. It is possible that he intentionally tried to emulate great validos of his time, Duke of Lerma or Count-Duke of Olivares.
Kazanowski died childless in 1649, leaving all his property to his wife Elżbieta. His opulent palace in Warsaw was destroyed during the invasion of the Commonwealth by neighbouring countries, known as the Deluge (1655-1660).
Before the invasion by neighbouring countries, known as the Deluge (1655-1660), Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ranked among the wealthiest countries in Europe and its monarchs successfully competed with rulers of other nations as patron of arts.
"Oriental" and "Muscovy" crown of Sigismund III Vasa
King Sigismund III Vasa, elected monarch of the multicultural Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was known for his refined artistic taste inherited from the Jagiellons and his grandmother Queen Bona Sforza. He commissioned the most exquisite works of art not only in Europe, but also in Persia. In 1601, the king sent Sefer Muratowicz an Armenian merchant from Warsaw to Persia, where he ordered carpets woven with silk and gold, a tent and swords from Damascus steel and other luxury items. Safavid kilims with coat of arms of Sigismund III Vasa (Polish Eagle with Vasa sheaf) preserved in many collections.
The king was so pleased with the results of Muratowicz's expedition that after his return on October 26, 1602, he gave him the title of servitoris ac negotiatoris and obliged him in the future to present all goods brought to Poland from Turkey and Persia, before they were put up for sale, at the royal court, so that he could choose those he liked the most (after "Sztuka islamu w Polsce w XVII i XVIII wieku" by Tadeusz Mańkowski, p. 25). Sigismund III had a particularly rich collection of oriental arms and Persian or Turkish kalkan shield from the Lubomirski collection in Kruszyna was, according to tradition, the property of the king (Wawel Royal Castle). Mechti Kuli Beg, Ambassador of Shah Abbas of Persia, participated in the king's wedding in Kraków in 1605 and Robert Shirley (d. 1628), sent by the shah on a diplomatic mission to European princes, was received solemnly by Sigismund at the Sejm in Warsaw on February 25, 1609.
Most probably in Italy the king ordered partially gilded shishak, an oriental-style steel helmet with Hercules killing the Lernean hydra on one side and Hercules fighting Antaeus on the other as well as coat of arms of Muscovy, as a gift to Tsar Feodor I of Russia, handed over by Ambassador Paweł Sapieha in 1591 (Kremlin Museum). In Milan in Italy or in Prague he commissioned the crystal lavabo with his coat of arms and monogram (Treasury of the Munich Residence) and in Augsburg in Germany a silver service for 20,000 florins for the ceremony of receiving the Order of the Golden Fleece (used for the first time during a banquet at the Castle in Warsaw on February 25, 1601) and many other precious items. In Flanders and the Netherlands he purchased tapestries, like 6 pieces with the Story of Diana by workshop of François Spierincx in Delft, in about 1611-1615, paintings in Venice, like the Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Stanislaus by Palma il Giovane for the St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw, before 1618, amber items in Gdańsk and Königsberg, like amber games board of Queen Anne of Denmark and other amber gifts, sent to England in 1607 through English envoy in Poland William Bruce.
The orders for works of art were related to important dates in king's life. In 1605 he spent large sums for his wedding including costly dresses emboidered with pearls. The bride was a younger sister of his first wife Anna, Constance of Austria (1588-1631), on paternal and maternal side a descendant of Anna Jagellonica (1503-1547). In July 1604, Sigismund sent letters to senators, in which he informed that Emperor Rudolf II did not give his consent for his marriage to Anna of Tyrol (1585-1618), and at the same time informed the lords of the Commonwealth of his intention to marry Constance (after "Najsłynniejsze miłości królów polskich" by Jerzy Besala, p. 169). That same year Joseph Heintz (or Heinz) the Elder, court painter of the emperor, who lived and worked in Rome, Venice, Prague and Augsburg (from 1604), created two portraits of the bride with her favourite monkey. One, less favorable, was originally probably in her family's castle in Graz (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, inventory number 9452), the other in green dress, a color being symbolic of fertility, was sold in London in 1969 and later acquired by The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown (inventory number 1982.127). Many objects from the collection of King John II Casimir Vasa, Constance's son, sold in Paris, found its place in England, including most probably this portrait of his mother. Around that time Heintz created also a copy of portrait of Queen Bona Sforza (1494-1557), Sigismund III's grandmother, as Salome by Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, 862), identified by me, and a portrait of Sigismund III himself (Alte Pinakothek in Munich, 11885), signed: J. Heintzen F. / SIGISMVNDVS .../REX POLONIAE/ & SVECIAE ... on a letter on the table. The portrait of the king was before 1929 in the Schleissheim Palace near Munich, therefore it was was most probably a gift from Sigismund to William V (1548-1626), Duke of Bavaria, like the silver reliquary of Saints John the Baptist and Dionysius the Areopagite, created in 1602 for Tsar Boris Godunov and his son and given to William V in 1614 by the Polish king (Treasury of the Munich Residence, 63).
The portrait shows the king with a crown, which was most probably also created around that time, possibly for the coronation of the new queen. Like the portrait, it was made either in Prague or in Augsburg, as Heintz's presence in Poland-Lithuania is not confirmed in sources. However, it cannot be ruled out that the painter or one of his students traveled to Kraków, Warsaw or Vilnius at that time to bring to Poland the portrait of the bride and the crown. Just two years earlier, in 1602, the crown of Emperor Rudolf II, a major work of European goldsmithery was made in Prague by Jan Vermeyen from Brussels (d. 1606), as a private crown for the emperor. Sigismund's crown resemble slightly the crown of Rudolf II (side view), therefore it was most probably created by the same author, nevertheless, it is in many respects atypical of Polish-Lithuanian and European monarchs in general. Unlike the crown seen in the portraits of Queen Anne of Austria (1573-1598) by Martin Kober (1595), only one rim is visible instead of two and the globe and a cross on their intersection is replaced with a pearl or a sharply cut diamond in the form evoking a pyramid, so-called diamatus punctatus. Rudolf II was depicted with his new crown in some effigies (portrait by Hans von Aachen in Apsley House, WM.1509-1948 and engraving in the State Graphic Collection in Munich, 241589D), as well as his successor Matthias (engraving by Aegidius Sadeler in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, RP-P-OB-5021) in which some differences with the original are visible, however, despite the fact that no other image of Sigismund's crown is known we cannot attribute it to the fantasy of a painter.
Also, the overall shape of described crown is unusual and resemble more the crowns visible in Persian and Indian miniatures. Similar diadems with bent petals can be found in the investiture scene of Malik-Shah I, sultan of the Great Seljuk Empire, from the 14th-century book "Jami' al-tawarikh" (Edinburgh University Library), an illustrated leaf from a manuscript of Nizami's "Khamsa": Bahram Gur entertained in the red pavilion, created in Isfahan, Persia in the mid-17th century (private collection) or a miniature painted between 1610-1618 by Bichitr, an Indian painter during the Mughal period, and showing Moinuddin Chishti, a Persian preacher holding a globe (Chester Beatty Library in Dublin). The oriental style crown visible in king's portrait, as a private possession of the House of Vasa, was most probably melted down during the turbulent reign of his son John II Casimir Vasa, melted and material reused by Sigismund himself who was a talented goldsmith or offered as a gift to someone before 1623, as it was not mentioned in the king's last will from May 5. On May 11, 1606 the gifts from the king were presented to Tsaritsa Marina Mniszech in Moscow - 30 very valuable vessels, while the king's envoy Mikołaj Oleśnicki (1558-1629), castellan of Małogoszcz offered many pieces of jewellery "from himself and from his Wife", including "a crown with pearls, diamonds and rubies" (after "Dzieje panowania Zygmunta III, króla polskiego" by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Volume 2, 1819, p. 569). The crown visible in the portrait by Heintz was also set with pearls, diamonds and rubies. It is therefore highly possible that Oleśnicki and his wife purchased the oriental crown from Sigismund as a gift for Marina.
Another "oriental" insignia that entered the collection of Sigismund III Vasa around that time was the so-called Muscovy crown. This crown was supposedly sent to the king by False Dmitry after his coronation as Tsar of Russia in 1605 or it was made in Poland around 1610, after the election of Prince Ladislaus Sigismund (later Ladislaus IV), Sigismund III's son, as tsar (after "Klejnoty w Polsce: czasy ostatnich Jagiellonów i Wazów" by Ewa Letkiewicz, p. 139). Ladislaus bequeathed the crown to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's State Treasury, but after the king's death in 1648 his brother and successor John II Casimir ordered the insignia to be melted down into coins.
One of the gems from the original crown became the property of Jan Kazimierz Krasiński (1607-1669), Grand Treasurer of the Crown. In the 19th century it was given to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia with a piece of parchment with the inscription in Latin EX CORONA MOSCOVIAE and found its place in the collections of the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow (inventory number ДК-752). The jewel is a double-faced sapphire icon-cameo with Christ Enthroned and Golgotha's Cross, attributed to a Byzantine artist from the 15th century. Sigismund III was depicted with the "crown taken in Moscow" on his head (after "Dzieje panowania Zygmunta III, króla polskiego" by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Volume 2, 1819, p. 557) in a painting attributed to Christian Melich (Wawel Royal Castle). The painting represent the king on his death-bed displayed in the Guard Chamber at the Royal Castle in Warsaw in 1632. It was also depicted in a portrait of Sigismund's successor Ladislaus IV Vasa, attributed to Pieter Soutman and painted in about 1634, therefore created in Haarlem where the painter returned in 1628. The king was portrayed in a pourpoint lavishly adorned with laces and a high crown with a cross at the top on a table beside him (National Museum in Warsaw, 186555). Although Ladislaus was not crowned, he was officially elected and recognized as the Tsar of Muscovy in 1610 and used the title of Grand Duke of Muscovy until 1634. The crown was mentioned in Sigismund III's last will and testament made on May 5, 1623 in Warsaw as part of his successor's inheritance. The will also include "a golden basin with ewer with the Muscovy coats of arms, bought from the soldiers" left to king's wife Constance of Austria.
The number of West European-style works of art and portraits connected with Tsar False Dmitry I, suggest that he purchased and ordered directly such items. His beautiful armour created between 1605-1606 in Milan by Pompeo della Cesa is in the Military History Museum in Saint Petersburg and a silver pocket watch with an eagle, possibly owned by Dmitriy, made by German or Polish workshop is in the Moscow Kremlin. At the beginning of January 1606 arrived to Kraków Jan Buczynski, secretary of the tsar, with the mission to acquire jewels for his patron. Several merchants from Kraków and Lviv, as well as jewellers Mikołaj Siedmiradzki and Giovanni Ambrogio Cellari from Milan, encouraged by the prospect of a large gain, embarked on a journey to Moscow. It was probably one of them who created the scepter (Moscow Kremlin, R-18) and orb (R-15), later owned by Tsar Michael I (1596-1645). The style of the orb resemble the mentioned crown of Sigismund III depicted in a portrait of his first wife Anna by Martin Kober. In 1606 Philip II Holbein "a court servant and agent in Augsburg" of Sigismund III, who as S.R.M. jubilerus was present in Kraków in 1605, delivered a considerable number of valuables to the court of False Dmitry I (after "Philip II Holbein – złotnik i agent artystyczny Zygmunta III ..." by Jacek Żukowski, p. 23). Holbein also worked for Emperor Rudolf II, and then - Emperor Matthias. It is possible that Dmitry's emissaries arrived also to Augsburg and Hamburg in Germany.
A drawing from Album Amicorum of merchant and banker from Augsburg Philipp Hainhofer (1578-1647), who created the famous so-called Pomeranian Curiosity Cabinet (Pommerscher Kunstschrank) for Duke Philip II of Pomerania, is a copy of a painting by Szymon Boguszowicz depicting the reception of the Polish envoys by Tsar False Dmitriy I in 1606 (Herzog August Library and Hungarian National Museum). Among the designs for the crowns by Hamburg goldsmith Jakob Mores (Mörs) the Elder, who was born around 1540 and lived until around 1612 (after "Archiv Fur Geschichte Des Buchwesens", Volume 65, p. 158) in his "Jewelry book" (Kleinodienbuch, Hamburg State and University Library) there are two crowns which resemble the crown depicted in mentioned portrait of Ladislaus IV by Pieter Soutman, as well as the crowns visible in Coronation of Marina Mniszech in Moscow on May 8, 1606 by Szymon Boguszowicz or follower, created in about 1613 (State Historical Museum in Moscow).
It is generally belived that these are designs for the crown of Rudolf II, however the overall shape resemble more the crowns usually associated with Russia (e.g. great imperial crown from 1762) - the "mitre" is more open then in the Rudolf's crown and there is a globe and a cross (globus cruciger) on the intersection of the rims and not a large stone like in the crown created by Vermeyen. A few years earlier, between 1593-1595 Mores created two drawings for the open crown of King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway, which were also included in his "Jewelry book". It was, however, Dirich Fyring and Corvinianus Saur, who between 1595-1596 made the crown for the coronation of Christian IV (Rosenborg Castle), nevertheless the designs by Mores resemble the shape of the final crown. Some pieces of jewellery in Poland are also attributed to Mores or his circle, like hat decorations of Francis of Pomerania (1577-1620), created in about 1600 (National Museum in Szczecin) or a chain of Constance of Austria from the 1600s (Wawel Royal Castle, ZKnW-PZS 1323), while double-headed imperial eagle from the Diamond Robe of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa also created around that time, may have been created by one of the named court goldsmiths for Constance of Austria or Marina Mniszech.
The shape of the mentioned imperial insignia with a smaller crown at the top is also similar to the Cap from the Grand Set of Tsar Michael I, created by Moscow Kremlin workshops in 1627. It is also possible that the smaller crown in the "Jewelry book" is not a variant, but the insignia intended for the coronation of Marina Mniszech.
Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa with the "oriental" crown by Joseph Heintz the Elder, ca. 1604, Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
Visualization of the "oriental" crown of Sigismund III Vasa by Jan Vermeyen (attributed to), ca. 1604, © Marcin Latka.
Portrait of Ladislaus IV Vasa with the so-called "Muscovy" crown by Pieter Soutman, ca. 1634, National Museum in Warsaw.
Design for the so-called "Muscovy" crown by Jakob Mores the Elder, ca. 1605-1610, Hamburg State and University Library.
Design for the so-called "Muscovy" crown or the crown of Marina Mniszech by Jakob Mores the Elder, ca. 1605-1610, Hamburg State and University Library.
Bronze busts of Sigismund III Vasa and Constance of Austria
Although the existence of royal busts is purely hypothetical and not confirmed by sources, the fashion for such antique sculptures, stemming from Italy and Imperial court in Prague and Vienna, udoubtedly found its reflection in the cosmopolitan court of the Vasas in Kraków and Warsaw. Bronze cartouche with coat of arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the Wawel Castle, a full plastic bronze cast that preserved to our days and commissioned by Sigismund III in about 1604 to adorn overdoor in the northern wing of the castle leading to the Senators' Staircase, confirms that the Vasa residences were filled with such items.
In 1624, the Bishop of Kraków, Marcin Szyszkowski, who titled himself "the most faithful servant of the House of Austria" and who together with Zygmunt Myszkowski brought the Queen Constance from Graz to Poland, sponsored a new architectural dome canopy over the reliquary of Saint Stanislaus in the Wawel Cathedral in the style of Roman baroque. It is the work of the royal architect Giovanni Battista Trevano, the same who rebuilt the Royal Castle in Warsaw, made of black and rose marble, gilt-bronze and wood, created in the years 1626-1629. Gilt bronze figures of the Evangelists and Patrons Saints of Poland, flanking the cupola over the canopy, were cast by Antonio Lagostini, active in Kraków from around 1624. In the year of completion of this work, the bishop also ordered a tomb monument for himself in the cathedral near the canopy. According to the letter from Marcin Szyszkowski to Andrzej Łukomski, a Canon of the Cracow Cathedral Chapter, of 20 January 1629, this was also commissioned from Trevano and Lagostini. The model for the cast bronze bust should be attributed to the sculptors related to Trevano, Andrea and Antonio Castelli, sculptors from Lugano, active in Kraków from about 1623.
If existed, the royal busts were undoubtedly made in gilded bronze, just as majority of the similar works preserved in many European countries and Bishop Szyszkowski's bust. The material and its frequent military reuse, would also explain why the works have not preserved, as in case of bronze garden statues of Ladislaus IV's garden of the Villa Regia Palace in Warsaw, which are confirmed in sources. The preserved bronze statue of King Sigismund III at the column, so-called Sigismund Column in Warsaw, was also initially gilded.
The reconstruction is based on royal portrait paintings with Spanish composition from the 1610s created by workshop of court painter Jakob Troschel, which were in the collection of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg before World War II. Both effigies, possibly from dowry of Polish-Lithuanian Princess Anna Catherina Constance Vasa, are highly schematical and idealized, hence facial features are based on more realistic effigies of the royal pair created by other court painters.
Gilded bronze bust of King Sigismund III Vasa, mid-1610s to 1631. Hypothetical reconstruction by Marcin Latka ©. All rights reserved.
Gilded bronze bust of Queen Constance of Austria, mid-1610s to 1631. Hypothetical reconstruction by Marcin Latka ©. All rights reserved.
See more pictures of Bronze busts of Sigismund III Vasa and Constance of Austria on Pinterest - Artinpl and Artinplhub
Heraldic pendant of Anna Catherine Constance Vasa
Princess Anna Catherine Constance Vasa was born in Warsaw on August 7th, 1619. She was the only daughter of Sigismund III Vasa and his second wife Constance of Austria that survied the childhood and the youngest of royal pair's children.
Large Spanish style pendants, like the one described here, become less fashionable with the introduction of the French style in the mid-1630s, that prompted frontal brooches. The creation of the pendant could be then closed in the time span between mid-1620s and 1638 when Anna Catherine Constance came of age and came into possession of counties bestowed to her by the parliament. It was also probably in 1638 that Princess' portrait in red Spanish dress with two gold pendants was created (today in the Imperial castle in Nuremberg).
King Sigismund III, himself a talented goldsmith, possibly stood behind the compex emblematic program of this jewel, although it is also possible that it was created long after his death in 1632. Since 1637, a marriage was suggested between Anne Catherine Constance and Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria, heir of Tyrol and nephew of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, and Gaston, Duke of Orléans (brother of King Louis XIII of France), were also candidates for her hand. A jewel stressing splendid dynastic connections and emphasizing vastness of territories ruled by the family would perfectly fit into the Princess' situation at that time. Several heraldic jewels were featured in the official portraits of Anna Catherine Constance's mother Constance of Austria.
Anna Catherine Constance's father Sigismund III Vasa was elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, bi-federation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch in real union, who was both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Since Sigismund's crowning in 1592, Polish Vasas claimed themselves rightful hereditary rulers of Sweden, consequently ignoring Sigismund's dethronement of 1598 by the Swedish parliament.
Anna Catherine Constance finally married Philip William of Neuburg (1615-1690), in Warsaw on 8 June 1642. She brought a considerable dowry in jewels and cash, calculated at a total of 2 million thalers. The inventory of Princess' jewels preserved in the Czartoryski Library in Kraków summarizes their value to 443,289 1/3 hard thalers.
The heraldic pendant is listed 18th in the section Pendants: A diamond pendant with Figures of the late King Sigmunt and Constantia with crowns on their heads, in the middle ruby grain, and beneath white Eagle, at the bottom coat of arms of the Duchy of Lithuania, on the right hand Swedish and on the left hand Austrian; above this ruby grain a yellow Lion with open jaw, in the front two fangs holds Zygmunt and Constantia together, on the sides and on the bottom five carved round hanging diamonds, valued at 2,000 thalers.
It is hard to determine the degree of accuracy of the inventory both in terms of description of items as well as valuation. One "large diamond" in a ring was valued at 30,000 thalers and a ring with "coat of arms of Austria" was valued at only 40 thalers. Also traditionally the Queen was depited to the right and the King to the left, and not like in the description of the pendant, which finds confirmation in Sigismund and Constance's portraiture, as well as location of the royal stalls in the Cathedral of Saint John in Warsaw.
The inventory also includes:
A necklace of 22 parts, among which 11 with a diamond in a middle, 3 square cut, 3 triangle cut, and set with two pearls. Another 11 parts in which a Lion's head in the center having a pearl in its mouth, four diamonds and four pearls set around it. All with a pendant with sixty two cut diamonds, and on top of a Lion's head and six hanging pearls, a gift from the Queen to the Princess, valued at 80,000 thalers;
A pendant in which a Lion with three crowns in the shape of the Swedish coat of arms with twenty-six different diamonds, and three hanging pearls, valued at 150 thalers and
A pendant in which a white Eagle with a large ruby on the chest, three small ruby parts, and three large pearls, valued at 700 thalers.
The inventory also lists A white Eagle, having a coat of arms on his cheast at which two rubies, all set with diamonds, with three hanging pearls, valued at 1,200 thalers, which is most probably identical with "diamond eagle with rubies" of the House of Austria received in 1543 by Elizabeth of Austria (1526-1545) from Emperor Charles V on the occasion of her marriage with Sigismund II Augustus of Poland, and preserved in the treasury of the Munich Residence.
Among renowned jewellers of the Vasas in the first half of the 17th century, that could create the work, were Mikołaj Siedmiradzki (ca. 1550-1630) from Lviv in today's Ukraine, who was in service of Sigismund III since 1604, and who in turn employed in his workshop Mikołaj Pasternakowicz and Zygmunt Frączkiewicz. There were also Jean Barbier from Lorraine, active in Kraków from about 1605, who moved to Gdańsk in 1625 and Beniamin Lanier (d. 1630) from Vitry-le-François in north-eastern France, who was active in Kraków from 1606, both court jewellers of Sigismund III. Jakub Burnett from Edinburgh who settled in Lviv in the first half of the 17th century was employed by Ladislaus IV. Members of the family also commissioned jewels abroad, like Prince John Casimir Vasa who in 1643 paid 9000 florins for jewels to Samuel von Sorgen from Vienna and 189 florins "For diamond heart to Mr Jakub jeweller".
Anna Catherine Constance died childless in Cologne on 8 October 1651 and was buried in the church of the Jesuits in Düsseldorf. It is due to purely heraldic character of the jewel, high value of the material and new fashion for more simple jewels that the pendant was most probably melted down, possibly still in the 17th century.
Excerpt from Inventory of Jewels of Her Highness Duchess of Neuburg, Crown Princess of Poland (Spisanie Kleynotów Xiężney Iey Mości Neyburskiey, Królewney Polskiey) by Royal Chancery in Warsaw, 1645, Czartoryski Library in Kraków. Fragment describing Heraldic pendant of Anna Catherine Constance Vasa.
Heraldic pendant of Anna Catherine Constance Vasa, mid-1620s to 1638. Hypothetical reconstruction by Marcin Latka ©. All rights reserved.
Tapestries with Story of Odysseus
During his stay in Antwerp in 1624, the Crown Prince of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa visited Peter Paul Rubens' workshop, admired Jan Brueghel the Elder's paintings and visited the famous art collection of Cornelis van der Geest. He also went to see the tapissierspand (Tapestry house), on the site of the current Bourla Theater, on September 24, 1624. We visited a house, writes Stefan Pac, in his diary where they sell beautiful and precious tapestries that are sent all over the world. A few days later, on October 5, 1624 Gaspard Nagodt, treasurer of the Prince of Poland, signed a contract with a Brussels' weaver Jacob Geubels the Younger for delivery of ten tapestries representing the Story of Odysseus (Ulysses) of six ells height each (Flemish ell was equal to about 70 cm or 27 inches), interwoven with gold and silver thread. The complete set comprised 594 ells and cost 19,008 florins. On October 12, 1624 another contract was signed for a series called "with greenery" i.e. verdure tapestries or "Landscapes and Bocages in fresco", for 9207 florins.
An Antwerp merchant, Jan Bierens, "agent and domestic of His Highness the Serene Prince Wladislaus Sigismundus, Prince of Poland and Sweden", oversaw the weaving of the tapestries of the Story of Odysseus and verdures that Geubels the Younger made in Brussels. A lawsuit brought by Geubels against Jan Bierens in December 1626 for payment, confirms that at least a part of the commissioned tapestries was ready by this date.
Notations in the archives reveal the existence of the prince's agents, such as mentioned Jan Bierens and Georges Deschamps or the Frenchman Mathieu Rouault. They had to satisfy Ladislaus Sigismund's creditors and ensure that everything was executed and sent to Poland.
Probably due to Prince's financial difficulties the whole set not executed till Geubels' death in 1629 and the commission was accomplished by an unknown workshop.
It is uncertain when the Story of Odysseus and verdure tapestries were dispatched from Antwerp and when they arrived in Poland. Ladislaus Sigismund, the newly elected monarch of the Commonwealth as Ladislaus IV, wanted to have them before his coronation on February 6, 1633 in Kraków.
By a notarial deed of January 12, 1632 we learn that Jan Bierens had received three chests containing approximately two hundred and fifty - three silver marcs from the hands of Francesco Gissa and Joannes Curius, one butler and the other secretary of Abbot Mikołaj Wojciech Gniewosz (d. 1654), Ambassador of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Antwerp merchant had given them two thousand three hundred and ten rixdales as a pledge and had promised to send the precious delivery to Gdańsk to the address of Abraham Pels.
In the letter from September 15, 1632 Ladislaus IV asked Christian IV of Denmark to release his tapestries from customs (Rkps Riqsarkivet, Polen A. I, 3).
According to François Mols, a number of tapestry cartoons by Jacob Jordaens with the date 1620 were sold at Antwerp in 1774. It is belived that these tapestries were inspired by knowledge of Primaticcio's lost frescoes of the same subject at Fontainebleau. A document from May 15, 1656 in the archives of Antwerp in which Jacob Geubels, son of Jacob Geubels the Younger, had undertaken to weave, tapestries representing the Story of Ulysses after cartoons by Jordaens, confirms that the series were made to his design.
Lavish tapestries "hang up in foreign style" among "golden Netherlandish arts" are mentioned in Adam Jarzębski's "Short Description of Warsaw" (The Main Road, or a Short Description of Warsaw) from 1643, as adorning Ladislaus IV's Palace Villa Regia in Warsaw (1950-1956).
The series was inherited by Ladislaus' brother John II Casimir, who took them to France after his abdication in 1668 and was sold on auction in Paris in 1673 to the agent of the Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine for 12,000 French pounds (position 728 of the inventory).
Tapestry with Odysseus threatening Circe by workshop of Jacob Geubels II after cartoon by Jacob Jordaens, 1624-1632, with coat of arms of the Crown Prince of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa, the mark of the city of Brussels B B, weaver's monogram and signature IACO GEVBELS. Hypothetical reconstruction by Marcin Latka ©. All rights reserved.
At the beginning of January 1606 arrived to Kraków Jan Buczynski, secretary of tsar False Dmitry I of Russia, with the mission to acquire jewels for his patron. Several merchants from Kraków and Lviv, as well as jewellers Mikołaj Siedmiradzki and Giovanni Ambrogio Cellari from Milan, encouraged by the prospect of a large gain, embarked on a journey to Moscow.
Princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) who owned a collection of jewels valued by some at 200,000 thalers, decided also to secretly sell to the tsar a part of it. Stanisław Niemojewski (ca. 1560-1620) of Rola coat of arms, Crown Deputy Master of the Pantry, was appointed to deliver jewels worth of 70,000 zlotys "wrapped in colourful silk" in an iron casked "painted in green". False Dmitry was killed on May 17th, 1606 and it was not as early as 1609 when the collection was returned by the new tsar Vasiliy Ivanovich Shuisky. Among jewels returned was "eagle with two diamond heads with rubies", most probably from princess' collection or pawned with Niemojewski from the State Treasury before 1599.
Such hereldic jewels, either Imperial-Austrian or Polish, were undobtedly in possesion of different queens and princesses of Poland since at least 1543, when Elizabeth of Austria (1526-1545) was presented with a "diamond eagle with rubies" by emperor Charles V on the occasion of her marriage with king Sigismund II Augustus of Poland. Inventory of the jewels of Polish princess Anna Catherine Constance Vasa, daughter of Sigismund III and Constance of Austria, include four pendans and two pair of earrings with eagles, unfailingly three Imperial-Austrian and two Polish: "a pendant with a white, enamelled Eagle, at which seven diamonds, three round pearls and one big hanging ", valued at 120 thalers and "a diamond eagle with a sharply cut diamond in the center, more diamonds around and three hanging pearls".
Anna Vasa, in half a princess of Poland, as a daughter of Catherine Jagiellon and sister of king Sigismund III, was as such entitled to use this emblem. After Sigismund's defeat at the Battle of Stångebro in 1598, she left Sweden to live with him in Poland where she spent the rest of her life.
The miniature portrait of a lady with eagle pendant from Harrach collection in Vienna (Harrach Palace at Freyung Street) previously identified as effigy of Anna of Austria (1573-1598), first wife of king Sigismund III, basing on strong resemblance to portrait of Catherine Jagiellon, if at all connected with Poland, should be rather identified as a portrait of king’s sister Anna Vasa, and not as his wife. The lack of protruding lip, notorious "Habsburg jaw" known from Anna of Austria’s preserved portraits and costume of the sitter, according to Northern fashion and not Spanish of the Imperial court, confirms this hypothesis.
Eagle was a symbol of supreme imperial power, epitomized magnanimity, the Ascension to heaven and regeneration by baptism and was used in jewellery all across Europe at that time. If the pendant is a heraldic symbol than the portrait should be dated to about 1592, when Sigismund was prepared to abandon the Polish throne for Ernest of Austria, who was about to marry princess Anna Vasa (this would also explain how the miniature found its way to Austria) or to 1598, when the princess needed to legitimize herself in her new homeland.
Diamond double-headed eagle of the House of Austria by Anonymous from Milan or Vienna, mid-16th century, Treasury of the Munich Residence. Most probably from dowry of princess Anna Catherine Constance Vasa.
Detail of a portrait of queen Anna of Austria (1573-1598) by Martin Kober, 1595, Bavarian State Painting Collections.
Miniature of princess Catherine Jagiellon (1526-1583) by workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1553, Czartoryski Museum.
Miniature of a lady with eagle pendant, most probably princess Anna Vasa (1568-1625) by Anonymous, 1590s, Harrach collection in Rohrau Castle (?). Identification by Marcin Latka.
See the work in Polish-Lithuanian Treasures.
When in 1598 died queen Anna of Austria, first wife of Sigismund III Vasa, a young a chamberlain of the queen's court and governess to the king's children, Urszula Meyerin, took her position not only in the king's bed but also at the court and in country's politics. This seven-year period between first and second marriage of the king, marked by increasing role of his mistress and "a minister in a skirt" as she was called, is most probably reflected in the reliquary of Saint Ursula in the Diocesan Museum in Płock.
Before 1601 king Sigismund III ordered a goldsmith of Płock, Stanisław Zemelka, to adorn a reliquary bust of his patron Saint Sigismund in the Płock Cathedral with a gold crown from his treasury. Around the same year the king's close ally and protégé, Wojciech Baranowski, Bishop of Płock, commissioned in the workshop of royal goldsmith a silver bust for relics of Saint Ursula from the Płock Cathedral, which was to be transferred to newly established Jesuit Collegium in Pułtusk. Urszula Meyerin, a supporter of Jesuits who corresponded with the Pope and used her influence on the king to appoint her favourites to state positions, deserved the honor to give her effigy to the virgin martyr Ursula, which would be another reason for king's gratitude towards Baranowski. It is also possible that the king, himself a talented goldsmith, participated in execution of this commission, hence the lack of signature on the work.
Silver reliquary of Saint Sigismund with gold Płock Diadem by Anonymous from Kraków (reliquary) and Anonymous from Hungary or Germany (diadem), second quarter of 13th century and 1370, Diocesan Museum in Płock.
Silver reliquary of Saint Ursula in the form of a bust by Stanisław Ditrich, ca. 1600, Diocesan Museum in Płock.
In 1637, when 42-years-old king Ladislaus IV Vasa decided to marry finally, the situation at the court of his mistress Jadwiga Łuszkowska become difficult. It was probably thanks to efforts of king's wife, imperial daughter, Cecilia Renata of Austria, that Jadwiga was married to Jan Wypyski, starost of Merkinė in Lithuania and left the court in Warsaw. Portrait of a lady with forget-me-nots from Warsaw's National Museum, painted around that time in the style of royal painter, Peter Danckerts de Rij, which depicts a lady in the costume of a married woman from Central Europe holding forget-me-nots, symbolizing true love, might be a portrait of Łuszkowska.
Portrait of a lady with forget-me-nots (possibly Jadwiga Wypyska née Łuszkowska) by circle of Peter Danckerts de Rij, ca. 1640, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of Prince Sigismund Casimir Vasa with a page (possibly illegitimate son of Łuszkowska and Ladislaus IV - Ladislaus Constantine Vasa, future Count of Wasenau) by Peter Danckerts de Rij, ca. 1647, National Gallery in Prague.
Around 1659, when the great war, known is Polish history as the Deluge, was coming to the end, it become obvious to everybody that 48-years-old queen Marie Louise Gonzaga would not give a birth to a child, everybody at the court in Warsaw were thinking on possible heir to the throne. Powerful queen gave birth to a son in 1652, but the child died after a month. The old king John Casimir Vasa, former cardinal, who finding himself unsuited to ecclesiastical life, stood in elections for the Polish throne after death of his brother and married his sister-in-law, had however at least one illegitimate child, a daughter Marie Catherine, and possibly a son.
The painting offered by queen Marie Louise to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw in about 1667 and created by court artist around 1659, depicts the eldest son of king’s mistress Katarzyna Franciszka (Catherine Frances) Denhoffowa. 10 years old John Casimir Denhoff as young Jesus, held by childless queen Marie Louise depicted as Virgin Mary, is offering a ring to his mother in the costume of Saint Catherine.
Katarzyna Franciszka Denhoffowa nee von Bessen (or von Bees) from Olesno in Silesia and her younger sister Anna Zuzanna were maids of honor of queen Cecilia Renata and stayed at the court after queen’s death. Denhoffowa become a trusted maid of a new queen and her second husband John Casimir. In 1648, she married a courtier of John Casimir, Teodor Denhoff, and a year later on June 6, 1649 she gave birth to John Casimir Denhoff, future cardinal. Godparents of the young Denhoff were none other than king and queen herself. In 1666 at the age of 17 he was made abbot of Mogiła Abbey and between 1670 and 1674 he studied canon law in Paris under protection of John Casimir Vasa.
Mystical marriage of Saint Catherine by circle of Peter Danckerts de Rij, ca. 1659, National Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of king John II Casimir Vasa by Daniel Schultz, 1659, Royal Baths Museum in Warsaw.
Portrait of cardinal John Casimir Denhoff by circle of Giovanni Maria Morandi, after 1687, Private collection.
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