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.
A copy of "older" Venus from Prado is today in the Mauritshuis in The Hague (oil on canvas, 157 x 213 cm, inventory number 343). This painting was created in the studio of Titian and at the beginning of the 19th century was in the collection of Lucien Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and later, until 1839, belonged to Cardinal Joseph Fesch in Rome. Another, most probably a workshop copy and close to the works by Lambert Sustris, is in the Royal Collection in England (oil on canvas, 96.3 x 136.9 cm, RCIN 402669). It once belonged to King Charles I and it is also attributed to Spanish artist Miguel de la Cruz (Michael Cross, active 1623-1660).
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 Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) as Venus with the organ player by workshop of Titian, ca. 1558, Mauritshuis in The Hague.
Portrait of Princess Anna Jagiellon (1523-1596) as Venus with the organ player by workshop or follower of Titian, possibly Lambert Sustris, ca. 1558 or after, The Royal Collection.
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). In 1565 Giert Hulmacher, a burgher from Gdańsk, supplied the king with two Friesian horses, bought in the Netherlands.
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/184.108.40.206/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) Zofia Długa (Sophia Long), 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.
Portraits of Andreas Jerin by circle of Giovanni Battista Moroni and Gillis Claeissens
In the summer of 1566, young Andreas Jerin (also von Jerin, Gerinus or Jerinus) went to Rome to continue his philosophical-theological studies. From 1559 he studied at the University of Dillingen in Bavaria, where he earned a baccalaureate and a master's degree in 1563. As tutor to the brothers Gebhard and Christoph Truchsess von Waldburg, sons of Imperial Councilor, he continued his studies at the University of Leuven (Louvain) in the Spanish Netherlands in 1563 and was accepted as an alumne in the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome in October 1566 on the recommendation of Petrus Canisius, a Dutch Jesuit priest. Two years later he was ordained a priest in the sacristy of St. Peter's Basilica (December 15, 1568). He was then pastor to Swiss Guard. In 1571 he received his theological doctorate at the University of Bologna and Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg gave him the parish of Dillingen.
As early as 1570 he received a canonship at the Wrocław Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Silesia, where he became a cathedral preacher in 1572. At the same time he was given the office of rector at the Wrocław seminary. From 1573 he was custodian of the Church of the Holy Cross (till 1538 Copernicus was a scholastic of this church). At that time Hieronim Rozdrażewski (d. 1600) was the provost of Wrocław. Rozdrażewski received the provostship in 1567, however, due to the strong resistance of the chapter, he took over it only in 1570. The provost, who in his childhood stayed with his brothers at the royal court in France and studied in Ingolstadt and Rome, become the royal secretary at the end of the reign of Sigismund Augustus. He took part in the political life of Poland and his duties in Wrocław were performed at his request by Andreas. In 1578, Rozdrażewski resigned from the provostship in favor of Jerin. On September 29, 1578 Jerin was elevated to the Bohemian nobility in Prague. For his services as an imperial envoy in Poland, Emperor Rudolf II elevated him to the imperial and hereditary Austrian nobility on February 25, 1583. After the death of Martin von Gerstmann, Bishop of Wrocław, the cathedral chapter elected Jerin, the emperor's candidate, as his successor on July 1, 1585. Despite some opposition to Jerin as a non-Silesian and of commoner background, he was consecrated on February 9, 1586. At the same time, the emperor appointed him senior governor of Silesia.
Andreas celebrated important events in his life with portraiture. Two of his preserved portraits were created after his elevation to bishop of Wrocław. One, attributed to Martin Kober, is in the National Museum in Wrocław. The other showing him at the age of 47 (suae aetatis XXXX VII) and attributed to Bartholomeus Fichtenberger, was most likely offered by the bishop himself to the parish church of St. George in his hometown of Riedlingen on the river Danube in the south-west of Germany, approximately 400 km north of Bergamo and Milan. He also offered a silver chalice with his coat of arms to the church in Riedlingen (the portrait and chalice are now in the local museum). He was a patron of the sciences and arts. In 1590 he had the goldsmith Paul Nitsch (1548-1609) make a precious silver high altar for the Wrocław Cathedral, which was recently reconstructed after World War II destruction. In 1624, during his visit in the city, the altar was admired by prince Ladislaus Sigismund Vasa (future king of Poland as Ladislaus IV). Fichtenberger painted the wings of this retable in 1591 and the bishop was depicted in the scene of the Sermon of Saint John the Baptist and as Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and patron saint of this city, in the outer wings with the Fathers of the Church. In 1586 Nitsch also created a gold portable altarpiece for the bishop (Wrocław Cathedral).
On March 28, 2019 a portrait of a gentleman, half-length, in a black doublet, white ruff and black hat, attributed to circle of Giovanni Battista Moroni was sold on an auction in Munich (Hampel Fine Art Auctions, oil on canvas, 68.6 x 52.7 cm, lot 1045). According to original inscription in Latin, covered because of bad condition and repeated by the restorer on the reverse, the man was 27 in 1567 (ÆTATIS. SVE. 27. / ANNO DNI 1567, upper left), exacly as Jerin when he was studying in Rome. If he traveled there from Riedlingen, where he was born in 1540, or from Leuven via Riedlingen, his possible stop before October 1566 was Bergamo in the Venetian Republic or Milan, where he could order a portrait. The most famous painting workshop in this area at that time was that of Moroni, who in 1567 created a painting of Last Supper for the church in Romano di Lombardia and the portrait of Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki (Accademia Carrara in Bergamo). The man from the painting bear a strong resemblance to mentioned effigies of Andreas Jerin.
Almost an exact copy of this portrait exist, three-quarter-length, which however was created by different workshop, more close to the Flemish school. It was also sold at Hampel, Munich (December 4, 2020, oil on wood, 43 x 33.5 cm, lot 1121) and comes from private collection in Paris. It is attributed to Flemish painter Gillis Claeissens (d. 1605) or his circle. Gillis, born in Bruges, was a member of a prominent family of artists and he is identified with the Monogrammist G.E.C. He was admitted as a master of the Guild of St. Luke of Bruges on 18 October 1566 and he remained in the workshop of his father Pieter Claeissens the Elder until 1570. Jerin seems to have commissioned a copy of his Italian portrait in Flanders for his friends in Leuven or elsewhere.
A portrait painted in a very similar style is in Lviv, Ukraine (National Art Gallery, oil on wood, 28.8 x 21, inventory number Ж-453). It shows a young girl in prayer and her costume indicate that the painting was created in the 1570s. It is attributed to a German or Sothern Netherlandish painter and comes, most likely, from the collection of the Princes Lubomirski.
Before everything was destroyed by war and hatred, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, was a land of great prosperity for different people. Since the Middle Ages, Venetian, Genoese and other merchants coming to Lviv brought spices, silk fabrics, jewels, decorative weapons and morocco products from Kaffa, the great center of Genoese trade on the Black Sea. From there eastern goods were sent further to Kraków and Wrocław, and then to Nuremberg and as far as the port of Bruges in Flanders. Merchants in Lviv sold them cloth, amber, raw hides and herring (after "Prace Komisji Historycznej", Volume 65, p. 198). In the 14th - 15th centuries, there was a trading post of the Teutonic Order in Lviv and in 1392 Prussian amber was stored in the city in the cellar of the merchant Ebirhard Swarcze. From Lviv amber was exported to Constantinople (after "Z historii południowo-wschodniego szlaku bursztynowego" by Jarosław R. Daszkiewicz, p. 261).
Trade flourished in the second half of the 16th century - two Jews from Lviv paid fifty pounds of amber to Chaim Kohen of Constantinople for wine, rice and roots (cassiae), Armenian Christopher, translator of His Highness, takes from Chaskiel Judowy wine and gives him in return tin, cloth from Lyon and Gdańsk and karazye cloth, Greek merchant Konstantinos Korniaktos (Konstanty Korniakt) takes English and Dutch cloths from the Lviv merchant Wilhelm Boger, and pays him with alum, rye and wheat. The export of grain to Gdańsk in the second half of the 16th century in Lviv was dominated by two local merchants Zebald Aichinger and Stanisław Szembek and in the second row there was a whole colony of Englishmen who had settled in the city, such as Tomasz Gorny, Wilhelm Allandt, Jan Whigt, Wilhelm Babington, Jan Pontis, Ryszard Hudson and Wilhelm Moore. One of the principal buyers of grain in Lviv at that time was a London merchant, Richard Stapper, whose agent in Lviv was Jan Pontis (after "Patrycyat i mieszczaństwo lwowskie ..." by Władysław Łoziński, p. 43, 46-47).
Foreign artists, like Italian architects Pietro di Barbona (d. 1588) and Paolo Dominici Romanus (d. 1618), architect Andreas Bemer (Andrzej Bemer, died after 1626) of German or Czech origin, and Dutch sculptor Hendrik Horst (d. 1612), were active in Lviv. It is possible that the girl depicted was a daughter of a merchant and her portrait was commissioned in Bruges and sent to Lviv.
During his studies, Jerin had the opportunity to meet many Poles and during his stays in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as the imperial envoy (Lublin, 1589 and Kraków, 1592), he had the opportunity to admire some of the exquisit works of art from the royal collection, including the famous silver altar of Sigismund I in his chapel at the Wawel Cathedral, created in Nuremberg between 1531-1538, which probably inspired Andreas' foundation for the Wrocław Cathedral. On the occasion of peace negotiations with the Commonwealth in 1589 Andrzej Schoneus from Głogów (Andreas Glogoviensis), later rector of the Kraków Academy, published two odes in Kraków about "the Sarmatian peace" (De pace Sarmatica Odae II Ad Andream Gerinum), dedicated to Jerin.
Portrait of Andreas Jerin (1540-1596), aged 27 by circle of Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1567, Private collection.
Portrait of Andreas Jerin (1540-1596) in a black doublet by Gillis Claeissens, ca. 1567, Private collection.
Portrait of a young girl as donor by Gillis Claeissens, 1570s, Lviv National Art Gallery.
Portraits of Wojciech Sędziwój Czarnkowski by Adriaen Thomasz. Key
In the summer of 1568 died Jakub Ostroróg, General Starost of Greater Poland, "a man endowed with extraordinary gentleness, piety and prudence, a lover of justice and equality before the law", in the words of the chronicler of the city of Poznań. Ostroróg was a prominent magnate and politician from Poznań and one of the main leaders of the community of Bohemian Brethren. The Protestant community in the city expanded under his protection. He was appointed Starost of Poznań and General Starost by King Sigismund II Augustus in 1566.
The place of the dissident in the Poznań royal castle was taken by the Catholic Wojciech Sędziwój Czarnkowski (1527-1578), and soon the Jesuits were provided with buildings in Poznań (after "Życie codzienne w renesansowym Poznaniu, 1518-1619" by Lucyna Sieciechowiczowa, p. 91). Czarnkowski, a nobleman of Nałęcz III coat of arms, studied in Wittenberg in 1543 and Leipzig in 1545 and he became a royal courtier in 1552. He and his older brother Stanisław Sędziwój (1526-1602), Crown referendary, were strong supporters of the House of Habsburg. Stanisław, educated at German universities in Wittenberg and Leipzig, stayed at the court of Charles V and in 1564 he was an envoy to the Pomeranian dukes, and in 1568, 1570 and 1571 to Sophia Jagiellon (1522-1575), Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1575, the brothers signed the election of Emperor Maximilian II of Austria against the Queen Anna Jagiellon and her husband. During the next royal election in 1587 his son Adam Sędziwój (1555-1627) and brother signed the election of Archduke Maximilian III of Austria (1558-1618) against the Queen's candidate, Sigismund III Vasa. The portrait of Adam Sędziwój, created between 1605-1610 and most probably sent to the Medicis, is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (inventory number 2354 / 1890). Later in his life he become a supporter of king of Sigismund III Vasa, he organized a confederation in Greater Poland in defense of the king during the Zebrzydowski's rebellion and in his portrait he was depicted in national costume (crimson żupan and delia coat).
In the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna there is a portrait of a man in Spanish costume attributed to Adriaen Thomasz. Key (oil on panel, 109 x 82.5 cm, inventory number GG 1034). It is identifiable in the treasury of the imperial collection in Vienna in 1773. The painting was most likely a gift to the Habsburgs. According to inscription in Latin in upper right corner of the painting the man was 41 in 1568 (A°.ÆTATIS.41 /.1568.), exaclty as Wojciech Sędziwój Czarnkowski when he become the General Starost of Greater Poland. A reduced bust-length version of this portrait in oval was most likely in a private collection, present whereabouts unknown (after "Adriaen Thomasz. Key ..." by Koenraad Jonckheere, p. 89).
Netherlandish influences were increasing at that time in Poland-Lithuania, which is reflected in the architecture of cities of the former Commonwealth like Gdańsk, Elbląg, Toruń and Königsberg (at that time Duchy of Prussia was a fief of Poland). Some Netherlandish painters, like court painter Jakob Mertens from Antwerp or Isaak van den Blocke (born in Mechelen or Königsberg), also decided to settle in the Commonwealth. Others, like Tobias Fendt (Kraków, around 1576) and Hans Vredeman de Vries (active in Gdańsk between 1592-1595), went there temporarily or only took orders from customers from Poland-Lithuania.
Many famous artists were unwilling to travel, especially when busy with high local demand. In order to have a marble bust made by famous Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, active in Rome, King Charles I of England ordered his Triple Portrait painted 1635-1636 by the Flemish artist Sir Anthony van Dyck, showing the king from three viewpoints (Royal Collection, RCIN 404420). He also ordered a similar portrait and bust of his wife Henrietta Maria in 1638. In about 1640-1642 also Cardinal Richelieu of France sent his Triple Portrait by Philippe de Champaigne to Rome (National Gallery in London, NG798) as a study for his statue by Francesco Mochi and a bust by Bernini (Louvre, MR 2165) and in August 1650, Francesco I d'Este, duke of Modena and Reggio sent paintings by Justus Sustermans and Jean Boulanger as a study for his marble bust by Bernini (Galleria Estense in Modena). In 1552 marble blocks and statues created by Giovanni Maria Mosca called Padovano and Giovanni Cini in Kraków for monuments of two wives of Sigismund II Augustus were floated down the Vistula to Gdańsk and Königsberg, then up the Nemunas and Neris rivers to the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - Vilnius, covering a total of over 1,500 km. Paintings were less heavy and easier to transport over great distances than the heavy and fragile sculptures.
Portrait of Wojciech Sędziwój Czarnkowski (1527-1578), General Starost of Greater Poland, aged 41 by Adriaen Thomasz. Key, 1568, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Portrait of Wojciech Sędziwój Czarnkowski (1527-1578), General Starost of Greater Poland by Adriaen Thomasz. Key, ca. 1568, Present whereabouts unknown.
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 the 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.
Portrait of Stanisław Reszka by Adriaen Thomasz. Key
In 1569 Stanisław Reszka (Rescius), secretary of cardinal Stanisław Hozjusz went with him to Rome. During his stay there, he assisted the cardinal in his public activities in the Roman Curia and during the conclave in 1572. That year he was also an envoy in his name to the Viceroy of Naples, Cardinal Granvelle ("On the third day after the election of Pope Gregory XIII, I left with the most eminent Cardinal Granvelle for Naples", wrote Reszka in a letter), and the following year to King-elect Henry of Valois. He helped the cardinal with organization during his journey and stay in the Eternal City. He was also increasingly active in the cultural and literary field. Rescius assisted in the publication of the works of Cardinal Hozjusz (Paris 1562, Antwerp 1566 and 1571, Cologne 1584). Opera qvae hactenus extitervnt omnia ... was published in Antwerp by the publishing house of the widow and heir of Joannes Steelsius (Antverpiae : in aedibus viduae et haeredum Ioannis Stelsij), shortly after Hozjusz's return to Poland after the 1565-6 papal conclave (20 December - 7 January) and Opera omnia was published by the same publishing house in 1571, hence the work was prepared and directed from Rome. The full-length portrait of Cardinal Hozjusz, offered by Pope John Paul II in 1987 to the reconstructed Royal Castle in Warsaw (inventory number ZKW/2207/ab, previously in the Vatican Library), was painted in 1575 by Flemish painter Giulio (Julius) della Croce, called Giulio Fiammingo. Reszka himself published in Rome portraits with biographies of popes (1580), Roman emperors (1583), Cardinal Hozjusz (1588) and Polish kings (1591) (after "Vademecum malarstwa polskiego" by Stanisław Jordanowski, p. 44).
Stanisław, educated at the Lubrański Academy (Collegium Lubranscianum) in Poznań, in Frankfurt an der Oder as well as in Wittenberg and Leipzig, came from a bourgeois family. He was born in Buk in Greater Poland on September 14, 1544. He obtained his doctorate in Perugia and in 1559 he became the secretary of Bishop Stanisław Hozjusz. In 1565 he was ordained a deacon in Rome and in 1571 he became a canon of Warmia. Two years later, in 1573 he was appointed by King Henry of Valois as the royal secretary and in 1575 he was ordained priest by Hozjusz in the church of St. Clement in Rome. From 1592 he stayed in Naples as an envoy of the Commonwealth. One of Reszka's greatest achievements in Rome was the founding of the Polish College. He recommended many Poles and Prussians to Marcin Kromer, Prince-Bishop of Warmia, like Leonard Neuman, an Olsztyn resident, who was not admitted to the Collegium Germanicum in Rome (after "Działalność polonijna Stanisława Reszki ..." by Aleksander Rudziński, p. 70, 72).
As a diplomatic agent in Rome, distinguished by his artistic taste, Rescius also becomes an artistic agent of the monarchs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was an important supplier of works of art for Sigismund III Vasa, who purchased them in Naples, Rome and Venice, along with Tomasz Treter, Jan Andrzej Próchnicki, Bartłomiej Powsiński, Spanish and Italian envoys and magnates traveling abroad (after "Malarstwo europejskie w zbiorach polskich, 1300-1800" by Jan Białostocki, Michał Walicki, p. 19). He also corresponded with Queen Anna Jagiellon, to whom he sent from Rome on January 19, 1584 "the Indian stone".
In the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna there is a portrait of a man with a reddish beard by Adriaen Thomasz. Key (oil in panel, 85 x 63 cm, inventory number GG 3679, signed top left with the monogram: AK). This painting is verifiable in the imperial collection Prague in 1685 and was transferred to Vienna in 1876.
Key, a Calvinist painter active in Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands, painted in 1579 several versions of effigy of William the Silent, the leader of the Dutch revolt, however some portrait paintings of William's opponent Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba, are also attributed to him, in collaboration with Willem Key (in Palacio de Liria in Madrid and in Museum Prinsenhof in Delft), as well as portraits of Margaret of Parma (1522-1586), Catholic Regent of the Netherlands (Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, GG 768 and Museum Prinsenhof in Delft).
The man with a reddish beard is holding gloves in his right hand and his black costume and pose resemble the portraits of Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle (1517-1586), when bishop of Arras, especially the painting by Antwerp painter Antonis Mor in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, created in 1549 (GG 1035) or a similar portrait of future cardinal by Titian, created a year earlier (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 30-15). According to Latin inscription in upper part of the painting the man was 28 in 1572 (1572 / Æ T A. 28), exacly as Rescius, when he accompanied Cardinal Granvelle to Naples. The diplomat died there in 1600.
Portrait of Stanisław Reszka (1544-1600), aged 28 by Adriaen Thomasz. Key, 1572, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
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