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Bloody Mars. Military old prints in the collections of the National Museum in Krakow 02.09.2014-04.01.2015 Bloody Mars. Military old prints in the collections of the National Museum in Krakow

The exhibition includes more than 80 objects created from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, selected from the collection of approximately 36,000 old prints and cartographic objects located in the National Museum in Krakow. The priceless items are exhibited in the Czapski Palace, in the nineteenth-century private library being one of the few libraries preserved with all the equipment.

Although the war is primarily destruction and death, it is also a time of new technical, literary and artistic achievements. In spite of the bloody reign of Mars, the god of war, the muses responsible for the development of technology and historiography were not always silent amidst the clash of arms. Besides the descriptions of battles, old Polish chronicles also provide expressive representations of battle scenes, often faithfully reflecting the topography of the battlefield. Firearms were used in the Polish lands already in the fourteenth century, but it was not until the seventeenth century that numerous theoretical studies concerning the construction of guns of different calibers, the use of a variety of missiles, and the technical details of a heavy transport necessary to lift cannons to the walls appeared. Numerous European wars led to the emergence of a separate branch of architecture: defense structures, which consisted in erecting fortresses and walls, as well as the fortifications of wood and soil. For planning the troop movements and the selection of suitable battlefields, detailed plans were prepared, as well as the maps of different areas, while the historians depicted the theatre of war on the maps. Taking part in a battle, especially in a victorious one, along with personal courage and the abilities of strategists constituted the subject of numerous songs of praise (panegyrics) characteristic of the Old Polish period, which depicted knightly acts of the Sarmatians. The exhibition's title is taken from one of those works.

prepared by Katarzyna Bik

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog by Agnieszka Perzanowska ‒ a curator of the exhibition, a senior custodian in the Department of Old Prints, Manuscripts and Cartography of the National Museum in Krakow

Autor: Katarzyna Bik

The Hutten-Czapski Museum

ul. Piłsudskiego 12, 31-109 Kraków
  • Monday: closed
  • tue : 10.00-18.00
  • wednesday-sunday: 10.00-16.00
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