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The Paintings Gallery, Wilanów Palace

Wilanów Palace (Polish: Pałac w Wilanowie) is a royal palace located in the Wilanów district, Warsaw. Wilanów Palace survived the time of Poland's partitions and both World Wars and has preserved its authentic historical qualities, also is one of the most important monuments of Polish culture.

The Paintings Gallery

Originally a three-room apartment, August Potocki had it converted around the middle of the 19th century into a permanent museum gallery, mostly displaying foreign paintings. The Pompeii pink walls and the ceiling murals with medallion portraits of great sculptors, architects and painters of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classicist periods are an allusion to typical 19th century museum interiors. The walls are decorated with European paintings from the collection of Stanisław Kostka Potocki and his successors. The most valuable pieces include: “The Final Judgement” (1530) by Wolfgang Krodel the Elder and “Entry of Michał Radziwiłł to Rome” (probably 1680) by Pieter van Bloemen and possibly also Niccolo Viviani Codazzi.
The exhibition also includes examples of fine craft work, such as two large cabinets containing silverware from the M.G. Biennais & J.B.C. Odiot works in Paris. One of the two smaller glazed cabinets situated between the windows displays 18th and 19th century bronzes and 17th to 19th-century stoneware tankards; the other – Böttger’s red stoneware from 1710-19 and 18th-century Meissen china and Dutch faience after Oriental patterns. The ormolu console contains a cast-iron fireplace clock with a pair of candlesticks, purchased by August Potocki in Paris in 1851, after the World Exhibition in London.

History

The history of the Wilanow Palace, a wonderful Baroque royal residence, began on April 23, 1677, when a village became the property of King John Sobieski III. At the beginning, the residence built there was small. Augustyn Locci, the king’s court architect, received the task of creating only a ground floor residence of a layout typical for the buildings of the Republic of Poland. However, military successes and an increase of the importance of royalty in the coming years had a huge influence on expanding the initial project. Huge construction works were conducted in the years 1677-1696. After completion, the building comprised of elements of a nobility house, an Italian garden villa and a French palace in the style of Louis XIV. After the death of the King, the Palace became the property of his sons, and in 1720, a run down property was purchased by one of the wealthiest women in Poland of those days – Elizabeth Sieniawska. In 1730, the Palace, for three years, was owned by king August II the Strong, who made considerable changes in the residence, particularly as far as the internal décor is concerned.
In the middle of 18th century, the Wilanów property was inherited by the daughter of Czartoryski, wife of a field marshal, Izabela Lubomirska, during whose reign, Wilanów started shining with its previous glory. Sixty nine years later, the Duchess gave Wilanów to her daughter and her husband, Stanislaw Kostka Potocki. Thanks to his efforts, one of the first museums in Poland was opened in the Wilanów Palace, in 1805.
The exposition consists of two parts: on the first floor, there is the GALLERY OF THE POLISH PORTRAIT, where you can see the effigies of the Polish monarchs collected over the centuries, representatives of great magnate families, participants of national uprisings, eminent artists and people honored by Poland. Their authors are often prominent Polish and foreign painters.
After visiting The Gallery of Polish Portraits, you will be able to see the royal apartments of the palace. Rooms where parties took place, chambers where the royal couples listened to music, met their friends and guests, and where they worked and rested. (Source: Wilanów Palace & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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