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Abstract

In 2016 the city of Wroclaw became The European Capital of Culture. On this occasion, the National Museum organized three exhibitions. The magnificent and newly renovated Four Domes Pavilion designed by Hans Poelzig staged the show called Summer Rental. The Marx Collection in Wroclaw, featuring 50 artworks from the Hamburger Banhof Museum in Berlin. The Ethnographic Museum showed the multimedia exhibition Treasures of European Traditional Culture, featuring various phenomena of Intangible Cultural Heritage preserved through documents and protected oral tradition. This cultural programme influenced the reception of the third show in the National Museum, the first monographic exhibition of the Baroque Silesian painter Bartholomeus Strobel (1591–1647). Strobel was a Lutheran artist working for the Catholic Church and the Polish King Władysław IV. He received commissions from both Catholics in the Polish Commonwealth and Protestants in Gdansk, and was painting portraits of lay and church dignitaries as well as religious compositions. The Wroclaw exhibition successfully showcased the work of this talented portraitist and religious painter adept at Counter-Reformation subjects. The second protagonist of the exhibition was Bishop of Wroclaw, Polish Prince Karol Ferdynand Waza (1613–1655). For this reason, the exhibition included many outstanding gold Baroque church objects, on loan from the Treasury of the Cathedral of Wroclaw. Strobel’s largest and most impressive painting, the Feast of Herod with the Beheading of St John the Baptist (2.80 × 9.50 m), from the Prado Museum, Madrid, was probably commissioned by the Dean of the Wrocław Cathedral Chapter, Nikolaus von Troilo, since it features his coat of arms. The focal point in the painting is the severed head of St. John, also found on the coat of arms of Wroclaw and Silesia. The canvas was executed around 1640, in honour of the three fallen heroes of the fight for the political and religious freedom of Silesia: Jan Christian, Prince of Legnica-Brzesko, the poet Martin Opitz, and Nikolaus von Troilo. In the Feast of Herod, the artist contrasted hypocritical and vicious rulers, depicted as caricatures, with a few honourable individuals. The large canvas from the Prado did not travel to Wroclaw for conservation reasons. It was, however, replaced and interpreted by a large video art piece by Lech Majewski, the Polish master of the genre and world-renowned artist. Majewski made the famous film Mill and the Cross (interpreting Brueghel’s The Road to Golgotha from Vienna). In 2010 he also created the video art piece Supermarket Dante based on the Divine Comedy. Majewski is renowned for painting with the new electronic means in films and in video art. In the video art presented in the Wroclaw exhibition the first sequence shows Strobel’s painting from Madrid of richly dressed men celebrating at splendidly set tables. In the centre of the picture Herodias is holding St. John’s head and Herod looks at it in horror. The scene of the saint’s martyrdom is depicted on the margins of the picture; it occupies a narrow right strip of the composition. In the next video sequence the banqueting hall turns into a supermarket – the temple of modern consumerism. Tables are set up in front of checkouts for the supermarket customers. A black-clad praying figure appears thus disturbing the feast, and then is lifted out of the film’s frame. After a while Salome brings St. John’s bloody head on the tray and puts it on the table. Thanks to this travesty, Strobel’s painting which is a great allegory condemning unjust governments and the death and humiliation of the virtuous, is timeless in its content. It shows how relevant artists are as society’s conscience. The exhibition shown in Wroclaw was innovative in the context of the Polish museology, and testifies to great new exhibiting opportunities for the future dialogue between the past and the present.
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Abstract

The Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery was established in 1792 in the village of Wielka Wola near Warsaw on Młynarska Street. It was probably designed by the architect Szymon Bogumił Zug. From the mid-19th century the cemetery aroused much admiration for its appearance. The site was carefully maintained and covered with lush vegetation. It contained many fine tombstones executed by the most outstanding sculptors from Warsaw. Among those was Paweł Maliński, Professor of the Sculpture Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Warsaw and his pupil Jakub Tatarkiewicz. Both studied under Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome. Another talented sculptor whose works could be found in the cemetery was Konstanty Hegel, a former pupil of the Academy of St. Luke and the French Academy in Rome. The necropolis also contained funeral monuments made by the stone-carving workshops of Warsaw. This article aims to introduce about 30 of the most interesting funeral monuments executed in the first 60 years of the history of the Warsaw cemetery. The oldest tombstones preserved in the churchyard are eclectic works drawing from Baroque art. An interesting tombstone is that of Anna Regina Kilemann (d. 1793), modelled on Johann Augustus Nahl’s funeral monument for Mary Magdalene Langhans, and dated 1753. The cenotaphs in this group show some elements traditionally used in the early modern sepulchral sculpture – the carved figure of the deceased; the shape of the sarcophagus; the motif of the gate; or the obelisk on a pedestal. The fantasy form is often adorned with neoclassical decoration. The types of tombstones widely used in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw show a mourner (a weeper), a genius angel or an allegorical figure holding an upside-down burning torch. One of the finest is the headstone executed for Krystian Gotthilf Helbing’s grave (d. 1845), decorated with the sculpted personification of Death executed by Paweł Maliński. Konstanty Hegel, on the other hand, displays the sculpted personification of the Evangelical community on the gravestone of Samuel Leopold Neumann (d. 1844), shown there as a Mourner. Whereas Jakub Tatarkiewicz made several sculpted busts for family mausoleums, including that of the lexicographer Samuel Linde (d. 1847), and the physicians Wilhelm Malcz (d. 1852) and Karol Henryk Kühnel (d. 1836). In addition to the classicist gravestones inspired by Greek and Roman antiquity, there are also neo-Gothic monuments and those inspired by ancient Egypt in the cemetery, for instance the pyramid-shaped tomb commemorating Jan Riedel (d. 1808). Moreover, there are many burial chapels (mausoleums) on Młynarska Street, and four of these deserve a special mention. The first one is the monumental Halpert Chapel dated 1834, representing templum in antis in the Doric order of the Roman variety. The second one is the Skwarcov Chapel dated 1851, distinguished by its oriental decoration in the Old Russian-Arabic style. The third one is a cast-iron openwork mausoleum of the Braeunig family (1821), considered one of the most elegant mausoleums in the cemetery, probably from Germany. Another chapel worth mentioning is the Dückert mausoleum (1828), a Polish example of the Greek Revival style. The funeral monuments in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw commemorate well-known scholars, doctors, military people, merchants, bankers, industrialists, and owners of important real estates. Many of these people were deserving figures not only in the borough, but in the whole of Warsaw. Their place of burial in the Evangelical-Augsburg cemetery can be seen as an important point on the map of the city. It testifies to the multiculturalism of the capital of Poland and the Lutheran inhabitants, and is a gallery of sculpture reflecting all the styles and trends in art.
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Abstract

When describing the Evangelical-Augsburg religious architecture of the 20th and 21st century in the Cieszyn Silesia, it is worth drawing attention to the origins of the boundaries in this historical and geographical region. The Reformation first appeared in Silesia in Wroclaw, where in 1519 Martin Luther’s works were printed, and where in 1545 Prince Waclaw III Adam Pogrobowiec recognized the Augsburg Confession as the official religion of the Duchy of Cieszyn. Unfortunately, when the Habsburgs seized power in the Duchy in the 17th century, a persecution of Lutherans began, which for years afterwards hampered the development of Protestant architecture in the area. The crucial event that fundamentally changed the fate of the local Protestants was the publication in 1781 of the Patent of Tolerance by Joseph II. It contained detailed regulations for the building of Protestant places of worship, which influenced the shape and the aesthetics of local Evangelical churches until the 20th century. The beginning of the last century saw some new projects of a liturgical character. The neo-Gothic chapel of ease in Bogumin, designed by J. Leisching and built in 1901, was one of the first Evangelical-Augsburg churches erected in Cieszyn Silesia. The Evangelical cemetery chapel in Dębowiec was also constructed in the neo-Gothic style, as the latter became non-denominational from the end of the 19th century. The large scale of the building (consecrated in 1912) designed by Karol Majeranowski made it possible for regular Sunday services to take place in the chapel. Another significant architectural addition was the new Evangelical cemetery in Bielsko, designed by H. Mayr. During the interwar period, the well-organized Silesian-Cieszyn Lutheran community built many new chapels and churches. In the 1920s and 1930s, several large cemetery chapels were erected in the Cieszyn diocese. Their scale was well beyond the sepulchral requirements of the times. Worth mentioning are the chapels in Godziszów, Simoradz, and Kozakowice Dolne. Their architecture attests to the fact that the Evangelical-Augsburg community has long been faithful to traditional designs dating back to the 18th century. In the interwar period, new churches of considerable size were erected in Cieszyn Silesia. Most were built in the part of the region situated on the Czechoslovak side. The two most outstanding churches, the German Evangelical church in Rozwoj, and the Silesian Evangelical- -Augsburg church in Niwy, were erected in Český Těšín. Their architecture recalls neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque architecture. Despite the rather conservative tastes of the Silesian-Cieszyn Evangelical-Augsburg diaspora, the architect T. Michejda made a successful synthesis of modernism and “the national style” in the Evangelical church in Istebna (consecrated in 1930). On the other hand, in his Evangelical- -Augsburg church in Trzanowice, Michejd minimised the details of the façade to create a building in the international style of the 1930s. After the Second World War, the Evangelical-Augsburg architecture of the years 1948–1956 in Cieszyn Silesia returned to the artistic language known for decades, which recalled the archetypal designs of patent churches. Examples of this design are in Wieszczęta- Kowale and Olbrachcice. The first positive change in the attitude towards the avant-garde solutions can be seen in the buildings erected by the Evangelicals in the 1960s. The most important churches built or designed in this decade were in Cierlick (by B. Firla) and in Wisla Czarne (by K. Kozieł). The Evangelical-Augsburg church in Wisła Czarne (1970) introduced a series of churches linked to the critical regionalism. The Evangelical-Augsburg church in Cisowinica, consecrated in 1981, is an example of the evolution of this concept. Stanisław Kwaśniewicz and Edward Kisiel were representatives of yet another concept of designing churches in the period of late modernism in Cieszyn Silesia. Kwaśniewicz applied expressionist forms in the Evangelical-Augsburg chapel in Bażanowice, while Kisiel combined expressionism and regional contextualism in the churches in Puków and Cieszyn Marklowice. The Protestant architecture of the Cieszyn Silesia created in the more recent years recalls postmodernist forms yet is still firmly grounded in the local tradition. Some of the newer churches are, however, a warning sign of the dangers of losing moderation typical of Protestant architecture. Only time will tell if this is a durable trend or a momentary “straying” of the Silesian-Cieszyn Evangelicals.
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Abstract

In the mid-17th century on the outskirts of the capitals of the hereditary Duchies of Silesia – Glogow, Jawor and Świdnica – Lutheran churches were erected known as the Churches of Peace, now considered the largest Baroque timber-framed ecclesiastical buildings in Europe. Their advent was the result of a particular political and religious situation which existed in Silesia during the early modern era, since it was absorbed into the Habsburg monarchy in 1526. This period of time was also the beginning of the Protestant Reformation which found many supporters among the Silesians. Lutheranism soon became the dominant religion in Silesia. Religious differences between the sovereign and the subjects led to constant tensions that worsened during the Thirty Years’ War. According to the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia (hence the name of the churches), Evangelists could worship in only three new churches in the Duchies, which were to be raised at their own expenses from clay and wood. All the other places of worship were taken away from them. The authorities intended the Churches of Peace to reflect the position of Protestant communities within the existing political realities – simple utilitarian buildings not solid or durable, which in ideological terms should not compete with the monumental Catholic architecture in the towns near which they were erected. These limitations can be seen as the reason the Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica have an interesting décor. The present paper discusses the church in Świdnica, and the historic transformation of its décor and furnishings from the mid-17th to the mid-18th century. The church’s interior included wall and ceiling paintings, woodcarvings of the window sills in the matronea and the loges, liturgical furnishings such as the late Baroque altar (1752–1753), the organ front (1776–1784), the confessional (18th century), the Baroque pulpit (1729), and the Mannerist baptismal font (1661). Furthermore, some epitaphs, heraldic shields, guild emblems, paintings, liturgical utensils, money boxes and other smaller objects associated with the Protestant worship also survived the ravages of time. Numerous seats have also been preserved such as benches, loges and stools. The iconographic programme of the church interior initiated at the end of the 17th century by the ceiling decorations refers to the name of the church, but also evokes the associations with the Temple of Solomon and the dwelling of God among his people. The church’s original architecture which was largely based on practical considerations served as a framework over which with time new “semantic layers” were applied. These were formulated not only in terms of fine arts but also music, including church songs, thanks to the two organ fronts and the word of God preached. They all refer to the same imagery as paintings and sculptures and are deeply embedded in the so-called Baroque Protestant symbolism. What is striking, alongside the unity of its content, is the adhesion to the forms of expression combining text and image in the emblematic tradition. All this makes us see the Church of Peace in Świdnica as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, although in the past the unity of time in creation was usually observed. In Świdnica the situation is different. As a result of almost three generations of artistic undertakings, the interior has a unique, consistent, and coherently formulated ideological programme, erudi te, even if largely devoid of high artistic quality.
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Abstract

The subject of this paper is Protestant church architecture in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the early modern era, within Poland’s present-day borders. This includes lands which belonged to Poland before the Partitions and those granted in 1945 by the decision of the Potsdam Conference of three great powers (Mazury, New Marchia, Western Pomerania, and Silesia). In all the lands between the rivers Oder and Bug, which were affected by the Reformation, especially where the Evangelical National Churches (Mazury, New March, West Pomerania) were built, the concept of church founders “meriting” Eternal Salvationwas gradually disappearing. According to the recommendations of Martin Luther, all the churches that were not used for preaching the word of God, especially monastic and pilgrim churches, could be used for secular purposes or even dismantled. Only parish and castle churches were deemed acceptable, as they were serving the communities assigned to them. Wherever the Reformation supporters succeeded in taking over the medieval parish churches, far-reaching changes were made to their furnishings with time. Medieval altars were usually left in their original place, although some underwent Renaissance “modernising”, as in St. Nicholas Church in Brzeg (1572). New additions were in general the pulpits and the baptismal fonts, which together with the altar made the so-called liturgical triad, visible from anywhere in the church. In order to improve the visibility of the main liturgical acts, the emporas or galleries were introduced in the church interiors, forming an arrangement similar to the letter “L” or “U”. The elevation within the church space was created for the distinguished representatives of the widely understood establishment – the princely and noble patrons, mayors, councillors and aldermen. They were seated on special benches or in loges/boxes, usually highly impressive and ornamental pieces of furniture. From the mid-16th century, many churches in towns and country began to show signs of a new style: the Renaissance portals and gables, and the “Italian” tented roofs. The outer walls of the brick churches began to be plastered, and even made using the technique of sgraffito, in imitation of stone cutting. This was supposed to give churches a more “noble” look. Totally new places of worship were built wherever Evangelicals could not take possession of the local parish church, or where they had to return the church to the Catholics by court order or as a result of royal intervention. In the area of Lesser Poland (Malopolska), the noble followers of Calvinism and Arianism developed a rather dynamic church building, erecting structures of such high rank as the Calvinist church in Oks near Jędrzejów based on the horizontal plan of the Greek cross. In the area of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Royal Prussia, Lutheran municipalities were often forced to hastily reuse various secular buildings such as private houses, baths, town halls and granaries. The most famous example of such a structure is the “Kripplein Christi” in Wschow, built in 1604 over a short period of time near the city walls, and using its gate tower as bell tower. A good occasion for the construction of new Evangelical churches, mainly Lutheran ones, were human resettlements conducted in the 16th and 18th centuries in the swampy areas of the Polish-Brandenburg borderland, near Trzcianka and Wielen, as well as in rural areas surrounding the three major towns of Royal Prussia – Gdańsk, Toruń and Elbląg. As part of these movements, not only voluntary settlers from the Netherlands and North Germany came to Poland, but also religious refugees, especially the Mennonites, highly praised for their development of Żuławy. A much larger scale of resettlements, however, was due to religious refugees from Bohemia and Silesia, especially in the final phase of the Thirty Years’ War (1635–1648). Thanks to these migrants, the existing towns of the Wielkopolska- Silesian borderlands, including Wschowa and Lesznów, enjoyed considerable growth, but also new centres such as Bojanowo, Rawicz, Szlichtyngowa, Zaborowo and Zduny were established. In each of these towns, inhabited almost entirely by Evangelicals, new churches were immediately built, which over time had acquired, like the Lutheran church of the Holy Cross in Leszno, monumental proportions. Several prominent new churches were also built in the second half of the 17th and early 18th centuries for the Silesian Evangelists who did not flee the country, although they lived in an area of re-catholicisation. According to the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia, the so-called Churches of Peace were established in Glogow, Świdnica and Jawor, which were not part of the existing parish network, then already completely Catholic. Similarly, the six so-called Churches of Grace were built in Silesia (Cieszyn, Jelenia Góra, Kamienna Góra, Kożuchów, Milicz, Żagań), as a result of the Convention of Altranstädt, signed in 1707 by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I and King Charles XII of Sweden. The new tradition of Protestant church building, independent of the existing parish network was followed by the so-called Friedrichian prayer houses, established in Prussian Silesia since 1742, and the so-called tolerant churches, erected in Austrian Silesia since 1782. Similar status was granted to Lutheran churches in Poznan and Warsaw, built thanks to the concessions granted by King Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski after the restoration of rights to Polish religious dissenters by the Sejm in 1768. Both churches are outstanding works of Polish architecture in the era of early classicism. A separate place in the Protestant church building in the early modern era was occupied by castle chapels and court churches. A few substantial edifices of this type are still preserved in Poland, beginning with the Lutheran castle chapel in Szczecin (1575–1577) representing the “Vitruvian” ideals of the Renaissance. We can also mention the Calvinist castle chapel in Siedlisko near Nowa Sól (1616–1618), which combines with sophistication the modified gothic and mannerist forms, as well as the castle church in Kamieniec Suski (1716–1718), originally also Calvinist, which is one of the best replicas of the famous Huguenot temple from Charenton sur Seine. The Evangelical-Reformed court church in Wroclaw (1746–1750) was of great importance for church building in Silesia. Initially, it offended the local Lutherans with its ostentatious lack of images, but over time it became an inspiration for the most outstanding church buildings of Silesian Classicism, designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, the Lutheran churches in Dzierżoniów, Rawicz, Syców and Walbrzych. A further development of Protestant church building in the lands belonging to the Polish state has progressed in a fairly uniform manner. Most of these lands after 1815 belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia, which over time was transformed into the German Empire. Church building, controlled by the Berlin headquarters, has undergone a far reaching standardization and homogenization. This fact began to reflect upon the perception of its earlier achievements, which for some critics have ceased to be a title for glory, as a manifestation of excessive individualism and too exuberant imagination. German scholarly research on the history of Protestant church construction in the countries “east of the Elbe” was interrupted by World War II and its consequences, which for the architectural heritage of the Reformation turned out to be particularly tragic. Many churches were destroyed during the war and many have fallen into disrepair as a result of the post-war human migrations and a huge gap in the Evangelical population. The Polish Catholic Church, which had taken over most of the old Evangelical temples, for a long period of time, could not cope with their furnishings. Fortunately, there were some well-informed and educated priests who took care of the Protestant temples. From the late 1960s they were also able to count on the support of the academic community, in particular the Institute of Art History of the University of Wroclaw. This institution has continued to conduct systematic research on Protestant church architecture and art in Silesia, Poland and throughout Europe. This has brought a rich crop of master and doctoral dissertations and many other publications in Poland and abroad.
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Abstract

The origins and development of the old settlement of Konradsgrün (now Jáchymov) were linked to the discovery and exploitation of silver ore in nests and veins. As a result of the dynamic growth of this new centre which was of an urban nature, in 1520 the Czech King Ludwik Jagiello granted it the city rights and the status of a free mining town. In the following years, the centre was granted the Mining Act (Bergordnung) from the noble Šlik family, modelled on the Annaberg Act. It defined the rights of miners and regulated the technical and organizational exploitation of silver. The richness of the land allowed for a dynamic expansion of the mining centre and the establishment of a mint by the Šliks. The rapid growth of the mines was due to the high content of silver in the exploited veins, as well as their ready availability. Affluent immigrant families, which originated from other parts of the Kingdom of Bohemia and from Germany, began to build substantial houses in the new town. These people, often coming from various regions of Germany, continued to maintain close contacts with their families, friends and business partners from outside the Kingdom of Bohemia. Many arrived from the lands of Saxony, where at that time Martin Luther’s Reformation enjoyed considerable popularity. Both the mayors of Jáchymov and the German-speaking gentry/nobility who settled in the Kingdom of Bohemia supported these reforms, with the Šlik, Salhausen, and the von Bünau families at the forefront. These families settled in the north-western part of Bohemia, where as a result the Reformation became widespread, primarily led by Luther’s supporters. This fact is evident in the numerous epitaphs, altarpieces and chapels found in the area (in Loket, Jáchymov, Krupka, Benešov and Ploučnica). In the first half of the 16th century, the churches of St. Jáchym and All Saints Church in Jáchymov saw the creation of such artworks as the painted epitaph of Ruprecht Pullacher, the St. Mary’s altarpiece of Heinrich Könneritz’s and his wife Barbara nee Breitenbach’s foundation, and the (now fragmented) altarpiece showing St. Christopher. Most paintings in the St. Jáchym Church, such as Ruprecht Pullacher’s epitaph, burnt down in the city fire in 1873, are only known from descriptions. The surviving works testify to the great religious freedom enjoyed during the first years of the town’s life. It was only around the middle of the 16th century, that Johannes Mathesius created the ethos of Jáchymov as a Lutheran town right from the beginning. The political situation in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the second half of the century was favourable to the coexistence of the two religions, Catholic and Lutheran, reflected in the religious art of the period. However, on the basis of the preserved epitaphs it is not possible to establish if strictly Catholic works were created in Jáchymov. The discussed epitaphs of Georg Pullacher and the Uthmann-Lerchenfelder family executed in the 1590s reflect Protestant ideas. The image of Christ’s resurrection was both the expression of hope for future resurrection and eternal life, as well as a public confession of faith on the part of the members of the Lerchenfelder and Uthmann families. A profound faith in the resurrection was also echoed in Christ’s deposition featuring on Georg Pullacher’s epitaph. The work referred to the Holy Scriptures and quoted individual passages from the Bible. Inscriptions present on the painted epitaphs provided a synthesis of the main theological principles. They were a public confession of faith of the deceased to their relatives and descendants, as is illustrated by Ruprecht Pullacher’s (Georg’s father) family portrait. Other aspects strictly related to the re-catholicization are revealed by the transformation of St. Mary’s altarpiece into an epitaph altarpiece in the 17th century.
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Abstract

After the expulsion of the Czech Brethren from their homeland in 1627, a large group settled in Poland, setting up communities, building churches, and establishing an excellent grammar school in Leszno. The most outstanding personality among them was their leader and superior, Bishop John Amos Comenius (1592–1670), who strove to preserve the religious identity of the Unity of the Brethren and to maintain good relations with the larger Protestant communities. This clergyman also had a thriving literary career, which resulted in as many as 174 works published in print, followed by numerous later editions and translations into various languages. None of his writings, however, were specifically on the subject of religious art, but in some of them he outlined very clearly his views on this issue. Condemning the devastation of Protestant churches in Bohemia and the destruction of their interior decoration in his Historia persecutionum Ecclesiae Bohemicae (1647), Comenius argued (echoing Martin Luther and John Calvin) that although these buildings were not officially consecrated, they were holy places nevertheless, sanctified by the Word of God and the Sacrament of the Altar. When describing a “typical” church in his textbook Orbis sensualium pictus (1658), Comenius singled out the architectural solutions characteristic of the Lutheran and Czech Brethren’s churches erected around 1600. They included a clear separation of the sanctuary and a three-nave body, with matronea in the aisles. The furnishings of such a “typical” church also drew on the tradition of these religious communities, and consisted of an altar, a pulpit suspended near one of the columns in the main body, and a baptismal font located near the entrance. In his work Panorthosia, completed in the 1660s, Comenius proposed a new shape for the church which was to meet the needs of the united Christians, but evidently originated in the Calvinist tradition of church building which Comenius must have seen during your stay in the Netherlands. The leader of the Czech Brethren postulated that a universal sanctuary should be built to a circular or octagonal plan, because this arrangement unifies the liturgical community and makes the celebrant easily heard. In terms of the cult of paintings, Comenius did not follow faithfully the teachings of the Czech Brethren, who were convinced that the second commandment prohibits any images of living things. Like Calvin, however, he opposed the depiction of God in bodily form, and the placing of pictures inside churches. Some parts of his Orbis sensualium pictus treating of the Jewish and Christian religion, were illustrated with biblical scenes, which proves that he agreed with Luther that religious pictures can be used to instruct those who have difficulties with the reception of the sacred texts. In his Historia persecutionum Ecclesiae Bohemicae, Comenius vigorously condemns the actions of Catholics, who had removed and destroyed from Bohemian churches the pictures of the utraquistic martyrs, Jan Hus and Hieronim from Prague. Comenius insisted that he did not defend these works as cult paintings, but saw them as valuable mementos of the Hussite religion, which gave rise to the Czech Reformation. The vision of the role of art in the life of the Church formulated by Comenius was a synthesis of the solutions introduced by various Protestant denominations. It was presented by him in an inconspicuous manner, in order to silence the possible conflicts between these faith groups. Comenius looked at art solely as a tool for the religious education of the faithful, and was against limiting its use for this purpose. Such an instrumental approach also meant that unlike the Church reformers active in the 16th century, Comenius did not seek to formulate a complementary theory of religious art.
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Abstract

Tematem artykułu jest analiza prac dwóch znaczących artystek wywodzących się z irańskiej diaspory: pracuj ącej w USA Shirin Neshat i mieszkającej w Niemczech Parastou Forouhar. Uczestniczą one w procesie redefiniowania przez sztukę współczesną reprezentacji islamu, a szczególnie kobiet muzułmanek, biorą udział w publicznych debatach, jakie wyłoniły się po rewolucji irańskiej 1979 r. i nasiliły od czasu ataków terrorystycznych 11 września 2001 r. Shirin Neshat i Parastou Forouhar zwracają uwagę na „kulurowy imperializm” świata zachodniego, ukazując głęboko zakorzenione dychotomie, które polaryzują pojmowanie kultury Zachodu i Wschodu według przeciwnych kategorii, takich jak tradycja – nowoczesność, opresja – wolność, fundamentalizm – sekularyzacja, czy zacofanie – cywilizacja. Operując na granicy tych pojęć, obie artystki celowo łączą i kontrastują ze sobą spolaryzowane tematy, praktyki i symbole kulturowe, wzięte z tradycji perskich, muzułmańskich i zachodnich, bezustannie rekonfigurując oś czasowo-przestrzenną, aby umożliwić myślenie niedialektyczne, otwarte na nowe, dynamiczne i płynne pojmowanie podmiotu. Używając postmodernistycznych strategii, takich jak ironia, zapożyczenie i dekonstrukcja, Neshat i Forouhar starają się rozbić hegemoniczne dyskursy szyickiego islamu, zachodniego orientalizmu i neokolonializmu. Można stwierdzić, że w ten sposób wprowadzają one treść swojej sztuki w tak zwaną trzecią przestrzeń zdefiniowaną przez postkolonialnego teoretyka Homi Bhabhę, teren kontestacji i subwersji homogenicznych pojęć kulturowych, ukazujących procesy hybrydyzacji, ambiwalencji, negocjacji i translacji. Jest to również obszar tworzenia tak zwanych między-przestrzeni (in-between space), gdzie można uniknąć utrwalonych binaryzmów i rozumienia współczesnych kultur jako czegoś „autentycznego” lub „czystego”, szczególnie w czasach nasilających się procesów globalizacji. Neshat i Forouhar fragmentaryzują, rozpraszają i decentralizują dominujące dyskursy reprezentacji, określające tradycyjną perską kulturę, współczesną politykę irańską oraz mocno utrwalone i uproszczone wizerunki muzułmańskich kobiet, ukazując tworzenie się nowych i nieodwracalnych transnacjonalnych znaczeń i powiązań między Iranem/Wschodem i Zachodem, które kontestują ściśle określone kategorie etniczne, narodowościowe, płciowe i uporządkowane kulturowe paradygmaty
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Abstract

The monumental photographic exhibitions shown in many parts of the world during the first post-war decades were an important landmark in the history of photography. In this paper, two of the exhibitions became the starting point for a discussion about the perception of the medium of photography and its function in the 1950s and 1960s. The first, titled The Family of Man, was set up in 1955 by American photographer and curator Edward Steichen; the second, organised less than a decade later, was the worldwide exhibition Was ist der Mensch?, by the Austro-German journalist Karl Pawek. The two projects, although generally based on the same ideological and structural principles – a spatial installation building a narrative of a humanist nature – are antithetical to each other in terms of approach to the subject. Rooted in the complex context of the cultural, social, and political post-war period, they reveal a number of tensions hidden behind the strategies of constructing a visual narrative. The author mainly focuses on the issue of the representation of World War II experiences in photography, especially its most poignant event – the Holocaust. Stories about the human condition and realities of the contemporary iconosphere are investigated through relevant images. The reflections are based on case studies – the reception of these exhibitions in Germany and Poland. The analysis is supported by little known theories by Karl Pawek, by the voices of historians and critics of photography, as well as the latest developments on the subject. By revealing the circumstances of the reception of these projects and the resonance of their humanistic message questions are raised about ways of understanding the medium of photography within the broader history of visual culture. An important theme in the discussion are changes in the way we reflect on photography – criticism of a medium perceived as a visual language of universal character, taking into account the fundamental role of the historical, social, and cultural context in the process of creating meaning and interpreting images.
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Artykuł ma na celu omówienie historii dwóch monumentalnych katalogów raisonné Rembrandta i Rubensa, opublikowanych przez Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project i Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, oraz porównanie ich metodologii i wyników. Oba projekty przekroczyły pierwotne terminy o dziesiątki lat i oba są nadal niedokończone. Przez prawie pięćdziesiąt lat badań podejście R RP do tematu atrybucji zmieniło się radykalnie, ale metody badawcze CRLB pozostały bez zmian. Rembrandt Research Project od początku koncentruje się na kwestiach autentyczności i atrybucji, z naciskiem położonym na badania technologiczne obrazów. Pod kierunkiem E. Van de Weteringa katalogowanie dzieł stało się mniej restrykcyjne i opiera się na studiach nad warsztatem i techniką malarską artysty oraz na źródłach literackich. Corpus Rubenianum bazuje na tradycyjnych metodach historycznych i ikonograficznych zainicjowanych przez Roosesa i Burcharda, zaniedbując sprawy znawstwa i badania technologiczne. Podczas pierwszej fazy projektu RRP odpisało wiele obrazów Rembrandta, ale pod kierunkiem Van de Weteringa 70 obrazów na nowo przypisano artyście. Corpus Rubenianum nadal kataloguje wszystkie dzieła Rubensa uznane przez Burcharda w 1. połowie XX w. za autentyczne, zbyt rzadko weryfikując i kwestionując dawne atrybucje. Cały format katalogu raisonné jest dziś poddawany krytyce. Pomimo ogromnych dokonań obu projektów w badaniach nad twórczością Rembrandta i Rubensa poziom zaufania do współczesnego znawstwa jest nadal zaskakująco niski.
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An illustration from Joseph Grünpeck’s Speculum naturalis first published in Nuremberg in 1508 is the starting point for the analysis of the iconographic motif of the Sinking Ship of the Church in the context of German graphic arts from the end of the 15th and the first half of the 16th century. The woodcut shows a sinking ship with the representatives of the clergy on board. It follows the example of earlier illustrations in the numerous editions of the Pronosticatio – a prophetic treatise by Johannes Lichtenberger, first published in Heidelberg in 1488, where the Ship of the Church, in the form of a sacred building floating on swirling waves, struggles with the element of water, and is seriously tilting. These woodcuts, which were firmly embedded in the ecclesial pre-Reformation reflection in general, and the criticism of the Church’s activities and structures in particular, grew from the background which can be easily overlooked today, as it cannot be read from the illustrations. This is the astrological context, which this article aims to broadly outline. Some elements of the then contemporary knowledge of stars and celestial judgments are singled out, which are now considered the reason for the introduction of the iconographic variant of the Ship of the Church. Of particular importance is the connection of the motif to the so-called Sintflutdebatte, or a “debate on the deluge/flood”, which swept through German literature in the first two decades of the 16th century. The basis for the astrological forecast of the deluge, predicted for the year 1524, was the theory of the great conjunctions. The latter referred to the processes of great transformation observable in the history of mankind, such as the origins and the fall of empires, religions or cultures. A discussion on the properties attributed to some celestial bodies (primarily Saturn, Jupiter, and the constellation of Pisces), whose influence pertained to the apocalyptic nature of these prophecies, captures the more universal character of these illustrations, and are not only associated with the anti-ecclesial mood.
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One of the characteristic features of the architectural landscape of the Stalinist era in Poland (post 1949) was the widespread use of standard designs. Initially these were not part of the propaganda of socialist realist architecture. The ideological justification of the use of standard designs as a “reflection of the era in which they arise” only began in 1953. During the following three years, a period in which the slow process of undermining Stalinist dogmas in architecture took place, supplanted by an openly technocratic vision of an industrialized architecture, the problem of standard designs regularly arose in contemporary discourse. One aspect was the growing criticism of the monotony of housing estates erected throughout the country by the state Workers Housing Department. The issue of these typical projects also came up at the National Conference of Architects in March 1956, where severe criticisms of socialist realism were voiced. The criticism arising from the architects’ milieu was heard alongside positive assessments from those close to the construction industry, who saw standard projects as instruments for producing an “architectural background worthy of a socialist society” in the Polish landscape. The adoption of “theses on typification” in 1959 (probably unwittingly repeating the words used by Hermann Muthesius in 1914) by the team of Władysław Gomułka finally terminated this period of intellectual fermentation, administratively imposing the use of standard projects and industrialised building technologies.One of the characteristic features of the architectural landscape of the Stalinist era in Poland (post 1949) was the widespread use of standard designs. Initially these were not part of the propaganda of socialist realist architecture. The ideological justification of the use of standard designs as a “reflection of the era in which they arise” only began in 1953. During the following three years, a period in which the slow process of undermining Stalinist dogmas in architecture took place, supplanted by an openly technocratic vision of an industrialized architecture, the problem of standard designs regularly arose in contemporary discourse. One aspect was the growing criticism of the monotony of housing estates erected throughout the country by the state Workers Housing Department. The issue of these typical projects also came up at the National Conference of Architects in March 1956, where severe criticisms of socialist realism were voiced. The criticism arising from the architects’ milieu was heard alongside positive assessments from those close to the construction industry, who saw standard projects as instruments for producing an “architectural background worthy of a socialist society” in the Polish landscape. The adoption of “theses on typification” in 1959 (probably unwittingly repeating the words used by Hermann Muthesius in 1914) by the team of Władysław Gomułka finally terminated this period of intellectual fermentation, administratively imposing the use of standard projects and industrialised building technologies.
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Abstract

A few extraordinary examples of vaults with asymmetrical arrangements of ribs appeared in 1370s Silesia. They were used in fairly regularly planned spaces, which allowed the use of vaults with a symmetrical composition. The most interesting example in this group is the vault in the rectangular council meeting hall in Namysłów’s City Hall. Namysłów’s City Hall was built from 1374–1378 by an unknown builder, the so-called Master Peter. His identification with Wrocław’s (Breslau) master builder Peter, called Rote, from Halle, as suggested by Kurt Bimler, remains hypothetical thus far. In 1378 Master Peter erected in the City Hall one of the most beautiful and probably the oldest preserved irregular vaults, ingeniously constructed from three-rayed ribs, with an added single rib in the south-western corner. This rib and the adjoining triangular vault cell completely disrupt the regularity of the vault’s arrangement. This example from Namysłów was soon to be recreated with minor variations around 1400 (before 1413) in the council chamber of the City Hall of another Silesian town – Środa Śląska. It is not known who the maker of this vault was. Some researchers, in particular Danuta Hanulanka and Małgorzata Niemczyk, have also dated another asymmetrical vault in the rectangular chapel of St. Anne in the parish church of Namysłów to the last quarter of the fourteenth century. Hanulanka also hypothesises that this vault is linked with the activity of Master Peter. Yet the construction of the church in Namysłów started only after 1405, and the chapel of St. Anne was established even later, at the earliest c. 1425, and so the vault cannot be considered one of the oldest asymmetric vaults dating from the late fourteenth century. Between the years 1391–1393, an anonymous architect developed a project to rebuild a merchant house and the town hall in Toruń, Prussia. In the latter, we have two rectangular rooms with vaulted ceilings showing an irregular pattern of ribs. Except for the asymmetry, the vaults in Toruń show no close similarities with the vaults in Namysłów or Środa Śląska. They were considered very unusual in late fourteenth century Baltic countries, and it is impossible to find any local archetypes for them. The concept of the vault in Namysłów by Master Peter bears some similarities to vaults in the side aisles of Corpus Christi Church in Wrocław, dated to 1360–1367. The vaults in the church in Wrocław cannot, however, be considered completely asymmetrical – an axis of symmetry from north to south can be traced across each of the aisles. During the next phase of the church’s construction, after 1390, the side aisles of the choir were erected with vaults which were given a completely irregular composition. The oldest known vault with an irregular pattern of ribs, which unfortunately has not survived, seems to be the vault that was destroyed in the mid-fifteenth century in the former chapel of St. Lawrence, St. Agnes and St. Margaret (now St. Anne) in the parish church of Our Lady in Opawa. The chapel was built from 1372–1373; it was endowed in 1373–1374 by a rich merchant from Opawa called Reynczko, who was later a councillor in that town. Intentionally irregular vaults in relatively regular spaces were a rarity in the fourteenth century. Their unusualness stands out even more if we realize that the most important Central European architectural centres were dominated at the time by a completely opposite trend. The architects working at the court of the King of Bohemia and Germany, Wenceslas IV of Luxembourg, strove to achieve maximum geometric harmony in their vaults. In the Column Hall of Prague Castle in the early 1380s, the symmetrical vault was meant to disguise the irregular floor plan. In the Czech castle Krakovec, built in 1381–1384 by George of Rostock, King Wenceslas’s adviser and courtier, vaults of regular and harmonious composition dominate the irregular projection of the chapel and other rooms. This striving for geometric perfection led to the use of a completely regular composition of the stellar vault in the irregular nave of the royal chapel in the Italian Court in Kutna Hora, built from 1386–1389. The same principles influenced the vault in the so-called Hall of Jadwiga and Jagiello, in the Danish Tower of the royal c astle on Wawel Hill in Kraków, built from 1386–1399. Therefore, Silesian irregular vaults from the 1370s go against the common at that time trend of using perfectly harmonious vaults in order to correct the imperfections of floor plans. The reason for this particular disparity has not yet been elucidated. One can only conclude that the appearance of these specific quirks, these ancient Silesian asymmetric vaults, predated by almost a hundred years the development of similar vaults in other parts of continental Europe.
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My study of Józef Mehoffer’s famous painting Strange Garden, 1903, represents a departure from the polemics that argue that it was meant to depict the artist’s happy family life. I am not saying that the painter lacked happiness, only that his painting had another meaning. In my analysis of the structure of the image, I refer to the distinct painterly treatment of the dragonfly, as compared to the garden and the figures, often remarked upon by art critics and researchers. By focussing on the relationship between the depicted scene and the surface and boundary of the picture, and thus on the identification of the strictly painterly aspects of the work, my analysis led me to the conclusion that the painting contains a coded reference to the biblical story of the Creation of the world and of man’ s salvation. The woman picking an apple can be interpreted as Eve, whilst another woman in the background serves as her mirror image, and as indicated by the withered branches, represents the figure of humanity marked by mortality as a consequence of original sin. The figure of the naked boy radiating his “own” light can be interpreted as the child born of Mary – the New Eve – the miracle child bringing salvation. The elements connecting these three characters and stages of the holy story are garlands of flowers, which I interpret as inspired by the garlands of flowers in the early modern representations of Virgin Mary (among others by Jan Brueghel the Elder). The dragonfly, which does not fit in with the rest of the scene, almost as if it were added later, can be read as an allusion to a new way of defining Nature, which came into conflict with the biblical interpretation during the 19th century following the emergence of theories of evolution, in particular Charles Darwin’s ideas. The dragonfly was most probably inspired by illustrations in contemporary books on natural sciences. The dispute between Christian doctrine and Darwinism, well-known to Mehoffer, presented the most serious challenge to the human mind at the time of Strange Garden, comparable to the Copernican revolution. The present painting is an outstanding pictorial testimony to the spiritual condition of the contemporary man.
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The ceiling of the Pantheon in Nieborów’s Temple of Diana, with its scene of Aurora riding Apollo’s horses, became the basis for the identification of Masonic elements in the iconographic program of the Temple and the whole Arcadian park. The scene acquired a symbolic meaning as the end of a period of darkness and the beginning of an era of Enlightenment and reason. As a result, the symbolism of the Temple and the park became strongly associated with the cult of Nature and reason, which underpin the Masonic ideology and more widely the Enlightenment. Yet linking the mythological figures of Aurora and Apollo with the light of reason and the worship of Nature, and thereby the promotion of equality, clashes with potential reasons for the naming of the Temple after Diana, Apollo’s sister and one of the twins who killed twelve or even fourteen of Niobe’s children. We know that Princess Helena Radziwiłł, the founder of Arcadia, had three daughters who died prematurely, and the tragedy of Niobe must have been felt as her own. So what reasons could there be to worship this goddess, the bearer of death, who was also a personification of the night, symbolizing, as we know, superstition and ignorance? In order to minimise this contradiction in the interpretation of the program, researchers concluded that the Temple and park’s symbolism was from the start infused with elements that were elegiac, serious and melancholy, with the sadness resulting from the Princess’s obsession with death that had troubled her from the start. The Arcadian park would then be conceived as a cemetery, a mausoleum for her dead daughters and for her own tomb. The Baroque motto Et in Arcadia ego (death is even in Arcadia) was transformed into an affirmation of the omnipresence of death. Thus the Baroque memento mori has overshadowed the optimism of the Enlightenment. In order to combat this contradiction, the author invokes the eighteenth-century cult of Nature and the features associated with her personification, which since the Renaissance took the form of the multi-breasted Artemis of the Ephesians, a goddess quite unlike Apollo’s sister, who was hostile to men and a bearer of death. Ephesia was in fact the heiress to the Eastern Great Mother Goddess, who in the XVI–XVIII centuries was usually confused with Isis, the Lady of Ten Thousand Names and the Empress of the four elements, a loving sister and wife who restored life to the assassinated Osiris. She also embodied the loving and caring Nature, playing a fundamental role in eighteenth-century Masonic ideology. It was her embodiment of Nature that provided a source of beauty, wisdom and justice and above all love. Thus she represents a force that brings back life from the emptiness of death, a force granting men optimism, willpower and the gift of creation. Acceptance of her eternal laws bestows on men an inner balance and peace. Princess Helena’s wish that her final resting place be in the Arcadian park stemmed from the hope of rebirth by Nature-Isis and of overcoming the fatal irreversibility of death. She was drawing on a belief that hearkened back to the primordial times of Egyptian religion, according to Warsaw’s followers of royal art.
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This article discusses the sculptural decorations of the façade of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, one of the best examples of Polish neoclassical architecture. The theatre was built by the Italian architect Antonio Corazzi in the years 1825–1833 and is considered the pinnacle of his creativity. The building has been remodelled several times since the 1830s and was practically destroyed during World War II. The greatest damage occurred during the siege of Warsaw by the Germans in September 1939 and during the Warsaw Uprising. Only the façade survived, with few changes made since Corazzi’s times. In keeping with the trends of the period in which the National Theatre was erected (the name National Theatre was changed to Grand Theatre after the November Uprising), the structure and decorations of the façade make reference to antique culture and theatrical art. Objects such as theatrical masks and musical instruments, especially lyres, were used as ornamentation. The sculpted figures on the façade were drawn from Greek and Roman mythology. The decoration of the façade was carried out by Italian sculptors selected by Corazzi, as well as Polish artists from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Warsaw, including Konstanty Hegel and Paweł Maliński. The designs that inspired these artists were either drawn directly from antique art (Pompeian frescoes, Parthenon frieze, etc.) or from contemporary works by artists such as Canova or Thorvaldsen. Of the Italian artists, Corazzi especially favoured Tommaso Acciardi, who was charged with the execution of the tympanum. The contract stipulated that the bas-relief on the pediment was to show the bust of Anacreon with three nymphs dancing around him accompanied by shepherds. The composition on the tympanum recalls an image illustrated in Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s book Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums. The pedestal was to carry a bust of Anacreon, as can be seen in an 1827 drawing. However, it now carries an inscription ΣΟΦΟΚΛΗΣ. It is not known when Anacreon was changed to Sophocles. Acciardi’s bas-relief refers perhaps to the first theatrical performances as suggested by Ludwig Kozubowski, who supervised the construction of the theatre. It might also have illustrated Anacreon’s poetry. At the same time, the choice of Sophocles is justified since he is often considered the most famous writer of antiquity, especially nowadays. The main decorative element of the front façade is Apollo’s quadriga, which became the symbol of the Grand Theatre-National Opera. The sculpture was initially to be executed by Paweł Maliński, but the idea was abandoned after the November Uprising. Eventually, in 2002, two Professors from the Academy of Fine Arts, Adam Myjak and Antoni Janusz Pastwa, executed the quadriga in accordance with Maliński’s and Corazzi’s project. The most time consuming work took place on the frieze around the entrance porch. The bas-relief was executed by Paweł Maliński, and has been remodelled several times since, with today’s composition rather far removed from the one placed there in 1830. In 1891, a four-column portico was erected (extant today), where the bas-relief was transferred. Maliński’s frieze was divided into three parts and 29 figures were added. The frieze was badly damaged during World War II. The front of the frieze visible today is a copy of the bas-relief that existed before the war. The composition of the sides has been changed and added on. Maliński was probably inspired by Sophocles’s tragedy Oedipus Rex, but this is only evident upon reconstruction of the original relief. All the bas-reliefs visible on today’s façade are copies made by Teresa Rostworowska in 1953–1957. Archival photographs and inventory drawings show that the decorations of the façade had been only slightly damaged, but during the reconstruction it was decided to remove and replace all the bas-reliefs with stone copies (the decorations were originally made of plaster). The authentic fragments are kept in the Museum of Warsaw.
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From the beginning of the 20th century, images of war were mostly produced through audio-visual methods. This also applies to the Great War, although its earliest on-screen portrayals remain little-known today. Documentary footage filmed during the First World War was often destroyed or dispersed in the interwar period. Nevertheless, it has introduced new cinematic techniques and themes later seen in war reportages. Feature films about the Great War were generally made after it ended. France and Hollywood mostly produced battle scenes and anti-war “posters”. Although not addressing the subject of war directly, some German films of the period were described by the film expert Anton Kaes as “post-traumatic cinema” or “shell shock cinema”. In the newly independent Poland, the Great War first appeared on the screens in the context of the legend of the Polish Legions. The young and underfunded Polish cinematography had difficulties in dealing with such a demanding theme, which fact is well illustrated by the unfulfilled ambitions of Ryszard Ordyński’s film Mogiła nieznanego żołnierza (The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). At the same time, in the 1920s star Western productions arrived in Poland including such famous films as Abel Gance’s J’accuse or Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They met with great interest among Polish audiences, reaching the rank of blockbusters. These films also triggered discussions in intellectual circles about the ways and the purpose of showing war on screen. The enthusiastic reception of those films may be a counter-argument to the opinion, that the Great War was not properly scrutinised in Poland both on the symbolic and artistic level.
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Polish photography in the first years after Poland regained independence remains a poorly documented area of research. Studies so far had mostly focused on the interpretation of the works of a few key artists from the avant-garde milieu (Witkacy) or photography (Jan Bułhak). It transpires however, that photography – not only as an artistic practice, but as poetic metaphor or an element of a broader aesthetic reflection – has functioned within the circle of the artistic avant-garde. An analysis of the presence of this medium in the consciousness and creativity of Polish artists allows us to see in a new light certain aspects of their technique and intellectual viewpoint. The article focuses on selected characteristics of this assimilation of modern reflection on photography by the Polish avant-garde artists in the first decade after the country regained independence. For the Formists – Tytus Czyżewski and Leon Chwistek – photography was an important point of reference as a metaphor of a new, cognitively uncertain, but also “deeper” way of seeing reality. It was an important help in defining the relationship between reality and its image and subject within a broader theoretical program (the theory of plurality of realities). For the Constructivists in turn – with Władysław Strzemiński and Mieczysław Szczuka at the forefront – photography became the means that enabled them to go beyond the usual schemes of capturing the external world, and as part of the concept of photomontage, it became a new material for creating an artistic reality. The dynamics of the process of assimilation of photography by the avant-garde artists was analysed in the context of the reception of new artistic trends born outside of Poland, primarily Futurism (the theory of photography by Anton Giulio Bragaglia) and Suprematism (reflection by Kazimierz Malewicz).
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The planning analysis of Warsaw’s public squares shows that one cannot talk of a “typical Warsaw square” – it simply doesn’t exist. Warsaw squares are not repetitive by nature; they are all different instead. As a result, if we wanted to create guidelines for a new square in Warsaw on the basis of an analysis of the existing squares, it simply can’t be done. On the other hand, we can say that the formal diversity of these squares is their strength. As part of a larger interconnected system (best seen on the city map), these squares provide passers-by with an opportunity to look at various urban interiors, and to locate a variety of services for residents. Squares are also an opportunity to create an individual identity for urban spaces, provided that the squares have a characteristic identity. Above all, they must be squares in the most common sense of the word, that is, they should be easily readable fragments of space limited by walls of a height appropriate for the size of the square. It is almost impossible to establish how much time is needed to create a public square in contemporary urban planning. In the archives, there are of course various annotations on plans and some dates entered by architects, but experience suggests that such information should be approached with caution. This is the result of the dynamics of urban life which dominate everything, often conflicts in the competitive effort to secure valuable space. Such processes are rudimentary elements of the planning and urban planning, and should not come as a surprise. It is, however, a real skill in the management of urban space to be able to keep the spirit of the place, or what we otherwise call the identity of the place, despite various events and changes. Two excellent examples are Warsaw’s boroughs of Żoliborz and Ochota, although this does not mean that urban planning has always been excellent there. Between 1921 and 1923, two new public squares were planned there – Grunwaldzki Square in Żoliborz, and Narutowicz Square in Ochota. In Żoliborz, this was done in connection with the creation of an entirely new district, built around a new city axis. This axis started in the former Citadel, which lost its role as a defence area, and ended in the new semi-circular Grunwaldzki Square. Narutowicz Square was planned as the official centre of the Ochota district. Both Grunwaldzki Square and Narutowicz Square were created as fragments of larger metropolitan projects built in the tradition of the historical French urban planning. At the same time, the architects used more modern trends in designing cities and green suburbs. The combination of the two produced interesting results in Warsaw – a city full of green spaces designed on a grand metropolitan scale. Thanks to such projects, Warsaw was able to evolve and lessen the difference in living conditions between older and newer boroughs. The civilizational aspect of both projects is evident. The fate of the two squares was different. While Narutowicz Square was carried to completion thus fulfilling its promises, significant parts of Grunwaldzki Square were never completed. An urban truth was confirmed here, that the delay in the execution of a project (regardless of the reasons) causes such far-reaching changes in the space that it loses its initial character. However, if one asked about these reasons, one should look for answers in the prosaic confrontation between intentions and possibilities. Narutowicz Square was located within a defined urban structure more modest in terms of planned buildings, and therefore easier to implement. Grunwaldzki Square was situated in an empty space at the far end of the city plan, and had to wait for the building work to reach it when shifting from the Citadel towards the west. Unfortunately, when this had happened after the Second World War, different urban planning rules were already in place in Warsaw. Such conclusions, however, are not entirely legitimate, since there is no tangible evidence that the events took this turn.
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