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Sacral art from 13th to 20th century


   Seventeen years period of the Museum activity was marked with considerable growth of its collection and nowadays it comprises approx. 600 works of art restored in the Museum’s studio, objects deposited by parishes and numerous gifts. As the collection has been growning it created the need to develop a new conception how to show the increasing number of objects to the public. Currently opened exhibition is the outcome of such a conception.

   New exhibition of sacral art covers painting, sculpture, handicraft, vestments and a special section dedicated to Pope John Paul II.

   The exhibition is rich in paintings and encompasses the examples of sacral painting from the area of Cracow Archdiocese. The oldest and the most precious object is the painting depicting St. Agnes and St. Catherine from parochial church in Dębno Podhalańskie, originated from the second half of the 13th century. It is the oldest example of table painting in Poland. Several other table pictures from the 15th and the 16th centuries, which are exhibited in the Museum, mark the progress of guild painting from the territory of Małopolska province.

   The best and the most numerous representations of Polish painting come from the 17th and the 18th centuries. “Christ Taken Down from the Cross” - mid 17th century from the main altar of the chapel of Archbishops’ Palace in Kraków, “Way to Golgotha” from parochial church in Bodzanów, “The Last Judgement” from parochial church in Przytkowice are among the most famous. Other group of exhibits is Polish and European pictorial art, which is the property of Ciechanowieccy Fund in Warsaw, constituting a permanent deposit in the Archdiocesan Museum for a couple of years.

   The most precious pieces of sacral sculpture from the territory of Cracow Archdiocese are the group of gothic sculptures of Our Lady with the Child: from Gruszów (approx. 1380), Więcławice (1400), Racławice Olkuskie (1400), Czulice (1400) and Ludźmierz (1420) and Crucifixion Groups: from Krzyszkowice (end of 14th c.), Racławice Olkuskie (1520). First time in history the exhibition displays the group of baroque sculptures from apse of the Wawel Royal Cathedral (approx. 1770).

   Gold-work presented on the exhibition does not form a large collection due to the fact, that liturgical vessels are still in use in churches. The pieces exhibited in the Museum help to appreciate the progress of goldsmith work in the region at the background of the evolution of the European art. Among the others the exhibition shows: a chalice with paten (approx. 1360) – a gift from Pope John Paul II for the Museum, a chalice from Nowa Góra (1500), monstrance from Korzkiew (1640), a censer with boat (1620) from parochial church in Zielonki.

   Vestments are largely represented at the exhibition. They cover the period from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The most valuable are the chasubles from parochial church in Bolechowice (15th c.) and two deposited chasubles from the beginning of the 16th century. Exhibited pieces show the development of embroidery throughout a few hundred years. Embroidery collection is also enriched with bishops’ mitres, the oldest coming from the end of the 17th century.


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