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Newly acquired masterpieces on show at Warsaw's Royal Castle

24.05.2024 08:30
The Royal Castle in Warsaw has enhanced its collection with acquisition of prized European paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries.
Photo:PAP/Marcin Obara

An exhibition that spotlights some of those, entitled Eleven. Crème de la Crème of Castle Acquisitions - Painting, is now on display and includes notable works such as Paolo Ucello's Madonna with Child, and Jacopo Bassano's The Miracle of Moses, which uniquely portrays Moses from a distance.

Additional masterpieces showcased include Bernardo Bellotto’s meticulously detailed depiction of Warsaw and the rarely seen Return from the Hunt by Jan Fyt, known for his mastery in animal painting.

Curated by Magdalena Królikiewicz, the exhibition aims to provide a historical narrative through art, exploring various European art movements and their evolution.

This strategic enhancement of the Castle's collection reflects an ongoing commitment to cultural preservation and education.

"We want to present the results of our years of searching, negotiating and purchasing," said Prof. Wojciech Fałkowski, the director of Warsaw's Royal Castle, at the launch of the exhibition on Thursday.

He added: "From the more than 60 paintings recently acquired for the Castle, we have selected 11 outstanding works; well, actually 22, as we have chosen a second set of 11, though we won't show both sets at the same time; there wouldn't be enough space."

Prof. Wojciech Fałkowski, director of Warsaw's Royal Castle, speaks at the launch of the exhibition on Thursday. Prof. Wojciech Fałkowski, director of Warsaw's Royal Castle, speaks at the launch of the exhibition on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Królikiewicz said: "At the exhibition, we are showcasing Florentine quattrocento, Caravaggism, Dutch Golden Age animalistics, Venetian veduta, Piedmontese and Venetian Renaissance, portrait painting from the Enlightenment era, and ancient history in the neoclassical style."

The oldest painting on display is Paolo Ucello's Madonna with Child from around 1430.

"Ucello's works rarely appear on the antiquarian market," Królikiewicz told the media. "Only a few collections can boast of having those."

Exhibition curator Magdalena Królikiewicz. Exhibition curator Magdalena Królikiewicz. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Fałkowski explained: "The main criterion for our selection was diversity. This is absolutely not a ranking, or which painting may be better or worse. Here, all the paintings are outstanding and at the same time very diverse. The purchase of paintings is linked to the key statutory objectives of the Castle - the accumulation of artifacts and the organization of both temporary and permanent exhibitions."

Open from May 24 to July 14, this exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to experience a pivotal slice of European art history.

The Royal Castle in Warsaw served as the official royal residence of several Polish monarchs through the 17th and 18th centuries. It was all but destroyed by Nazi forces during World War II, and fully rebuilt during the 1970s and 1980s. It welcomes well over a million visitors every year.


Source: PAP

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.