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Graphic art

In a small collection of Polish and western European graphic art from the 15th to the 20th c. (c. 1500 items) there are some outstanding suites: views of Wawel, Kraków and other Polish towns, representations of Polish kings and royal family members, and etchings by the well-known Italian copperplate engraver, Giovanni Battista Piranesi. There are also several historic maps.

A VIEW OF KRAKÓW FROM THE NORTH WEST. From the Theatri praecipuarum... published by Georg Braun and Abraham Hoghenberg, Cologne 1618. Watercolour and gouache copperplate engraving. It recreates a panorama of Kraków from the years 1603-1605, together with the adjacent towns (now districts of Kraków): Kazimierz and Kleparz. It is one of the oldest and most complete views of Kraków, and of high artistic value; a valuable source of information for research on development of building in Kraków in the early 17th c.

A VIEW OF WAWEL CASTLE’S ARCADED COURTYARD. Poland, Kraków, Leon Wyczółkowski (1852-1936), 1916. Watercolour lithograph on paper. One of the artist’s numerous works on this topic. It presents an eastern wing of the arcades, visible from underneath the entrance gate arch.

PORTRAIT OF KING LADISLAUS IV. Germany, Augsburg, drawing by Mathaus Gundelach (1566-1653), engraver Lucas Kilian (1579-1637), 1625. Copperplate engraving. A representation of the king in a rich frame with the Polish, Swedish and the Vasa coats of arms and explanatory inscriptions.

TRAJAN’S TRIUMPHAL ARCH IN BENEVENTO. Italy, Rome, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), 2nd half of the 18th c. Etching. This view of a historic monument in a town in Campania is part of the impressive legacy left by the artist, a unique master in the presentation of antique ruins.

Agnieszka Janczyk, Kazimierz Kuczman