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Showing posts with the label Poland

Stories from Krakow

St. Mary’s Basilica The current Basilica was built in the 14th century on the foundation of an older church from the 13th century. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site which includes the entire Stare Miasto (Old Town) of Krakow. Jan Matejko, the foremost painter of Poland designed the polychrome murals of the Basilica and the wooden altarpiece behind the main altar was carved by Veit Stoss in the 15th century. It depicts the life of Jesus and Mary. The altarpiece was dismantled and hidden in various locations across Poland just before World War II broke out but was found by the Nazis and taken to Germany. It was recovered in 1946 and had to undergo major restoration before its reinstallation at the Basilica in 1957. There is a guided tour of the St. Mary’s and tickets can be purchased at their office which is on the side of the main portal overlooking Main Square. St. Mary’s Basilica I wondered why the people were gathering in front of the Basilica. It turns out that a trumpete

The Lady with an Ermine

Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci, ca 1490, oil on wood panel Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski bought the Lady with an Ermine painting while traveling in Italy in 1798. This is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani who is said to be one of the mistresses of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. The Duke was awarded the Order of the Ermine by the King of Naples and was known as l’Ermenillo. Landscape with the Good Samaritan, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1638 Study of a horse from the Battle of Grunwald painting, Jan Matejko, 1876 Note: The plaque at the top of this vignette spells the name of Adam Kazimierz. He was the husband of Princess Izabela who is the founder of the museum. The portrait on the left is that of Prince Władisław Czartoryski, the grandson of Princess Izabela, to whom Matejko gifted the Study of a horse. The portrait is by Teodor Axentowicz, 1892-1893. St. Catherine of Alexandria (fragment from a triptych),  Hans Seuss von Kulmbach, ca 1511 The Annunciation, Master Jerzy, 1517 Coron

The Painted Houses of Zalipie

The tradition of painting flowers on both the interior and exterior surfaces of a house started in the late 19th century in the small, rural village of Zalipie in Southern Poland. It was done primarily to cover-up soot marks. What was a simple paint job developed into colorful floral patterns.  Dog kennels are no exceptions. The back of the house is not left out. Several barns in Zalipie are also painted with flowers. I noticed that barns are painted with white flowers, perhaps in contrast to the black background. The most famous among local artists was Felicji Curiłowej. Her house is now a museum where her exuberant artistry is on display. Detail of floral pattern. Pink and blue, cute as you. Here’s another house in the Museum compound. Zalipie is a quiet village surrounded by lush, green fields. The older houses are alive with painted flowers. This well was lovingly painted. Even the fence didn’t escape the artist’s palette. I visited this property where an artist lives and which is