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Szwed i jezuici. Karl Dankwart i jego nieznane prace malarskie dla nyskich i kłodzkich jezuitów

Kozieł, Andrzej

English Title: A Swede and the Jesuits. Karl Dankwart and his unknown commissions for the Jesuits in Nysa and Klodzko

In: Harasimowicz, Jan ; Oszczanowski, Piotr ; Wisłocki, Marcin (Hrsgg.): Po obu stronach Bałtyku. Wzajemne relacje między Skandynawią a Europą Środkową / On the opposite sides of the Baltic Sea. Relation between Scandinavian and Central European countries, Bd. 1. Breslau 2006, pp. 265-276

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Translation of abstract (English)

Karl Dankwart († 1704), an artist of Swedish descent, was one of the few Silesian painters to win international acclaim but there are still many gaps in our knowledge of his artistic personality, especially with respect to the early period of his activity in Silesia when the Jesuits were his principal patrons. We know that in 1689-1691 Dankwart executed for the Jesuits a series of frescoes decorating the interior of the newly-erected the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Nysa. However, the paintings by the Swedish artists once gracing the refectory of the Jesuit College in Nysa, built in 1669-1686, have remained unknown. The series, now dispersed, comprised: four paintings depicting various activities of the Jesuits ("Vision of St Francis Xavier in lndia"; "Adoration of the Holy Family by Jesuit Saints"; "Jesuits Tending to the Sick"; "Angels Bringing Food for the Jesuits to the Refectory" – presently at the Museum in Nysa); eight paintings depicting Jesuit saints ("St Ignatius of Loyola"; "St Francis Xavier"; "St Stanislaus Kostka"; "St Aloysius Gonzaga"; "St Francis Borgia"; "St John Goto"; "St James Kisai"; "St Paul Miki" – all still at their original site); and a pair of Christological scenes ("Feeding of the five thousand" and "Christ in the house of Martha and Mary" – presently at the Museum in Nysa). Dankwart also painted "St Ferdinand" and "St Archangel Michael presenting the Jesuit Church in Nysa to the Holy Trinity", both now at the Jesuit Church in Nysa. It is also known that in 1693 Karl Dankwart executed a series of fourteen paintings for the Jesuit Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Klodzko, depicting the successive invocation of the "Salve Regina" hymn. However, other works executed by the Swedish artist for the Jesuits in Klodzko have been forgotten: "Vision of the young Arnost of Pardubice" and "Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice praying before the Madonna of Klodzko for the Jesuits" (presently at the former Jesuit College in Klodzko); the full-figure portrait of Johann Balthasar Liesch, suffragan of Wroclaw (presently at the District Museum in Klodzko); "The first communion of St Aloysius Gonzaga" and "Angelic Communion of St Stanislaus Kostka" (presently at the former Jesuit College in Klodzko), and some paintings from the series of eleven images of Jesuit saints, the head of St John the Baptist and the image of the Virgin and the Child (presently at the Jesuit Church in Klodzko). The current state of knowledge on the activity of the Swedish artist for Jesuits patrons suggests that this collaboration may have been closer and more extensive territorially, encompassing not only Silesia, the former District of Klodzko and Poland but also Moravia (as indicated by "St Archangel Michael" painted by Dankwart for the High Altarpiece of the Jesuit Church of St Archangel Michael at Znojmo). The basis of Dankwart’s work for the Jesuits was not only his artistic prowess and innovative style but also the fact that he was Swedish and a convert to Catholicism. In the context of religious conflict in Silesia and District of Klodzko this certainly had a propaganda effect. It seems that Dankwart himself was fully aware of his double social role as an acclaimed painter and converted Protestant Swede, faithful servant of the Catholic Church. His self-portrait at St Mary's Basilica at Jasna Gora (1694) reflects his self-perception: he depicted himself not only as a painter but also as a sinful Swede saved by his conversion from the abyss of heresy opening under his feet.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2011 15:20
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Painting
Controlled Subjects: Dankwart, Karl, Malerei, Neiße, Glatz, Jesuiten
Subject (classification): Artists, Architects
Countries/Regions: East Europe
Northern Europe
Collection: ART-Dok Central and Eastern Europe