The “Great Poles” exhibition presents the profiles of eminent Poles who played an important role in the history of the nation, Europe and the world. They include writers, poets, scholars, leaders and national heroes. They left a legacy whose material record is represented by manuscripts and prints from the Czartoryski Library.
The list of great Poles opens with Wincenty Kadłubek, the first Polish scholar and writer, author of the Polish Chronicle, which shaped the historical and national awareness of Poles for centuries. The work was very popular in the 15th century, when most copies were produced.
Outstanding scientist Nicolaus Copernicus, creator of the heliocentric model of the Solar System, became world famous. His epoch-making work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium caused a revolution in the science and worldview of his time.
After the Victory of Vienna in 1683, John III Sobieski was hailed the saviour of the Christian world. The conqueror of the Turks turned out to be not only an outstanding leader, but also a loving husband, as evidenced by the king’s letters to his beloved Marysieńka.
Tadeusz Kościuszko is regarded as a model patriot and a symbol of the fight for independence and equality of all people. During the insurrection he issued the Proclamation of Połaniec, providing for personal freedom of peasants.
Among the great Poles are also: outstanding representatives of the Renaissance – Mikołaj Rej, Jan Kochanowski, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski, national bards – Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, Zygmunt Krasiński, cult national heroes – Kazimierz Pułaski, Józef Poniatowski, Józef Piłsudski.
Curators: Jadwiga Klima, Dorota Otwinowska