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Niezachowany witraż projektu Juliusa Hübnera w krakowskim kościele Dominikanów

Szybisty, Tomasz

English Title: A lost stained glass window designed by Julius Hübner for the Dominican Church in Cracow

In: Rocznik Krakowski, 76 (2010), pp. 95-108

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Translation of abstract (English)

The nineteenth-century century stained glass revival in Cracow began in the second decade of the century and was connected with a vogue for the Gothic. The new trend originated in England and spread among the Polish aristocracy. By mid-century stained glass had made a successful comeback to Cracow, but a full recovery of the knowledge and skills of this ancient craft was not completed until the following decades. The breakthrough was spurred by a surge in demand for its product in the aftermath of the great fire of 1850, which damaged some of the city’s Gothic churches. One of subsequent reconstruction projects involved a stained-glass window, since lost, for the Chapel of Our Saviour in the Dominican Church. Funded by the Przezdziecki family, it showed the Madonna and Child with St Hiacynth and St Adelaide. This work holds a special place in the history of stained glass in nineteenth-century Cracow because of its own outstanding value and the fact that it was designed by Julius Hübner, one of the great talents of his time, whose designs have only recently been rescued from oblivion. While the first design for the window was drafted by the local architect Teofil Zebrawski, the final version bore the signature of Julius Hübner, Professor of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and a representative of the second generation of the Nazarenes. The arrangement of the figures in the window echoed Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, though it is possible that the author was also inspired by the composition of the Gothic tombstone of Isabella of Aragon in the Cathedral of Cosenza. The glass was fired in the Meissen Porcelain Factory by Carl Scheinert and put in place in 1854. It escaped damage the following year, when the pillars and vaults of the renovated church collapsed. Residents of Cracow were delighted to see the new stained-glass window: they welcomed it as a symbol of a successful reconstruction after the conflagration of 1850. The window was also highly praised for its artistic quality, but, unfortunately, was ill prepared to stand the test of time. Already in the 1880s most of the coloured sections began to fade, a consequence of the technique used in its making (painted enamel). More outright damage was caused to the window by an explosion at a munitions depot at Wola Duchacka in 1909. Three years later a completely new window was made by the firm S.G. Zelenski using Hübner’s original cartoons. Unfortunately, it was almost completely damaged during World War II. The last, partial reconstruction of the window was made in the 1990s on the basis of historical iconographic material. Finally, it is also known that the Przezdzieckis ordered another stained glass window in the Meissen factory: a downsized replica of Hübner’s Cracow work. It was made by Amalie Scheinert.

Document type: Article
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2012 18:36
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Painting
Controlled Subjects: Hübner, Julius (Künstler), Glasmalerei, Krakau / Dominikanerkirche
Subject (classification): Artists, Architects
Painting
Countries/Regions: East Europe
Collection: ART-Dok Central and Eastern Europe