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Biskupa Piotra Gembickiego dary i fundacje artystyczne dla katedry krakowskiej

Czyżewski, Krzysztof J.

English Title: Foundations of Bishop Piotr Gembicki for the Wawel Cathedral

In: Nowacki, Dariusz (Hrsg.): Katedra krakowska w czasach nowożytnych (XVI-XVIII w.). Krakau 1999 55-98 + Abb. 1-35

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Translation of abstract (English)

Piotr Gembicki, Bishop of Cracow in the years 1642-57, was one of the most meritorious benefactors of the Wawel Cathedral. The high altar raised probably in 1649, instead of a Renaissance retabulum of ca. 1547, is the most durable and the most important trace of his artistic patronage. The altar has a form of monumental aedicula with two pairs of columns (the inside columns are slightly advanced) with a discontinued triangular fronton and a carved coping. Its ornamental decorations subordinated to architecture represent forms of the late Roman baroque. Statutes (angels, Christ) and ornaments (shell-like forms) are typical for the 17th century Cracow’s wood-carving art. Giovanni Battista Gisleni made the design but local wood-carvers remain unidentified. At this stage it is difficult to determine who was the author of the altar painting. The new retabulum was intended to be a dominant placed at the end of the main axis leading from the western door to the presbytery and become one of the most important elements of the constant baroquization of the Cathedral interiors performed in the 17th century. The iconographic program of the altar – picture of the Christ Crucified, cartouche with an angel sitting at an empty tomb, statue of the Christ Risen from the Dead triumphing over sin symbolized by a serpent wreathing itself round the globe of Universe – represents the act of redemption of the world. A timeless, ahistorical scene of Crusification with Jesus dying lonely on the cross surrounded by dimmed celestial spheres – Sun and Moon – symbolizing the Universe, is especially interesting. This type of representation is typical for post-Trent iconography stressing mostly the Christ’s mission of redemption. The Gembicki’s sepulchral monument next to the St. Stanislas altar is the second permanent element of the Cathedral interior commissioned by the bishop. The bust monument designed in the Roman style by Giovanni Battista Gisleni was made in the bishop’s lifetime, in 1654. The bronze bishop’s bust – derived from the tradition of sculpture of Alessandro Algardi – is a work of Giovanni Francesco Rossi. The second bust of Gembicki now in the St. Mary’s Church in Cracow, differring in composition of a hand from the Cathedral one, made of gilded gesso, shall be considered a model of the Wawel sculpture modified in course of realization. The third marble bust (probably also by Rossi) mentioned in the Gembicki’s testamentary inventory, given by the executors to the Cathedral and placed in the Chapter, was destroyed in the 18th century.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2011 13:51
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Arts
Controlled Subjects: Gembicki, Piotr, Krakau / Dom, Stiftung, Ausstattung
Subject (classification): Sculpture
Painting
Countries/Regions: East Europe
Collection: ART-Dok Central and Eastern Europe