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The Gallery of Early Polish Art (12th-18th Centuries)

Author: Wojciech Marcinkowski, Tomasz Zaucha

The Gallery of Early Polish Art (12th-18th Centuries) offers one of the best displays of medieval and early modern art of any Polish museum. Among the exhibits here are fine specimens of Gothic painting and sculpture, as well as a large body of interesting Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque works.

One of the most attractive sections of the exhibition is that devoted to early Polish burial rituals; another is the grand residential chamber of the palace, which houses the gallery of early Polish portraits. The works on show, which date from various points in a period spanning seven centuries, are highly diverse, in terms of both style and iconography. This guide to the gallery is thus a valuable aid to learning about their history and comprehending the meaning of what are now often rather arcane works. It contains highly synthetic yet clear histories of the collections and descriptions of the most precious individual artefacts. Considerable space has also been devoted to explicating fundamental terms and concepts of significance in medieval early modern art. This gives it a broader functionality as not only a guide to this particular gallery but also a primer to the rudiments of the history of Polish art in bygone centuries. In addition, it contains a brief history of the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace, where the gallery is housed. First erected in the early sixteenth century, and extended over successive centuries, this palace is a fascinating example of an urban magnate residence. The guide, which is designed to appeal to the most sophisticated tastes in graphic design, is fully illustrated throughout.

Publisher: National Museum in Krakow Publication year:  2007
Length: 80 pages
Colour illustrations, black and white illustrations
Text: English

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