Princes Czartoryski Museum. Monastery

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The Monastery exhibition reveals items beyond Europe’s museum canon – items completely unlike those in other collections and which give the Princes Czartoryski Museum its unique character.

1878 saw the launch of Kraków’s chapter of the history of the Princes Czartoryski Museum, with the first exhibition going on show at the Monastery after the family collection was moved from Paris to Kraków. It presented examples of arts and crafts, historic memorabilia and knickknacks from the museum founded by Izabela Czartoryska in Puławy in the early 19th century. Today’s exhibition also recalls these early days of the collection, presenting items demonstrating the romantic ideals of museums which dominated at the time – when collections were preserved not just for their artistic value, but mainly for their historical and symbolic meanings. We will see objects linked with Poland’s kings, national heroes, musicians, poets and authors such as Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Frederic Chopin and Marcelina Czartoryska. The exhibition also recalls the history of the collection during the November Uprising and the Great Emigration and its move to Hôtel Lambert in Paris. The Monastery also presents collections of arts and crafts, numismatics and coins, and a Sketch Studio.

Some of the most interesting exhibits include the paintings The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (unknown author following Albrecht Dürer), Annunciation (author unknown), Portrait of a Man traditionally believed to be a depiction of William Tell (author unknown), Portrait of Henry IV, King of France (author unknown), Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (monogrammed M.M.), Portrait of Prince Józef Poniatowski (unknown author following Józef Grassi), Bust of Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (Klemens Boryczewski) and Bust of Władysław Czartoryski (Wiktor Brodzki). We will see memorabilia of Napoleon Bonaparte, James Cook, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, Francis I of France and King Henry VIII of England, reliquaries holding relics of El Cid and Jimena Díaz, Peter Abelard and Héloïse, and patriotic jewellery commemorating the January Uprising. Other memorabilia include clothing, jewellery, toiletries, personal items, weapons and medals of the Czartoryski family. The beautiful objects carefully arranged in the historic interiors among period furniture create the museum’s special atmosphere.

Entry to the exhibition included in the ticket for the Princes Czartoryski Museum.



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