Polska Akademia Umieje̜tności <Krakau> / Komisja Historii Sztuki [Editor]; Polska Akademia Nauk <Warschau> / Oddział <Krakau> / Komisja Teorii i Historii Sztuki [Editor]
Folia Historiae Artium — NS: 1.1995

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Folia Historiae Artium
Seria Nowa, t. 1 (1995)
ISBN 83-86956-05-4
ISSN 0071-6723

Kazimierz Kuczman

The Lanckoroński Collection in the Wawel Royal Castle

The year 1994 witnessed one of the most sig-
nificant events in the history of Polish museums.
Professor Karolina Lanckorońska, the last of the
family, residing in Romę, donated to Poland an
exceptionally valuable family collection of works of
art. In a letter delivered to President Lech Wałęsa
by the representatives of the Lanckoroński Foun-
dation — Count Jan Badeni and Dr. Andrzej
Ciechanowiecki — who organized the conveyance
from abroad of the collection to Poland, the donor
writes that she is presenting this gift as a tribute to
the nation of the Free and Independent Poland,
intended for the Royal Castles in Warsaw and
Cracow. The Castle in Warsaw received mainly
a group of works inherited by the Lanckororiskis
from the Rzewuski family: 35 West European and
Polish paintings, for the most part coming from the
former collection of King Stanislas Augustus
Poniatowski, as well as 18th and 19th century
furniture. The most precious objects in that group
are two signed and dated (1641) paintings by
Rembrandt — Portrait of a Jewish Bride and
Portrait of the Father of a Jewish Bride. The gift for
the Wawel castle comprised a group of 84 paintings
(78 Italian, four Spanish, one Flemish, and one

1 In the first half of 1995 four temporary exhibitions of
Karolina Lanckorońska’s donation were mounted in the Royal
Castles in Cracow and Warsaw, at the International Cultural
Centre in Cracow (drawings by Malczewski, from the Wawel
collection), and in the Jagiellonian Library. See Dar rodźmy
Lanckorońskich [The Donation of the Lanckoroński Family], Kra-
ków 1995 (introductory texts by J. K. Ostrowski, K. Ku-
czman, and M. P i w o c k a); Dar rodziny Lanckorońskich, [The
Donation of the Lanckoroński Family] Warszawa 1995 (texts by A.

German) dating from the 14th to the early 17th
century, a collection of coins, over 200 drawings and
watercolours along with two paintings by Jacek
Malczewski, a Turkish tent once belonging to the
Rzewuski family, from the turn of the 17th and 18th
centuries, and some other items. Also the Jagiello-
nian Library of the University in Cracow was
enriched with a group of watercolours, drawings, and
engravings by Polish artists, among them by Piotr
Michałowski and Artur Grottger. The import-
ance of the art collection donated to the Polish
institutions is enhanced by the fact of its being
a surviving part of the once well-known great
collection, considerably reduced in conseąuence of
the Second World War. Likewise, the fact that the
pictures, kept in Switzerland and inaccessible to
researchers, were brought to light so late should be
regarded as the result of the political situation created
by the war in Europę, and especially in Poland. The
fortunate development of the political processes of
the last few years in this country has permitted
Karolina Lanckorońska to realize her own wish and
that of the no longer living members of the family1.

The origins of the collection are mainly con-
nected with the donońs father, a person of great

Rottermund, D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz et al.);
Artysta i jego Mecenas. Nie znane rysunki Jacka Malczewskiego ze
zbiorózu Lanckorońskich [Utiknown Drawings by Jacek Malczezuski
from the Lanckoroński Collection], Kraków 1995 (texts by
J. Purchla, L. Kalinowski, K. Lanckorońska, and
J. Winiewicz); D. Bromowicz, P. Hordyński, and
M. Jaworska, Dar rodziny Lanckorońskich. Wystawa [The
Donation of the Lanckoroński Family. An Exhibitio?i], Kraków
1995.

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