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.
Crown of Sigismund III Vasa
Work in progress.
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.
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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.
Silver altar of Sigismund III Vasa
Work in progress.
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 yards height each, interwoven with gold and silver thread. The complete set comprised 594 yards 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.
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.
Maria Josepha of Saxony visited the Jasna Góra Monastery with her sister Maria Anna Sophia on May 23rd, 1744. Daughters of Augustus III of Poland and Saxony offered to the Black Madonna of Częstochowa two gold hearts with their names as votive offering. In 1747 the princess married Louis, Dauphin of France (1729-1765) and some time later, in 1756, through intermediary of Duchess Jabłonowska, she sent to Jasna Góra a votive offering for healing her husband. The oil on canvas painting by anonymous French painter is set in a rich bronze frame, cast, chased and gilded, adorned with rocaille motifs and cartouches with coat of arms of Maria Josepha (Polish-Lituanian Commonweath and Kingdom of France). Inscription on frame informs about the intentions of the Dauphine of France. Both the painting and frame were creted by French workshop. Similar example of craftmanship is a late baroque strongbox with monogram of Augustus II of Poland by Pierre Fromery.
Votive painting of Maria Josepha of Saxony by Anonymous from France, ca. 1753, Treasury of the Jasna Góra Monastery.
Strongbox with monogram of Augustus II the Strong by Pierre Fromery, 1697-1733, Czartoryski Museum.
The reign of king John Albert was a period of gradual transition from gothic to renaissance art in Poland. Majority of preserved effigies of the king were most probably created posthumously, however the artists who worked for the Wawel Cathedral, beyond any doubt known the king personally.
Among the oldest is a portrait of the king as a donor kneeling before the crucified Christ in a group of sculptures known as the Triptych of John Albert. The triptych was commissioned to the king's funeral chapel and created by Stanisław Stwosz (Stanislaus Stoss) in 1501. This original retable was dismanteled in about 1758 and some elements were reused in a new altar for the Czartoryski Chapel of the Cathedral between 1873 and 1884.
Similar grafic effigy of the king was included in a graduale, a book collecting all the musical items of the Mass, which he founded in 1499 for the Cathedral. John Albert was depicted once again as donor, kneeling before the Apocalyptic Virgin in a miniature by Master Maciej z Drohiczyna (1484-1528).
The last of the effigies, and the most important, is the king's tomb effigy carved in red marble by Jörg Huber. Late gothic image of the king lying in state with all attributes of his power was crowned between 1502 and 1505 with a renaissance arch created by Francesco Fiorentino. The tomb was founded after king's death by his mother Elizabeth of Austria and his youngest brother Sigismund.
Altar from John Albert Chapel now in the Chartoryski Chapel of the Wawel Cathedral with original sculptures from the early 16th century, in the casing from the third quarter of the 19th century by Władysław Brzostowski.
Crucifixion with king John Albert as donor by Stanisław Stwosz, 1501, Chartoryski Chapel of the Wawel Cathedral.
Crucifixion with king John Albert as donor by Stanisław Stwosz, 1501, Chartoryski Chapel of the Wawel Cathedral.
Miniature in graduale of king John Albert by Master Maciej z Drohiczyna, 1499-1501, Archives of the Wawel Metropolitan Chapter in Kraków.
Tombstone of king John Albert by Jörg Huber, ca. 1502, John Albert Chapel of the Wawel Cathedral.
After his abdication as a King of Poland in 1669, John Casimir Vasa left for France to settle in Paris in Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés as its abbot. He took with him a large portion of the preserved Vasa collections, which was later sold in Paris on an auction in 1673 after his death. Inventory of the sell lists over thousand items:
55. A Christ carved in Saint Lucia wood, in an ebony box (Mr. Robert, griffier, 37.10 pounds).
56. Three Polish style chests with two wooden and another covered with black leather, as it is (Mr. Corade the Younger, 7 pounds).
57. A small bending seat covered with red velvet and a green velvet convenience chair, with a basin and two crystal chamber pots (Mr. Argilly, 9 pounds).
58. An altar frontal and two crédances in green velvet, trimmed with embroidery.
77. A large mirror of Venetian glass, trimmed at its edge, blackened and varnished, with its frame, gold and silver and silk (Madame Garnier, 131.10 pounds).
78. Dead Christ with Virgin made in wax, large as nature enshrined in a blackened wooden case with a large Venetian glass in front (Mr. Torque, 550 pounds).
79. A terracotta Virgin holding the infant Jesus, with two small crowns of enameled gold in a walnut box (Duke of Creguy, 20 pounds).
95. St. Peter painted on wood, original by Rubens, with its border of black wood (Mr. Corade, 40 pounds).
96. Virgin, infant Jesus and St. Elizabeth, painted on wood, with its black frame (Mr. Torque, 28 pounds).
97. St. Joseph holding the Child, with God the Father, the glory of little angels, original by Claude (?) Callot, in gold frame (Mr. Buy, 25 pounds).
98. Virgin in oval, holding a bouquet of lilies, a small Christ holding a rose, black frame with silver ornaments (Mr. de Buy, 104 pounds).
99. Head of the Virgin in oval with two hands, black frame with silver elements (Mr. Lenosquy, 25 pounds).
100. A rose with a bud and a golden sun, with a motto in golden frame (Mr. du Moulins, 55 sols).
101. Two small paintings of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier, with ebony frames (Mr. Cavaro, 6 pounds).
102. Effigy of Our Lord in a velvet case (Mr. Meusnier, 4.10 pounds).
103. Virgin with St. Elizabeth and St. Joseph, copy after Nicolas Poussin, in a white frame (Mr. Morin, 33.10 pounds).
104. Christ's head with its golden frame (Mr. de Buy, 92 pounds).
105. Descent from the Cross of Our Lord, painted on wood, without frame (Mr. Vacherot, 9.10 pounds).
106. Christ's head with its golden border (Mr. Boislabbé, 6.5 pounds).
107. St. Ignatius in an interior, who heals possessed in black frame (Mr. de Recourt, 9.10 pounds).
108. St. Anne who teaches the Virgin to read, with little angels above, a crystal glass with gold frame (Mr. Mamice, 25 pounds).
109. St. Dorothy in a gilded oval.
175. Two maces, one in ivory and other one lined with ivory (Mr. Lévesque, 8 pounds).
176. A rhinoceros horn, adorned with gilded silver, with a small cup of same material with a foot trimmed with silver (Mr. Le Blond, merchant-silversmith, 86.10 pounds for the horn, Ms. Garnier, 24 pounds for the cup).
177. A large Turkey carpet, as is (Reverend Father Barré, 30 pounds).
178. A large resting chair, trimmed and covered with brocade.
217. A pair of gauntlets with two Turkish helmets.
218. A large clock that marks the hours at night, with an ebony pedestal, with silver index and gilded brass elements, three little cupids and a silver eagle (Mr. Dupin, 500 pounds).
219. A counterweight pendulum clock in a blackened wooden frame (Phillibert Paturel, 56 pounds).
220. A counterweight pendulum clock in with a small silver dial and a small decoration at the top (Mr. Macon, 56 pounds).
221. A clock striking the hours, half hours and quarter hours, in a walnut case topped with brass (Madame de Turin, 80 pounds).
222. A pendulum clock that marks the minutes, with a large pedestal box (Reverend Father Barre, 240 pounds).
223. A spring clock, striking the hours and minutes, with an ebony pedestal, a large cross of white brass at the top and a crystal skull at the foot of the crucifix (Mr. Barbier, merchant-silversmith, 304 pounds).
224. A watch clock striking the hours, half-hours, quarters and repeats, marking the minutes, with a silver dial and a frame of gilded copper, adorned with embossed silver plate and foliage (Mr. Dupin, 230 pounds).
225. A pendulum clock, as it is (Mr. Galus, 220 pounds).
226. A clock that marks hours, half hours, the fourth months and moons and moon signs, all movements of steel instead of string, with an ebony and blackened wood pedestal, adorned with several figures in gilded brass and an eagle on top of the dial, with the coat of arms of the late Queen of Poland (Marie Louise Gonzaga), enamel on copper (Mr. Dupin, 160 pounds).
227. An alarm clock striking hours, half hours and quarters, which marks the month’s quarters, the holidays, the year, pendulum decorated with several silver foliage, gilded brass pedestal and such wood with a fortune above (Mr. Le Riche, 311 pounds).
228. A brass clock striking hours, half hours and quarters, with alarm (80 pounds).
232. A clock striking hours, half hours and quarters, moon signs, days of the week, the twelve signs of the seven planets, parts inside with chains, on ebony pedestal, the case adorned with ornaments made in gilded brass with an eagle above (Madame Pachau, 205 pounds).
233. A counterweight pendulum clock in a case of blackened wood, with brass plaques around which are engraved in gilded panoplies, copper whitened dial (Mr. Hardevillers, 46 pounds).
234. A clock on an ebony pedestal, which marks the hours with two globes both sides of the dial, one silver the other gold brass, with two small compasses at the bottom and a large compass made in gilded copper above and sphere made of gilded brass behind.
357. A small painting with a lemon on a plate and a silver overturned vase, in ebony frame (Mr. Clorasse, 6.10 pounds).
358. St. Joseph with infant Jesus, trimmed frame (Mr. Corade, 6.5 pounds).
359. A miniature on vellum, with ebony frame, representing the Crucifixion of Our Lord, with several figures, original by Hreusebon (Mr. Dupin, 71 pounds).
360. A painting of a woman with small children, frame adorned with ebony, original by Mactence (Mr. Corade, 21 pounds).
361. A vertical painting with a garland of fruits and an oval in the middle, vaubours figures and landscapes and fruits of obreville, original by above-named Masters (Jan Brueghel?), in a gilded frame (Mr. Bodin, 415 pounds).
362. A painting with a perspective of the Church in Gdańsk, without frame (Mr. Corade, 40 pounds).
363. A painting with Our Lord on the cross between two thieves, copy after Rubens, painted on copper, in black frame.
389. A head of Christ painted on copper, in ebony frame (Abbot de la Tour, 11 pounds).
390. A perspective of a temple with festivities, painted on wood, in a frame of blackened wood with gilded slats (Mr. Quesnel, 40 pounds).
391. A monk's head, in a black frame (Mr. de Buy, 35 sols).
392. A half-figure of weeping Heraclitus (Mr. Mauriceau, 38.10 pounds).
393. The portrait of a monk holding a cross in his hands, painted on canvas (Mr. Corade, 110 sols).
394. A half- figure of laughing Democritus, original by Hendrik Goltzius (with 392).
395. The Conversion of Mary Magdalene with a cross, a skull, painted on canvas, without frame (Mr. Corade the Younger, 10.10 pounds).
396. Judith with the Head of Holofernes, painted on canvas, no frame.
439. A large vertical painting with St. Joachim and St. Anne who teaches the Virgin to read, with angels, painted on canvas (Mr. Duchemin, 41 pounds).
440. A picture painted on canvas, which shows a naked woman, without frame (Mr. Bruny, 16.10 pounds).
441. A Satyr who eats from a pot with a peasant, a story from Metamorphosis (Mr. De Buy, 35.10 pounds).
457. A painting of medium size, with the Virgin's Genealogy, copy after Raphael, black frame (Mr. Bonhomme, 36 pounds).
458. A painting which shows a Virgin in Glory, with adoring King at the bottom and Saint John, original, in black frame (Mr. Torque, 21 pounds).
459. A small canopy of crimson velvet, trimmed with gold and silk, tailless (Mr. Ollivier, upholsterer, 151.10 pounds).
480. Twelve broken (folded ?) ebony chairs, trimmed at their edges with upholstery of red velvet embroidered with gold and trimmed with fringe, gold and silk, accompanied with twelve cushions, also of red velvet embroidered with gold on one side only (Madame Garnier, 250 pounds).
481. Two large parade chairs covered with velvet crimson, which wooden feets, arms and other ornaments are made of Polish silver, sewn with pearls in other places. The said two armchairs are upholstered with velvet embroidered cushions with small gold glands (Madame Garnier, 1703 pounds).
630. A cane mottled with gold and silver with a screwing ivory handle and lower parts in silver (Mr. François, 56 sols).
631. A Cossack style baton made in a wood from India, with a lion’s head at the end and a silver hoop (Abbot de la Mothe, 6 pounds).
632. A baton of the late King of Poland made in a wood from Brazil, set with gold at both ends (Mr. Rondet, 27.10 pounds).
646. An ebony cabinet with two doors with drawers, with an inkwell and compact with two small lids and two rings of Polish silver (Mr. Dupin, 120 pounds).
647. Another cabinet, similar to above one, with silver settings (Mr. Dupin, 38 pounds).
648. An ebony checkerboard with black and white checkers, and a game of chess.
649. Eight high-warp tapestries representing the Life of Solomon, and four other high-warp tapestries representing Saul and Solomon, 54 French ell width altogether by 3.5 French ell high, the twelve pieces constitute two hangings (Mr. Maré, 1413 pounds for seven pieces, the said Mr. Maré, 1002 pounds for five pieces).
650. A walnut cabinet of on a twisted column, topped with several drawers and small plates of gilded copper serving as an ornament; a table and two similar wooden pedestals (Mr. Gallois, 120 pounds).
651. Fifteen pieces of tapestry of red velvet and gold brocade, 36 French ell width altogether by 2.3 French ell high, and twelve pieces of crimson red velvet, embroidered with gold and topped with a fringe of gold and silk, sloping from the said tapestry containing 36 French ell (Mr. Huvin, upholsterer, 2251 pounds).
655. A large gilded carriage for six, upholstered with Venetian velvet in palmettes on aurora background and blue flowers, with glasses and set on a chassis (sold by Mr. Torque).
656. A small carriage, upholstered with Venetian velvet in palmettes on aurora background and black flowers, with three glasses and set on a chassis (sold by Mr. Torque).
657. A large mourning carriage draped in black in and out, without glasses and set on a chassis (sold by Mr. Torque).
721. Four large plates, eight small, round basin, a jug with a cover, a saltcellar and dozen plates. Made of sounding pewter (Mr. Bourgeois, 43.02 pounds).
722. A large basin with figures in relief, accompanied with a vase, made of gilded German silver, on which is represented the horse Pegasus and the figure of Mercury, 62 marks and seven ounces of weight (Mr. Gerard, merchant-silversmith).
726. A ring with a purple ruby carved on eight sides with six faceted diamonds (Mr. De Buy, 1200 pounds).
727. Another ring with a long purple sapphire with six faceted diamonds (Mr. Macon, goldsmith, 600.10 pounds).
728. Ten pieces of Brussels’ tapestry representing the story of deeds of Ulysses (by Jacob Geubels), including parts sewn with gold, containing 56 French ell width by 3.5 French ell high (Mr. Dupin for Mr. Paul, agent of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, 12,000 pounds).
729. Four other pieces of Brussels’ tapestry representing the Deeds of Hercules and Triumph of Bacchus, sewn with gold containing 22 French ell width by 4 French ell high (Mrs. Bruneau, stored in the furniture repository of His Majesty close to the Louvre, 16001 pounds).
Inventory made in Nevers
1. A tapestry of 40 strips of Venetian brocade, with slopes and fringe in various colors (Mr. de Buy, 400 pounds).
2. Thirteen ell of tapestry of 7 pieces, 2.5 French ell high, from Venetian brocade (not sold and left in Nevers).
3. A bed of wood with a red satin mattress; a bed and pillow filled with feather and covered with red taffeta, a pavilion with lining of brocade “Porte de Paris”; a green silk cover, with 3 bags of leather (Madame Filogue, 220 pounds).
LL XII. Four portraits of four Princes of Neuburg (Mr. Corade, 12 pounds).
CX LL. Amazon painted on canvas (Mr. de Buy, 110 sols).
LL VI. A portrait of a Maltese Commander (Zygmunt Karol Radziwiłł?), painted on canvas (Mr. de Buy, 6 pounds).
LI LL. A painting on canvas depicting St. Casimir, in a trimmed frame (Mr. Bodin, 51 pounds).
CX S. Another painting also painted on canvas, depicting St. Casimir (Mr. Corade, 110 sols).
LX LL. Portable chair, covered in black cloth (Mr. Bourguignon, 60 pounds).
XXX S. A portrait of a Polish Prince (Mr. Corade, 30 sols).
Virgin and Child with flowers by Anonymous after Carlo Dolci, after 1642, National Gallery in London, was listed under number 98 of the King's belongings.
The late baroque altar made of gilded bronze was presented in 1772 to king Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski by Papal nuncio in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Giuseppe Garampi, in the name of Pope Clement XIV. It was created in about 1772 in Rome and adorned with king's coat of arms in lower part and a relief with the scene of the "Beheading of St. John the Baptist" in the center. The central tondo is probably of an earlier production from about 1688-1689 by Urbano Bertesi after Ciro Ferri's design or was based on a 17th-century form. Similar bronze relief, commissioned in 1688 by Gregorio Carafa, Grand Master of the Order of Saint John preserved affixed to the front of the altar in the Oratory of St. John's Co-Cathedral in La Valletta, Malta.
In 1777, the king's altar was installed in the new Chapel of the Warsaw's Royal Castle, so-called Saxon Chapel (today's concert hall) and remained there until 1832, when all precious furnishings were taken to Saint Petersburg, possibly at the request of Joanna Grudzińska, Princess of Lovich, morganatic wife of the Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia who died in Tsarskoye Selo in 1831. In aftermath of the November Uprising against the Russian Empire all furnishings of the Royal Castle in Warsaw were confiscated by order of Tsar Nicholas I and some destroyed like ceiling painting and the inscription on the frieze in the Knights' Hall and marble decorations of the Marble Room reused during conversion of the Piarists Church in Warsaw into Russian Orthodox Church.
The Poniatowski altar was installed in the church of St. John the Baptist in Tsarskoye Selo. In 1938 the church was closed by the Soviets and the altar was transferred to the Museum of the History of Religion in Saint Petersburg, then known as Leningrad.
Altar of king Stanislaus Augustus with Beheading of St. John the Baptist by Anonymous from Rome, ca. 1772, Museum of the History of Religion in Saint Petersburg.
Tondo with Beheading of St. John the Baptist by Urbano Bertesi after Ciro Ferri, 1688, St. John's Co-Cathedral in La Valletta.
The General Inventory of the Wilanów Palace from November 10th, 1696 is a document preserved in the Archive of Old Documents in Warsaw. It includes approximately 3500 items - 433 paintings, 1200 thalers worth jewels (only priced positions) and 4801 grzywnas (1100 kg) of silver (only positions with weight included) supervised by burgraves Brochocki and Cieszkowski and delivered by supervisors of silver Mr. Dyniewicz and Hyacynt Kredencerz. The document was prepared in Złoczów for Prince Aleksander Sobieski by burgrave Stanisław Cieszkowski basing on earlier General Register.
The documents provides supplementary information on some of the most precious items in the Royal Collection like the canopy above the King’s bed which was described by Papal nuntio in Poland Andrea Santa Croce as “a gobelin with pearls and precious stones” presented to the King by shah of Persia. According to the inventory, the canopy was made from rich velvet “Persian fabric” with colorful pattern with figures on gold background. However the inventory does not include some rarities from the King’s library, promised by the King to the Fatebenefratelli in Lwów, like for example “one horn of a sea unicorn whale, crocodile, a head of a sawfish (or a crocodile), whale fin, rhinoceros horn, sea cancer”.
Jewels (172 items)
No. 1. | P. Ale: | Pure gold watch set with diamonds | 580 thalers
No. 31. | P. Const: | IESVS monogram set with diamonds with three pearls | 220 thalers
No. 36. | P. Alex: | Image of Our Lady set with diamonds | 200 thalers
No. 40. | P. Ale: | Jasper figurine with gold, set with diamonds, emeralds and rubies | 150 thalers
No. 60. | P. Jaco: | Ring with coat of arms of the King |
No. 97. | P. Con: | Big knife with crystal handle set with turquoises | 100 thalers
Silverware (122 items)
No. 4. | | Silver bowl made in Augsburg with a cover with phoenix | weight 36 grzywnas
No. 8. | | Three storey fountain with gilded elements made in Augsburg | weight 108 grzywnas
No. 9. | | Silver pyramid with 11 baskets made in Augsburg | weight 45 grzywnas
No. 12. | | Large gilded basin with a jug with eagle | weight 147 grzywnas
No. 13. | | Smooth jug with gilded parts with double headed eagle [imperial or Russian?] | weight 48 grzywnas
No. 19. | | Round gilded basin with a jug with lion and Topór coat of arms | weight 44 grzywnas
No. 21. | | Trimmed basin with the Story of Belisarius made in Augsburg | weight 23 grzywnas
No. 22. | | Similar basin with the Story of Mordecai | weight 18 grzywnas
No. 23. | | Trimmed tray with the Story of Bacchus made in Augsburg | weight 14 grzywnas
No. 24. | | Round tray with a person pointing finger made in Augsburg | weight 11 grzywnas
No. 25. | | Tray with Neptune made in Augsburg | weight 9 grzywnas
No. 26. | | Gilded tray with a boar | weight 7 grzywnas
No. 27. | | Silver tray with Magi | weight 12 grzywnas
No. 28. | | Silver tray with handles with Convivium Deorum | weight 14 grzywnas
No. 30. | | Silver tray with gilded handles with a shepherdess with a dog | weight 7 grzywnas
No. 31. | | Basket with gilded handles, Justice and Abundance| weight 11 grzywnas
No. 32. | | Basket with gilded handles with three goddess | weight 14 grzywnas
No. 33. | | Basket with gilded handles with Quatuor Anni tempora | weight 12 grzywnas
No. 42. | | Serving silver tray with King’s coat of arms made in Paris | weight 4 grzywnas
No. 44. | | Gilded set for one person with King’s coat of arms made in Paris | weight 11 grzywnas
No. 52. | | Two gilded trays engraved with fruits and butterfly made in Augsburg | weight 9 grzywnas
No. 79. | | Pair of vases with large handles with bases with King’s coat of arms made in Paris| weight 536 grzywnas
No. 81. | | Silver screen with angels and a crown made in Augsburg | weight 242 grzywnas
No. 88. | | Twelve gilded plates with King’s coat of arms| weight 33 grzywnas
No. 92. | | 22 smooth gilded plates with coat of arms and letters A.R. | weight 51 grzywnas
Goldsmithery (538 items)
No. 1. | P.Al:| Gold bowl in the shape of a shell presented by Elector of Brandenburg with his coat of arms | weight 894 red zlotys
No. 2. | P.Iacobus:| Smaller gold bowl with Chinese people and flowers| weight 192 red zlotys
No. 6. | P.Con:| Smooth gold cup on three knobs with coat of arms of Elector of Brandenburg and ducal cap| weight 480 red zlotys
No. 7. | Queen:| Large jasper bowl with gold bottom and gold handles, gold cover with 4 crystals and a crane holding a sapphire| weight 600 red zlotys
No. 8. | P.Iacobus:| Jasper bowl in gold frame set with rubies with eagle’s head | weight 150 red zlotys
No. 9. | P.Al:| Jasper chalice with a high bottom and a silver frame set with rubies, cover with a lily, set with diamonds and emeralds| weight 250 red zlotys
No. 17. | | Black agate casket in gold frame with four columns, set with crystal, and Passion of Christ| weight 500 red zlotys
No. 26. |P.Con.| Engraved crystal bowl with high bottom with crystal eagle |
No. 42. |P.Al.| Chinese inkwell in the shape of a lectern with a gold lock set with diamonds |
No. 49. |P.Al.| Nautilus cup in the shape of a ship with a mast on a dolphin |
No. 64. || Gilded silver figurine of Arion among dolphins |
No. 70. |P.Al.| Turkish porcelain censer in silver frame set with rubies and other precious stones|
No. 78. |Princess| Gilded silver casket set lavishly with stones with an eagle at the top|
No. 80. |P.Iacobus| Nautilus cup in silver frame with a Triton |
No. 81. |P.Con:| Nautilus cup in silver frame with a gilded swan |
No. 82. |P.Iacobus| Box in the shape of a pyramid with 7 green filigree bottles |
No. 84. |P.Al.| Coral bush on a silver pedestal with silver Andromeda |
No. 85. |P.Con.| Green jasper bowl in gold frame, cover with Diana | 40
No. 87. |P.Al.| Pure gold saltcellar with a cover with Cleopatra and a pearl | 115
No. 88. |P.Con.| Heart-shaped bowl in gold frame |
No. 92. |P.Con.| Our Lady made in coral on a gilded silver pedestal |
No. 97. |P.Con.| Filigree palace with a garden |
No. 98. |P.Iacobus.| New bone inlaid checkers with amber pawns in walnut box|
No. 100. || Mathematical box covered with black leather adorned with silver with King’s arms, two mathematic instruments inside in smaller boxes |
No. 112. |P. Iacobus.| Silver chimney screen with green glass|
No. 113. |P. Al.| A pair of stone pictures with flowers made in Florence, one with a frame the other without |
No. 120. |P. Al.| Silver altar with Immaculate Conception in a box|
P.1 No. 129. |P. Iac.| Pure gold candlestick of 93 red zloty weight|
P.1 No. 130. |P. Con.| Gilded altar with Nativity of Christ in a box|
P.1 No. 131. |P. Al.| Another altar with Resurrection of Christ |
Walled treasury in the southern tower of the Wilanów Palace
P.2 No. 123. |P. Iac.| Ebony table set with silver with an instrument inside and four s-shaped elements on each side in lower part |
P.2 No. 125. |P. Iacobus.| Gilded clock with a sun index with perpendicular |
P.2 No. 126. |P. Constantin| Gilded clock with small turned posts and a perspective (a telescope?)|
P.2 No. 128. |P. Iacobus| A clock with a siren on a black pedestal with six knobs, turret at the top with a figure |
P.2 No. 130. |P. Iacobus| Inkwell set with tortoiseshell and mother of pearl in silver frame |
No. 137. |P. Con. | Filigree silver tray set with precious stones with two cupids in the center |
No. 144. |P. Iacobus. | Jasper chalice set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds 175 silver worth | 175
No. 146. |P. Con. | Small Chinese tray with trimmed borders, lacquered in black with gold with a bowl adorned similarly with a gold stamp inside set with emeralds, accompanied with three Chinese gods made in the same way with nodding heads |
No. 147. | | Picture on canvas with Our Lady with Saint Francis covered with metal riza adorned with stones, diamonds and pearls in corners, this picture hung always in the bedroom of his Highness in Wilanów|
No. 148. | | Large ebony cabinet framed in gold with enameled elements, diamonds and precious stones, mirrors in the drawers|
No. 160. | P. Iacobus. | Delftware vase with ships and King’s monogram|
No. 161. | | Two large walnut wardrobes set with silver trimmed pieces filled with delftware and porcelain|
No. 162. | P.Const| Crystal clock in gilded silver frame|
No. 163. | P. Iacobus. | Velvet wallpapers with crimson flowers on yellow background |
Al fresco painted cabinet
No. 170. | | Red tortoiseshell cabinet on six legs |
No. 171. | | Large jasper cabinet with drawers adorned with pietra dura and silver, in inner part 9 stone pictures and 18 metals |
No. 172. | | Mirror on high pedestal with a clock adorned with stones and silver festoons |
No. 176. | | Overbed canopy in Chinese style with gold, fringed with gold and silk |
No. 189. |P. Al. | Small ebony table set with silver on crystal legs |
No. 193. |P. Al. | Amber cross in a box |
No. 203. | | Roman cabinet with drawers with Story of Moses behind glass, in this cabinet a clock with a lamp and gilded Curtius on horseback at the top |
No. 204. | | Large cabinet made in Florence adorned with tortoiseshell and other stones, with a clock at the top |
No. 205. | | Large chair covered with gold fabric with crimson lining with silk fringe with gold and gilded silver knobs|
No. 206. |P. Constanti | Velvet wallpapers with crimson crowns and flowers on golden background |
No. 208. | | Pietra dura table with jasper settings with figures on gilded wooden legs |
No. 210. | | Carved gilded table made in France with arms of the King and Queen covered with profuse Persian fabric at the top |
No. 214. | | Gilded wooden bed carved with shell forms with two cupids standing on turtles on the head side and two dolphins in leg side|
No. 224. | | Black table with flowers and a parrot in the center on walnut legs|
No. 226. |P.Con | Large amber cross on high pedestal in a box |
No. 229. | | Calambuco wood Three Kings in a shed adorned with rubies and diamonds |
No. 234. |P.Con: | Chinese satin dressing gown adorned with painted flowers with orange cotton linen |
No. 235. |P.Ale: | White satin dressing gown embroidered with flowers and double-headed eagle in the center, scarlet satin linen |
No. 243. |P.Alexander: | A pair of velvet Persian pillows with pyramid pattern on gold background and with orange satin linen |
No. 247. |P.Iacobus. | Turkish tortoiseshell casket set with mother of pearl |
King’s Chinese Study
No. 248. |P. Alexander. | Chinese satin wall hangings with sewn flowers, birds and figures |
No. 250. || Wooden carved and gilded bed made in France with Queen’s monogram |
No. 255. || Chinese gilded table with a drawer on four legs with a Chinese cabinet with drawers atop containing Chinese boxes, gods, pictures, flowers set in brass |
No. 256. ||Gilded wooden statue of a Chinese god |
No. 258. | P.Ale. |Chinese casket set with mother of pearl in brass frame |
King’s dressing room
No. 263. | P.Al: | Ivory casket set with jasper |
No. 271. | P.Iacobus | Square pillow with octagonal crimson flowers on silver and gold background |
No. 275. | | Lying deer with coral antlers |
No. 276. | | Round table with King’s monogram |
No. 277. | P. Alex.| Old elongated Chinese chest with rounded cover, set with mother of pearl |
No. 280. | | Large shell of a sea turtle in form of a shield |
No. 281. |P. Con. | Smooth silver table on a pedestal with checkers inside |
No. 282. |P. Con. | Small ebony angular table on eight legs, set with silver |
No. 290. | | Filigree altar set with precious stones with two pictures, Passion of Christ in upper part and Our Lady of Sorrows in lower part|
No. 291. | To Żółkiew| Large gilded can set with precious stones in a box with white Holy Ghost atop and gilded rays, it was made for the Church in Żółkiew |
No. 295. | given to the Princess| Profuse Persian wall hangings with flowers, birds and letters Ioannes Rex |
No. 312. | P. Alexander. | Two small perfume pillows to the great canopy, one in pearl color satin, sewn with gold and silver thread with a marzipan colored lace, the other one painted with figures|
No. 321. | | Round Turkish leather table embroidered with gold and silver |
No. 330. | | Half-silk wall hanging with flames hung before the bathroom, 7 pieces |
No. 331. | | Velvet red wall hangings with embroidered female figures, 12 large and small pieces |
No. 332. | | Velvet green tapestries with emperors, 10 large and small pieces |
No. 333. | | Canopy from the above set, crimson velvet with coat of arms of ancestors of His Highness |
No. 334. |to the Queen | Tapestry set sewn with gold with battles, received from his highness Elector of Bavaria, 8 pieces |
No. 373. |P. Const. | Canopy made from a rich fabric, with silver flowers on a gold background, with a marzipan colored fringe and one silk rope |
No. 374. || Crimson canopy embroidered in floral motives in gold thread, green silk fringe with gold thread |
No. 377. |P. Alexander| Two crimson velvet portieres with coat of arms of the King with pearl colored satin linen |
No. 381. |One to P. Iacob the other to P. Alex.| Two rich curtains with satin blue center embroidered with gold thread with stars, moon fazes, with green cotton linen |
No. 407. |P. Con:| Persian small crimson kilim in gold and silver striations with blue cotton linen|
No. 419. || Two velvet crimson chairs with patterns and gilded knobs, fringe and gallon in gold|
No. 421. || Folded velvet crimson chairs in a gilded silver frame |
No. 437. || Hanging crystal candlestick in red case |
No. 444. || A pair of paintings with palaces and people in turbans before them in gilded carved frames |
No. 446. |P. Alexander | A pair of paintings on silver plates with Alexander on horseback and His Majesty on the other in black ebony frames |
No. 447. |P. Alexander| Veronica with the veil behind the glass in silver covered frame |
No. 454. |P. Iacob | Gilded wooden inkwell painted with birds |
No. 455. |P. Con: | Small ivory square casket with brass gilded slats in corners with pieces of crystal on sides and cover |
No. 458. |P. Al: | Mother of pearl inkwell with a mirror inside under the cover |
No. 471. |P. Al: | Wooden Chinese tray with a pitcher set with mother of pearl |
No. 487. |P. Al: | Brass table clock in form of a tower on black pedestal |
No. 489. |P. Iac. | Bronze equestrian figure of Gustavus Adolphus |
No. 492. || Jasper green rosaries, and a moose horn with relics of different saints with silver filigree cross |
Paintings (316 items)
No. 1. || Painting with sea ducks with ducklings and a hoopoe in black frame |20
No. 4. || Painting with a dragon with a snake and a hoopoe on a tree in black frame |20
No. 5. || Large painting with Mercury at the table with other gods in carved gilded frame |
No. 8. || Dutch painting with a hovel by the sea and land with travelers in black frame |110
No. 10. || Painting with a fire of Amsterdam Town Hall in black frame |110
No. 11. || Pair of paintings with different fruit and sea cancer (crabs?) without frame |12
No. 13. || Painting of a lady in white dress with a gentleman playing lute in black frame |100
No. 15. || Painting of a lady in scarlet dress playing clavichord with a gentleman in black frame |100
No. 16. || Passion of Christ in ivory on violet velvet with a gold gallon |150
No. 19. || Image of Saint Francis on marble in form of an altar triptych in frame adorned with silver |6
No. 20. || Image of Deposition of Christ in ivory in black frame |70
No. 22. || Image of Nativity of Christ in ivory in black frame |100
No. 23. || Image of Nativity of Christ in marble in black frame |15
No. 24. || Pair of oval glassed images with Christ the Savior and Mary in carved gilded frame |60
No. 26. || Painting with the Story of Herod in carved gilded frame |30
No. 27. || Pair of glassed images with goddesses and Vulcan on the other in carved gilded frame |60
No. 29. || Pair of images with a Swiss man with halberd and a Dutch woman in gilded frame |
No. 31. || Painting of Mary sitting under the tree with Saint Joseph in gilded frame |
No. 33. || Pair of glassed images with the Story of Actaeon in tortoiseshell frame set with brass and tin |40
No. 34. || Painting of Assumption of Mary by Bacici in carved gilded frame |100
No. 35. || Painting of Jupiter by Mr Jerzy (Jerzy Siemiginowski-Eleuter) in carved gilded frame |60
No. 37. || Glassed portrait of Queen of France (Anne of Austria) in gilded frame |10
No. 39. || Painting of Abraham and Hagar in gilded frame |130
No. 42. || Painting of Mary on white satin in plant paint in gilded frame |13
No. 44. || Painting of Mary Magdalene lying under the tree on tin plate in gilded frame |25
No. 45. || Painting of Mary looking upwards with Jesus in gilded carved frame |50
No. 46. || Painting of a Capuchin monk with a book, reading, in gilded frame |15
No. 47. || Painting of an old Capuchin monk with a skull contemplating Passion of Christ in gilded frame |10
No. 49. |P.Al:| Miniature glassed painting of decapitation of Saint Margaret in filigree frame set with precious stones |
No. 50. |P.Al:| Miniature glassed painting of Saint John with a lamb in filigree frame set with enamel and precious stones |
No. 53. || Painting of Saint John pointing upwards in filigree frame set with precious stones |
No. 69. || Painting of Christ with the Pharisees by Raphael in gilded frame |150
No. 74. || Portrait of Portuguese rabbi by Rembrandt in black frame |150
No. 75. || Painting of the same dimensions of a Jewish Girl in a beret in black frame |190
No. 76. || Painting of an old Spanish woman in gilded carved frame |30
No. 78. || Bas-relief presented by His Holiness Pope Ottoboni (Alexander VIII) with Saint Ignatius and his companions in smooth metal gilded frame, on lapis and amethyst background, hung on a silk rope with silver knobs |300
No. 79. || Painting of Passion of Christ on tin plate in pietra dura frame |60
No. 81. || Painting of Saint Anthony resurrecting a child on tin plate in carved frame with gilded copper elements |130
No. 82. || Natural marble image with battle of Amazons in brass frame with marble medallions and silver cherubs |45
No. 83. || Painting of Moses leaving Egypt with his people in bone inlaid frame |300
No. 84. || Painting of Procession Saint Gregory in Rome with a round top in metal gilded frame |130
No. 86. || Pietra dura image with Annunciation, the head of an angel damaged in gilded metal frame |50
No. 87. || Bas-relief pietra dura image with fruit and flowers in a lapis vase in black frame |50
King’s Dutch Study
No. 88. || Pair of Dutch paintings with peacocks, turkeys and hen with chickens on one of them and red kite eating a pigeon, hens and hen with chickens on the other one, both in gilded frame|
No. 89. || Painting with flowers in a glass bowl in carved gilded frame with King’s monogram|80
No. 92. || Painting with Three Kings by Rembrandt in black frame|100
No. 93. || Painting with Abraham and Hagar by Rembrandt in black frame|100
No. 97. || Painting of an old lady reading a book in octagonal black frame|50
No. 103. || 12 images of Chinese Emperors in round black frames |12
No. 104. || Image of man sitting behind bars with a lady in white dress visiting him in black frame |10
No. 105. || Bas-relief wax image of Veraicon (or Saint Veronica) in oval carved and gilded frame |
No. 107. || Ivory image of Rape of Proserpine in black frame | 100
No. 108. || Pair of Chinese images on white satin with gods sitting on storks in a simple wooden frame at the bottom| 8
King’s Chinese Study
No. 113. || Painting of Christ in the Garden by Lavinia Fontana (?) in gilded carved frame| 30
No. 116. || Painting of Christ with Samaritan woman on tin plate in black frame with gilded slat| 60
No. 120. || Painting of Sybil praying to Apollo in gilded frame| 60
No. 122. || Portrait of Helena (Henrietta?), Queen of England in gilded frame| 40
No. 123. || Painting of Neptun and other gods on tin plate in gilded frame| 18
No. 126. || Pair of Chinese images on white satin with a greyhound on one of them and a tiger on the other | 18
No. 127. || Painting with angels holding cross in clouds in gilded frame | 20
No. 128. || Painting of Christ in the Garden on black marble by Anthony van Dyck in gilded frame | 45
No. 129. || 14 miniature images of Chinese Emperors in black round frames | 24
King’s Dressing Room
No. 135. || Dutch painting of a sick lady with a doctor checking the urine and child playing with a dog in leather covered silver plated frame with a gilded slate | 70
No. 136. || Painting of a lady playing clavichord and a servant in third room sweeping in leather covered silver plated frame with a gilded slate | 30
No. 139. || Painting of a lady playing viola da gamba with a female servant playing lute in black frame| 10
No. 140. || Painting with ladies drinking coffee in leather covered gilded frame | 50
No. 141. || Painting with marble pitcher and fruit in leather covered gilded frame | 10
No. 145. || Marble image of a white goddess turned into a tree (Daphne?) in octagonal black frame | 30
No. 148. || 4 paintings representing four continents in separate frames containing 17 small pictures painted on tin plate |
Upper Treasury with paintings from the Lower Gallery and Library
No. 151. || Dutch landscape painting with people resting under the tree in black frame | 40
No. 152. || Painting of a butler entering the room before a lady in white dress in black frame | 10
No. 156. || Painting of a lady in gold dress playing lute, a girl giving her a letter in black frame | 35
No. 157. || Painting of a lady in white dress with a gentleman putting his leg on her in simple white frame | 35
No. 160. || Painting with a gilded cup, herring on a plate, bread and oysters in black frame | 50
No. 161. || Painting of a Knight of Malta returning from the war, and the other one dancing with a lady in black frame| 15
No. 163. || Pair of paintings with herrings, garlic, onion, white bread and a glass of wine in simple white frame| 80
No. 167. || Painting of three people standing at the sea shore, two sitting and one old man pointing to the sea in black frame | 30
No. 169. || Paintings of old men on wood panel, one of them holding a herring and money without frame |
No. 171. || Straw image with a landscape without frame |
No. 176. || Pair of round paintings on marble with Actaeon and sirens on dolphins in the other one in grey octagonal frames | 30
No. 180. || Painting with a Dutch dwelling with a female cook pouring milk, in gilded copper frame (copy of Vermeer’s Milkmaid?) | 10
No. 187. || Ivory image with Caritas on black velvet in oval carved and gilded frame | 40
No. 188. || Pair of paintings with a girl at the window with a candle and an old lady with a pitcher watering plants in a pot in the other one, both in gilded carved frames | 54
No. 190. || Picture of Mary Magdalene embroidered in silk in gilded frame |
No. 191. || Pair of pictures in wax on jasper with Andromeda and Phaethon on the other in silver frame |
No. 192. || Glassed picture with a perspective in white wax with two sitting people in black wax in black frame |10
No. 197. || Small painting on tin plate with banquet of King Ahasuerus in black frame |45
No. 198. || Small painting on tin plate with a soldier killing a queen and a city in flames in black frame |19
No. 199. || Small painting with Sodoma in flames and two angels above throwing flames in smooth gilded frame|20
No. 201. || Painting with a Franciscan monk listening to a confession in gilded frame |13
No. 202. || Pair of paintings with a Dutch man killing lice and the other one scratching in his bosom, both in large black frames |20
No. 204. || Painting on wood with Head of Saint John in black frame with gilded elements with turquoise and silver gilded slate |15
No. 207. || Painting on tin plate with different travelers under a rock and a woman with a child on her arms in black frame |
No. 208. || Pietra dura picture with a parrot on a cherry wood in black frame |10
No. 210. || Large painting with an old man by Rembrandt in gilded frame and rounded top |80
No. 214. || Painting with a glassed cupboard with different papers in fir white frame |15
No. 215. || Painting on wood with Venus holding her leg and Cupid, under the tree without a frame |6
No. 221. || Painting of Mary Magdalene with an angel and a skull in gilded frame |60
No. 225. || Pair of new paintings with a Lot standing by a pitcher and a banker counting gold coins on the other, both without frames |16
No. 229. || Painting of Nativity of Christ on black marble in gilded carved frame |15
No. 230. || Ivory picture with a lion hunt on black velvet in black frame |45
No. 230. || Dutch painting with cattle, shepherd on horseback and the other one holding a goat by the horns in black frame |50
No. 238. || Painting with fruit in white porcelain on a small table covered with a red fabric in black frame |4
No. 241. || Painting with a shepherdess on a grey donkey, hunter on horseback with a bird and dogs before her and two traveling Capuchin monks in black frame |90
Paintings in Marywil
No. 252. || Large landscape painting with ruins and people on mules in gilded frame |20
No. 253. || Large painting with a lute and different mathematical instruments, clock and two silver vases in gilded frame |10
No. 259. || Painting with a battle of Turks and Hungarians, with a gentleman on horseback with a sword and a cross hanging on his chest in gilded frame |12
No. 260. || Painting of the same dimensions on canvas with a battle of Turks under a besieged castle and Croats coming with the rescue in gilded frame |12
No. 261. || Elongated painting (horizontal?) with a farrier nailing on a white horse before a smithy and soldiers returning to the camp in carved gilded frame |10
No. 262. || Elongated painting (horizontal?) with a farrier nailing on a horse before a smithy with more horses while a woman with a child is sitting on the ground in black frame |40
No. 274. || Painting with gypsies by the fire and soldiers playing cards under the tree in black frame with gilded slat |2
No. 276. || Painting with wandering gypsies walking and on wagons, female gypsies with children, kitchen pots and other utensils beside them in black frame |2
No. 277. || Painting in grisaille with Charon and sitting soldiers in black frame |3
No. 278. || Pair of old style paintings with a King and a Queen in black frame |4
No. 280. || Painting on oak panel with a female cook with a pheasant in black frame |8
No. 281. || Large painting with Salvator Mundi |20
No. 286. || Portrait of a man in red costume lined with sable and yellow żupan in black frame |20
No. 287. || Portrait of Queen Eleanor in white dress in a simple frame |20
No. 288. || Portrait of Queen of Sweden in old style costume with a ruff collar in black frame |4
No. 291. || Painting with a painter looking on engravings with a palette and brushes beside him in black frame |8
No. 292. || Painting with a lady sitting by the table with a lute beside her in elongated black frame|5
No. 293. || Painting of half nude Mary Magdalene kneeling before the cross with her hands in prayer in black frame|10
No. 296. || Portrait of Queen of Scotland (Mary Stuart?) on wood in black frame|2
No. 299. || Landscape painting with Dutch cattle and a shepherd leaning on an ox in black frame with double gilded slat|3
No. 300. || Painting with a parrot and a sea cat (northern fur seal?) and chamamilla creature on the tree beside, in black frame with double gilded slat |20
Items in a chest in the Warsaw Treasury
No. 569. |P.Alex.| Tiger leather lined with gold satin |
No. 570. |P.Iacobus.| Tiger skin lined with blue cotton |
No. 571. |P.Const.| Smaller tiger skin lined with orange kindyak |
No. 572. |P.Const.| Large tiger skin, not lined |
No. 573. |P.Iacob.| Small tiger skin, not lined |
No. 574. |P.Alex.| Leopard skin lined with different stripes of velvet with silver and gold twines between, silver and gold crowns in corners, buttons in one end, lined with yellow cotton fabric |
No. 575. |P.Constanti.| Small leopard skin lined with red büründzuk (silk with metal thread fabric from Turkey), paws and tail lined with ocher velvet|
No. 576. |P.Alexander.| Leopard skin lined with different stripes of velvet with silver and gold twine, with crowns embroidered with gold in each corner, buttons in one end, lined with blue cotton fabric |
No. 577. || Skin of a black wolf given to voivode (duke) of Courland.
See also: Table centerpiece with Hercules
The first wooden manor on the site was constructed for Dukes of Masovia in the 15th century. It was later owned from 1516 by Anna Radziwiłł, Duchess regent of Masovia and Queen Bona Sforza after 1546 for whom an Italian style Renaissance garden was created. The new lavish wooden manor in mannerist style was built in 1570s for Anna Jagiellon. It was here that the premiere of blank-verse tragedy The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys by Jan Kochanowski took place on January 12, 1578. Sigismund III Vasa resided in the manor during the summer. Between 1602 and 1603, according to the Royal accounting books, the old manor was renovated and a new wooden house was built nearby. In 1606 the plan of the manor and garden was prepared for the king by Alessandro Albertini.
When in 1619 the king purchased the allotments belonging to Augustinian friars the construction of a new brick palace become possible. The spot for a Royal summer palace was chosen approximately 120 meters north from the original manor. According to the cornerstone found in 1972 in the foundations of the eastern wing the construction started on September 16, 1624. The structure was designed by Matteo Castelli and Constantino Tencalla and accomplished after king's death by his son Ladislaus IV Vasa. In 1655 during the so-called Deluge of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (invasion of allied forces of Sweden from north, Brandenburg from west, Transilvania from south and Muscovy from East), the castle was devastated and remained practically uninhabited till 1668 when it was given to Teodor Denhoff.
It is a rectangular building with four octagonal towers at the corners, arcaded courtyard and a loggia with a view on Vistula River. Largely destroyed several times, it was reconstructed in 1975.
Plan of the manor and garden in Ujazdów near Warsaw in 1606 by Alessandro Albertini, scale from. 1: 800, hand drawn multicolored document, 42 × 56 cm (16.5 × 22 in), signed: Il sito della villa di Jasdovia; Alessandro Albertini, 1606, Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie, Zb. Kart. 570 – 1.
Cornerstone of the Ujazdów Castle, sandstone, 57 × 57 × 10 cm (22.4 × 22.4 × 3.9 in), inscription in Latin: REGIAE AMOENITATI / SACRA / COELO SOLO LVCO LACV COLLE VALLE / LAETA / PALATIA AESTIVA / FELICIB[us]. FVNDAMENTIS AVSPICATVRV[m.] SAXVM / ANNO D[omi]NI MDCXXIV SEPTEMBR[e] / SIGISMVNDO III POLONIAE XXXVII / CO[n]STANCIA ANNO REGE / POSITVM / ANNO D[omi]NI 1624 DIE 7[septem]BRIS (Devoted Royal delight (...) summer palace), Muzeum Zamku i Szpitala Wojskowego na Ujazdowie.
In the beginning of the 17th century the medieval abode of the Dukes of Masovia was largely extended to house the parliament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, offices and court of the Vasas. The Italian architects Giovanni Trevano, Giacomo Rodondo, Paolo de la Corte and Mateo Castello constructed a Mannerist-early Baroque five-sided palace between 1598-1619. In 1621-1627, with the threat of Ottoman invasion, the palace was fortified with a curtain wall from the Vistula according to Italian concept of palazzo in fortezza (meaning in Italian, "a palace in a fortress"). Between 1634 and 1637 a large hall was constructed in upper parts of the southern wing to house opera hall of King Ladislaus IV and in 1637 the staircase tower was largely remodelled (Ladislaus' Tower). In 1643 the Prince-Cardinal Charles Ferdinand Vasa's Palace was erected on the northern bastion of the Castle's curtain wall and in 1644 a new gate (Saint John's Gate) and the Sigismund Column were erected by royal architect Constantino Tencalla in Baroque style.
During the so-called Deluge of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (invasion of allied forces of Sweden from north, Brandenburg from west, Transilvania from south and Muscovy from East), the castle was devastated in three occupations by foreign forces between 1655-1656 (the last was Transilvanian occupation). All valuables, including marble pavements, chimneys and window sills were shipped to Sweden, while the interiors were turned into stables and a hospital.
Exterior and interior
(1) Detail of the Plan of Warsaw in 1656 by Nicolas Pérelle after Erik Dahlbergh, printed in 1696. The fortifications of the Royal Castle in Warsaw were built in the years 1596-1627 giving the structure the more modern appearance according to principles of the Old Italian School (circle of Antonio da Sangallo). They consisted of a 162-metre-long curtain wall flanked by bastions on either side. Two shorter walls connected the bastions with the Castle. The wall rose at least 6.70 metres above the ground level. The fortifications were made of granite rocks, and due to the instability of the terrain, oak piles were also driven into the ground, the basic material for the surface construction was limestone surmounted with bricks. The remnants of the fortifications were absorbed by subsequent buildings in the 18th-century.
(2) Sigismund III Vasa on catafalque by Christian Melich, 1633, Wawel Royal Castle.
(3-4) The Ladislaus Tower of the Castle, 1637.
Tiles from the excavations in the Royal Castle's garden, 1630s:
(5) Tile with eagles from a stove,
(6) Stove tile with a lion or a griffon,
(7) Dutch tile with a soldier.
(1-2) Portrait of Sigismund III Vasa and Constance of Austria by Philipp Holbein II or workshop, ca. 1625, Royal Castle in Warsaw.
(3) Portrait of Philip III of Spain by Andrés López Polanco, ca. 1617, Skokloster Castle, possibly from the collection of Sigismund III Vasa. In 1615 Queen Constance of Austria, Sigismund's second wife, ordered the Commonwealth's ambassador in Spain to ask for the portraits of the members of the Spanish Royal family. Her elder sister Margaret of Austria, was a wife of King Philip III of Spain. Since the new Holy Roman Emperor, Matthias, resided more frequently in Vienna then in Prague from 1612, the portraits of Spanish Habsburgs would be sent to Vienna after this date, consequently it is more probable that the Philip III's portrait was captured by Swedish forces in Warsaw and not in Prague.
(4-5) Portraits of two sisters, daughters of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria: Empress Maria Anna of Spain by Frans Luycx, ca. 1638 and Anne of Austria, Queen of France by Charles Beaubrun, ca. 1645. Both portraits were given to the Visitationist Monastery in Warsaw by John II Casimir Vasa in September 1668 and by most accounts adorned Castle walls.
(6) Portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga (1630-1686) by Frans Luycx, ca. 1651, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. A portrait of a relative to Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga and a wife of Emperor Ferdinand III, cousin of John II Casimir Vasa was sent to Warsaw and was captured by Swedes in 1655 (from the collection of Gripsholm Castle).
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