Uniwersytet Rzeszowski
Centrum Dokumentacji Współczesnej Sztuki Sakralnej
pl. Ofiar Getta 4-5/35, 35-002 Rzeszów
tel. +48 17 872 20 98

Tomasz Szybisty

Cracow, Uniwersytet Jagielloński


In studies on the art of the past two hundred years there is a widespread view that stained glass windows reappeared in Poland after 1850, i.e. almost a hundred years later than in Western Europe, where interest in coloured glazing had been growing since mid-eighteenth century. The paper challenges that opinion and is aimed at preliminary understanding of the issues concerning stained glass of the first half of the nineteenth century in the Polish territories.

A direct impact on the growth of interest in stained glass in Poland in the early decades of the nineteenth century was exerted by a fashion for the Middle Ages, originating in England and widespread especially in the circles of the aristocracy. It is in this context that one should locate the extraordinary collection of ancient stained glass windows gathered in Puławy by Izabela Czartoryska of the Fleming family, and the coloured glass of the first neo-Gothic interiors, e.g. in the chapel in the palace of the Bishops of Kraków, decorated at the time of Bishop Woronicz, the Gothic House in Puławy, the palace of Ludwik Pac in Dowspuda and the chapel of Anna Dunin-Wąsowiczowa in Kraków’s cathedral, with a stained glass window imported from the  studio of Bertini and Brenta in Milan. Presentation of the beginnings of the stained glass revival in Poland is completed by stained glass technologies other than the classic ones and by colourful window glazing which was sometimes made instead of the figurative stained glass.

keywords: stained glass, Poland, 19th century, neo-Gothicism


In the research covering the last two centuries, it is a repeated opinion that stained glass reappeared in Poland only after 1850.[1] This is around a hundred years later than in Western Europe, where one can observe intensified interest in colourful glazing dating from as early as the mid-18th century.[2] This article aims to challenge this common opinion, and to outline the problems in the subject of stained glass in Poland of the first half of the 19th century.

The revival of stained glass art was caused directly by both the English-born fascination with the Middle Ages, and the development of neo-Gothicism. The stained glass decorations of the villa at Strawberry Hill, England, in which old stained glass panes were massively used,  played an important role in the development of the early Gothic revival. The use of expended stained glass material was dictated by artistic considerations, aimed at restoring the medieval ambience and creating eerie atmosphere, and by practical ones: despite the fact that the artistic tradition of producing figural stained glass was sustained throughout the whole modern age in England (mainly as the technique of painting on glass), it was already in decline at the time. It was, therefore, only the early romantic interest in the Middle Ages that revived the declining stained glass art; there are also examples of these contemporary works in Walpole’s residence.[3] During this time stained glass, or at least painted glass, was not only a desirable form of decoration in the increasingly popular neo-Gothic interiors, but it was also a valuable collection item and works of this old craft were imported in large numbers from continental Europe. In particular they came from France, where they were being discarded under the influence of post-revolutionary secularization.[4]

The English vogue contributed to the spread of medieval interest and neo-Gothic tastes on the continent – William IX von Hessen-Kassel ordered his neo-medieval castle built in Wilhelmshöhe Park to be decorated with stained glass from Hessian churches. Leopold Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau bought ‘colourful windows’ for his gothic house in Wörlitz, with Lavater as the middle-man. The armoury window of Prince Frederick’s Berlin palace at Wilhelmstraße had stained glass windows from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries placed among medieval ornaments. There were numerous similar examples, connected mainly with the aristocracy. Medieval and modern treatises on the technology of coloured glass production were rediscovered, but all of these only marginally revived the forgotten techniques. In practice, more important attempts were made by artists and craftsmen, mainly enamellers and goldsmiths. Just like with porcelain production, inventing a new method of glass dyeing was both a valuable and a closely guarded secret. It should not be forgotten that the tradition of enamelled-stained glass (chiefly on colourless glass) survived in its rudimentary form also outside England, including Switzerland and some of the Germanic countries.[5]

The interest in stained glass, originating in Great Britain, (which was often manifested in impressive collections and ever braver technological experiments delving into the medieval craft’s secrets), constituted the first stage of the European stained glass art revival. This stage could also be observed in Poland.


Unlike in the countries where the tradition of enamelled stained glass was never interrupted, in Poland, the last works of the original period in which enamel stained glass was made were created at the beginning of the 18th century.[6] Later on, however, medieval stained glass windows were often repaired and appended, which demonstrated a certain lasting respect and admiration for this type of art. In 1773, an anonymous glazier was paid for ‘making a colourful crown in the window’ of St. Mary’s Church in Krakow.[7] Several years later, a colourful inscription was placed in the new glazing of the Krakow Franciscan galleries.[8] An important breach in this admiration – as judged on the example of Krakow –  at the turn of the 19th century was marked in Wspomnienia – the memoirs of Ambroży Grabowski. He mentions the story of  Tomasz Rostafiński, referring to the events of that period: ‘When he was still a small boy (he remembers it well), his father was asked to repair the side windows in the presbytery of Our Lady’s church, which had been severely damaged by storms and winds and a lot of the panes were broken or missing… The window panes that remained were made of coloured glass just like the three windows above the great altar… These coloured windows – broken or not – were removed and dropped onto the ground from the high scaffolding erected for this purpose!’[9]

Similar events from the beginning of the 19th century can also be linked to observations made by Lucjan Siemieński, who noticed that when the ‘coloured windows’ were being thrown out of St. Mary’s (and also St. Catherine’s) churches, they were being collected by ‘amateurs’ from Berlin.[10] Apparently, the citizens of Krakow were also not interested in those windows, nor in the stained glass from St. Michael’s Church – located on the Wawel Hill and destroyed by the Austrians. These windows and pieces of stained glass were purchased as collection items by Izabela Czartoryska.[11]

During the time when the medieval quarters were dropped from the scaffolding of St. Mary’s church, Puławy (in eastern Poland) already had a collection of stained glass which, if the majority of the works had not been destroyed in transport, could have been on a par with the best European collections. The owner of the Puławy collection, Izabela Czartoryska of the Flemming family, a Polish patriot and aristocratic cosmopolitan, was perfectly aware of the re-evaluation of the way in which the Middle Ages were viewed. The evidence for this could be the Gothic House, completed in 1809. Its interior was decorated with – no longer preserved – stained glass. According to the catalogue of items from the Gothic House of 1828, in the hall of the ground floor, there were the previously mentioned coloured windows from the destroyed St. Michael’s Church in Krakow. Close to these coloured windows, in the so-called ‘Lower Room’ and in the staircase, there was stained glass from ruined Belgian churches. On the first floor in one of the wardrobes in the Green Room, there was German stained glass with a ‘coat of arms painted on the glass by Jerzy Krzysztof Eimmart, painter in Regensburg, in 1655; granted by Prince Henryk Lubomirski’.[12] The Belgian stained glass listed in the catalogue constituted only a fraction of the huge collection which was sent to Puławy by General Michał Sokolnicki. In 1810–1811, while travelling in Germany and Belgium, Sokolnicki purchased about 160 stained glass pieces from ruined churches and sent them in five boxes to Puławy. Most of them were damaged on the way. These included stained glass from the chapel of Charles the Great in Aix-la-Chapelle, twenty large window quarters from St. Géry Church in Brussels, fifteen pieces from St. Gudula’s Church and ten from the Antwerp Cathedral.[13]

The cult of memorabilia and history propagated by Czartoryska was shared by Jan Paweł Woronicz, the later Cracovian bishop. When he was still a parish priest in the nearby town of Kazimierz Dolny, he frequently visited Puławy and became a close friend of the Czartoryski family.[14] He must have been familiar, therefore, with the interior of the Gothic House. It was most probably there that the idea originated of installing ‘ancient’ (as they were then described) enamelled stained glass panes in the window of the Historical Office of the Palace of Cracovian Bishops (fig. 1). The panes presented, amongst others, the coats of arms of Polish kings and Cracovian bishops, mostly from the 17th century.[15] The glazing was connected with the renovation of the palace ordered by Woronicz in the years 1815–1817. It was then decided that a number of representative apartments, including the Historical Office, would be located on the first floor of the residence.[16] The stained glass pieces were fitted in the quartered semicircular closing of the west window. In groups of three, the circular stained glass was placed in both of the bottom quarters; the top quarters had one central stained glass piece each. Even the monochromatic lithography by Jan Nepomucen Danielski (presenting the interior of the Historical Office at the end of the 1820s) suggests that on the glass around each of the top stained glass pieces there was a laurel wreath, whereas at the bottom there was a floral border. It may be assumed that coloured glass was also used in the corners of the window quarters.[17] They must have been contemporary pieces, and judging by the simplicity of the motifs used, one can suppose they were made by a local craftsman. In addition to this, ‘slides’ were employed in the decoration of the Historical Office. These were paintings on window blinds placed by the windows. In the Historical Office itself they represented: The arrival of Palemon to Lithuania; the dispersals of Tatars by Witold and a view of the Wawel castle being observed by stray shadows of Krakus and Wanda, and blessed by Casimir the Great and Jagiełło raised on clouds. The description by Woronicz suggests that they formed some kind of substitute for stained glass (the execution of which went beyond the capacities of Cracovian glass makers at the time). The ‘light hidden by these slides enlivened the images placed on them and covered the walls with a fading unworldly glow’. [18]

The stained glass window of the Palace’s chapel made around the same time created a unique pendant of the glazing in the Historical Office. The chapel is considered to be the first example of neo-Gothic architecture in Krakow.[19] According to a description from 1828, the chapel window was ‘several cubits long in the gothic shape, with small panes on lead, coloured from the very top with the image of the year (1817) to commemorate its reconstruction’.[20]

It seems that this simple stained glass was the first work of this type in Poland in the 19th century. What is more, its simple form suggests, just as in the case of coloured glazing in the Historical Office, that it was made in a local glass maker’s workshop.

However, the stained glass collection in Puławy that influenced Woronicz’s artistic concepts was not the only collection in Poland in the first half of the 19th century. Around 1830 several stained glass works from the galleries of St. Catherine’s church in Krakow were in the possession of Countess Badeniowa from Pocieszka near Krakow. Two others from the same church belonged to Edward Rastawiecki.[21] Before 1830, Ludwik Pac owned seven stained glass panels. After the November uprising they somehow found their way to a collector from the city of Kielce – Tomasz Zieliński.[22] Five of them were bought from his heirs by Jan Matejko.

Proverbially rich, well-travelled and – which is particularly significant – fascinated with England, Pac built a neo-Gothic palace in Dowspuda. The style of the palace was modelled explicitly on the English residences.[23] Sadly, the interior of the residence, largely destroyed in the November uprising, is largely only known and recalled from descriptions. According to one of these descriptions, the windows of the dining room had stained glass depictions of the magnate’s ancestors, who, according to the family tradition, originated from the Pazzis.[24] The iconographic programme suggests that the stained glass portrayals were made specifically for Dowspuda (presumably in the years 1820–1831) and they are not related to those purchased later by Zieliński. Possibly, also other rooms of the palace might have had  coloured glazing, since in 1847 Ludwika Sapieżyna of the Pac family repossessed among other items ‘coloured gothic glass for windows’.[25]

At the same time, stained glass appeared in the gothic hall (dining room) of the palace in Mokotów, reconstructed by Anna Potocka of the Tyszkiewicz family, secundo voto Dunin-Wąsowiczowa. It was reconstructed in the neo-Gothic style which was fashionable among aristocracy.[26] This particular stained glass portrayed marine scenes and must have been ordered in Paris before 1826, since that was when this long poem by J.L. Orański was published; the poet revels in the play of the colourful lights produced by the glass:

There are three oval windows in the astonishing hall,

A metal rod compresses glass of various colours:

I heard in Paris a perfect craftsman

Made of them people, ships and rocks.

When the tired sun hides behind  the mountains

And flushes the bristled back of languid cloud,

Each pane thrusts three seven-coloured rainbows.

Where am I? O, Gods! Are these dwellings yours?…

Pure gold, rubies, topazes are pouring,

Everything assumes new colour thousand of times,

Everything glitters, everything is on fire,

Only you, Newton, could explain the miracles! [27]

Potocka, who took drawing lesson in her youth, and had a lively interest in art, also funded the stained glass in Queen Sophia’s Chapel (Holy Trinity’s Chapel). It was restored at her expense in the Cracovian Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Stanislaw and Vaclaw. The building work in the chapel was supervised by Franciszek Maria Lanci.[28] The arrangement of the interior was a romantic and somewhat naive vision of Gothic. The work was intended to evoke the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, perceived as the time of a ‘dark and mysterious chivalrous culture as well as irrational religiousness’.[29]

The stained glass was ordered thanks to the benefactress’s travelling around Italy in the years 1826–1827. During her stay in Milan, Wąsowiczowa and her husband visited the stained glass workshop of Giovanni Bertini and Luigi Brenta, where they were particularly impressed by a stained glass work commissioned by the king of Naples. ‘Its beauty significantly surpassed ancient works of stained glass; however, due to their prices they were rarely made. Still my husband could not resist the desire to have such a window in his chapel’[30] she recollected.

She herself also provided the design of the Cracovian stained glass.[31] Bertini and Brenta finalised the task and at the end of 1827 the work was presented at the Milan Academy. It received positive comments from the Italian press.[32]

Wąsowiczowa first approached the Cathedral Charter of Krakow asking for permission to rebuild Queen Sophia’s Chapel in 1831. Before that she wanted one of her prematurely dead children to rest in St. Stanislaw’s Chapel in Warsaw Cathedral. She mentions it in a statement sent to the Cathedral Charter of Krakow. In the same document however, the benefactress informs the Charter that she had collected ‘a lot of valuable items to adorn the chapel’, but now she wishes to place them in Wawel.[33] One may assume, then, that the stained glass work from Milan was also originally meant for the chapel in the Warsaw Cathedral. This seems to explain why the rosette of the window in the chapel portrays St. Stanislaw (who luckily also happened to be one of the patron saints of the Cracovian Cathedral). The concept of the chapel was also subject to change as it commemorated Wąsowiczowa rather than, as originally planned, her dead child. The letter of Lanci to Józef Haller reporting on the building of the stone frame for the stained glass window implies that it must have been installed only after June 7th 1837.[34] It was removed not later than 1898, during the great restoration of the cathedral, conducted by Sławomir Odrzywolski.[35]

Kept in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow is a water-colour painting by Bogumił Gąsiorowski, depicting the interior of the chapel after the gothic restoration which was supervised by Lanci (fig. 2), with clearly visible stained glass. It was located in the window in the middle of the west wall, precisely opposite the entrance. Gąsiorowski’s water-colour does not allow to notice numerous details, but after it has been completed with a description published in Biblioteca Italiana, the analysis of the Milan stained glass is possible.

The stained glass painting was placed in an ogive window frame, divided by tracery into two bipartite arcades. The middle circular part of the rosette depicted St. Stanislaw with a tiara and crosier, surrounded by a ‘gothic’ border. Where the arches of the arcades converged, there were coats of arms belonging to the family of the benefactress. In the top section was the coat of arms Leliwa, of the Tyszkiewicz family (with the crown of the Polish Kingdom), and in the bottom section a Swan, of the Dunin-Wąsowicz family (with a helmet above the coat of arms). Four window pane gaps were divided into rectangular pieces; in the centre of each there was an eight-sided rosette. The author of the description in Biblioteca Italiana mentions that at the base of the stained glass design there were also two coats of arms belonging to the Austrian imperial family (Milan belonged to Austria at that time) and the signature of the stained glass workshop. According to Gąsiorowski, a four-colour palette was used to create the stained glass. Yellow was used in the depiction of St. Stanislaw, elements of the border and rosettes in the rectangular parts of glazing; two shades of blue, red and green were also used in the design. Their intensity must have made the stained glass the colour – focus of the chapel’s design, which organized the reception of the interior. It drew the viewer’s attention to a funerary monument of Wąsowiczowa that was located underneath.

Bertini and Brenta’s workshop in Milan, where this stained glass was made, had existed since 1825 and belonged to one of the oldest professional stained glass workshops in Europe. In 1826, during Potocka’s travel around Italy, the workshop was given an award by the Imperial Royal Institute of Science, Literature and Art in Milan for successfully reviving stained glass art. It was Bertni who made the decisions about artistic issues in the workshop. He had studied in Accademia di Brera in Milan, taught by Luigi Sabatelli, and after the  subsequent breakdown in cooperation within the workshop, he took over its management. He was especially famous from the 1830s onwards for the stained glass windows that he made for the local cathedral.[36]

The review of Bertini’s works from the 1820s and 1830s helps to characterize generally the technique and artistic value of the stained glass of Wąsowicz’s foundation.[37] The figurative parts were undoubtedly made paying special attention to realism, careful drawing and the position of chiaroscuro, which was in accordance with the principles of academic painting. It is not surprising when one takes into account the fact that the author was inspired by Italian painting of the mature Renaissance.

The technology of stained glass production that was used in the workshop consisted in putting enamels on colourless glass sheets, often large ones. At high temperatures the enamels then fused with the sheets. The technology was based on the experience of Giuseppe Bertini – the father of Giovanni (an enameller educated in France, who invented a furnace facilitating the production of coloured enamels),[38] although not without significance was Luigi Brenta’s experience in the production of optical instruments.[39]

The development of stained glass techniques at the turn of the 19th century was  bi-directional. Since in many countries various enamel techniques were commonly employed (mostly in the production of painted ceramics and occasionally in the production of cabinet stained glass), they could be promptly modified and developed to the extent that it was possible to produce monumental stained glass using them. This was particularly common in Great Britain, Germany and France.

Refined by numerous artists-alchemists, such as Giuseppe Bertini, recruiting from among porcelain painters, goldsmiths, watch makers and printers, the technique of enamel stained glass was extremely popular in the first half of the 19th century. It allowed avoiding the chief difficulty which was the colouring of the glass mass.[40] Unlike classic stained glass techniques, painting on glass resembled easel painting. This somehow resulted in the reception in stained glass of both old and contemporary painting motifs. For instance, the French artists Ingres and Delacroix provided the workshop in Sevres[41] with designs, and in the German countries the romantic paintings of the Nazarenes enjoyed significant popularity.[42] According to Elgin Vaasen, the important catalyst behind the development of the enamel techniques during this period was also the perception of stained glass windows, which were largely placed in the interiors of neo-Gothic residences. They were thus seen in close-up, the closeness allowed detail to gain in importance, and this detail could only be provided by enamels.  Additionally, medieval imagery was foreign to the visual culture of that time.[43]

Parallel to the development of stained glass painted on glass, continual attempts were made to penetrate the secrets of the classical technique of the medieval methods of stained glass production (using glass pre-tinted en mass, and with dark contours). However, since the continuity of the tradition was broken over the centuries, the process moved slowly and, apart from simple mosaic glazing, its effects were only clearly visible after the 1830s.

After the initial period of stained glass revival, which was characterised by a small number of works (often produced using left-over stained glass material and simple, coloured window mosaic), the dominant period of painting on glass began in the 1860s and was the second phase of European stained glass development. Its origins were connected with establishment of the first state-owned stained glass workshops prior to the 1830 and their first great works.[44] The end of this phase was the great dispute between the supporters of the enamel technique and those of the classic technique, who had become especially active in France and the German countries from the 1840s onwards.[45] The model on which they based their inspiration was primarily the stained glass of the 13th and 14th centuries. The dispute was mainly related to the use of stained glass in the sacred interior. The result of the dispute was easy to predict, however, as these were the times of the triumph of historicism and neo-Gothic styles in church architecture. The introduction of antique glass (similar to the porous and irregular medieval glass) could also be considered the time borderline – in England it was produced from the middle of the 1850s, on the continent – over ten years later.[46] The final victory for the medieval orientation was the resolution of the Artistic Committee at the world exhibition in Vienna in 1873, and the success of the ‘medallion’ stained glass produced in the Zettler workshop in Munich. The resolution of the Committee suggested using a ‘carpet-like character’ with the stained glass, using clear outlines, avoiding ‘large surfaces of the same colour’ and ‘too naturalist a depiction’.[47] In practice, however, it wasn’t a particularly significant victory as enamels together with other techniques were commonly used throughout the whole of the 19th century. Nevertheless, the mid-19th century was also a period of enormous development of stained glass workshops – while in 1831 only three stained glass makers worked in Great Britain, twenty years later there were 531[48], whereas in France the number of stained glass workshops increased from four (in 1835) to 160 (in 1863).[49]

Despite the fact that the enormous development of the stained glass industry in Western Europe in the middle of the 19th century fails to bear any analogies to the Polish territory, a growing popularization of stained glass can be noted at the time. It was manifested in the gradually more frequent use of coloured glazing (see below) and in the handling of the issue of stained glass in the merely burgeoning conservation theory; in the 1850s, which exceeds the scope of this present article, several interesting works appeared in Krakow, which at the time was struggling with the restoration of Gothic churches destroyed by fire. However, by the 1840s during the reconstruction works at St. Anne’s (Bernardine) church in Warsaw, Marcin Zaleski designed stained glass, which, in the light of present knowledge, was the first 19th century church figurative stained glass that was produced entirely in Poland. Kurier Warszawski reported in 1848 that the stained glass was made by Patrycy Enderline ‘in medieval taste’ and that it portrayed St. Ann, Mary and St. Joachim.[50] In contrast to other stained glass mentioned above, its making was apparently not directly connected to the aristocratic circles, and its placement in a Baroque church was quite untypical. Both facts confirm the growing popularity of stained glass and illustrate the changes in perception of this art genre, which was associated not only with the Middle Ages, but with church interior in general, regardless of its architecture.

The description of the stained glass revival in Poland is completed by colourful window glazing which was sometimes made instead of the figurative stained glass. In the 1830s, Edward Raczyński planned to place the stained glass windows in the Golden Chapel that was being finished at that time. He was inspired to do this through an article highlighting the work of the Royal Stained Glass Workshop in Munich.  The stained glass, however, was not ordered and the window was constructed with only white and red glass.[51] Raczyński also wanted to fund the heraldic stained glass windows for St. Cecilia’s Chapel in Poznań Arch-cathedral, (although this was prevented by his suicide), and he gave the idea of colourful glazing in the neo-Gothic armoury of the palace in Rogalin (a similar solution was also used in St. Marcelin’s church in Rogalin).[52] At the end of the 1830s, coloured glass was employed by architect Adam Idźkowski in the restoration of the Warsaw Archcathedral.[53] Idźkowski also planned the colourful glazing of the window behind the musical choir in the Warsaw St. Cross’ church.[54] In the 1840s the colourful glazing appeared in the house of Józef Louis and in the neo-Gothic seat of the Shooting Society.[55] Later, according to Józef Łepkowski, they were very popular in Cracovian burgher-houses.[56] The best example of colourful window mosaics which appeared in the 1840s is a set of glazing in Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (fig. 3), renovated by Karol Kremer.[57] It was made by a glazier Tomasz Rostafiński at his own expense.[58] At the time ‘signal panes’ or ‘Signalscheiben’ (called so due to the brightness of their colours), were used in the rosette of the church in Krzeszowice, designed by Schinkel.[59] The (conservation?) works conducted before the middle of the century in the Corpus Christi church in Krakow should also be considered in the context of the growing interest in stained glass; the glass makers Sebastian Mędrzecki and Jan Zbożyński scratched their inscriptions in the glass of two medieval quarters, with the date 1844 beside them.[60]

Colourful glazing was a sign of the increasing interest in stained glass[61] and colour in architecture in Poland. It seems that ‘colourful windows’ were perceived as necessary elements of neo-Gothic interior, often in contrast to ‘white’ classicism. Therefore perhaps, in the anonymous poem Erinnerungen an Pulawy (1829), Sybilla’s Temple was portrayed in the clear, bright daylight, whereas the Gothic House was bathed in colourful, shimmering light from the stained glass, which is like ‘shining of the sunset in birch grove’.[62] However, the division line between the styles was not fixed permanently, and, paradoxically, classicism also contributed to the development of stained glass. Discovering the polychromy of the ancient temples helped to incorporate colour as an aesthetic category of architecture into the classical doctrine. Hence, in the later version of classicism, sometimes called the ‘colourful’ classicism, there appeared monochromatic walls in vivid colours. Wojciech Bałus claims that the dispute over the ancient polychromes constitutes the beginning of the 19th century church wall painting,[63] and one can assume that the re-evaluation in this field affected the stained glass, which was accepted (in its rudimentary forms) even in the buildings leaning towards classicism.[64]

The ever-more intensive research on monumental painting of the 19th and 20th century will certainly help to enlarge this list of the early stained-glass works in Poland. However, current knowledge allows for a conclusion that the revival of stained glass in Poland had already started at the very beginning of the 19th century, and that during the first half of the century it was almost inseparably linked with the development of interest in the Middle Ages, and the neo-Gothic architecture as the formal exponent, in the Polish aristocratic circles.


translated by Anna Gajewska and Renata Latko

[1] Cf. the article of Danuta Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska in this volume.

[2] E. Vaassen, Bilder auf Glas. Glasgemälde zwischen 1780-1870, München–Berlin, 1997, p.37.

[3] M. Peover, “Horace Walpole’s use of stained glass at Strawberry Hill”, British Art Journal 5 (Spring/Summer 2004), no.1, pp.22–29.

[4] Vassen, pp.89–93.

[5] Vassen, pp.33-34.

[6] E. Letkiewicz, Polskie witraże nowożytne malowane emaliami, Lublin, 1995, pp.204–265.

[7] L. Kalinowski, H. Małkiewiczówna, “Średniowieczne witraże kościoła Mariackiego w Krakowie”, in L. Kalinowski, H. Małkiewiczówna, L. Heine, P. Karaszkiewicz, Średniowieczne witraże kościoła Mariackiego w Krakowie. Historia i konserwacja. Studia i Materiały Wydziału Konserwacji i Restauracji Dzieł Sztuki Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie, vol. VII, Kraków, 1997, p.20.

[8] There were ‘letters and numbers of coloured glass framed in lead’ in one of the windows of the south side of the galleries of the Franciscan church. They combined into the inscription X P Z F A D 1778, signifying: X. Paweł Zembrzuski Franciszkanin Roku Pańskiego 1778 [Priest Paweł Zembrzuski the Franciscan Anno Domini 1778]. It was made to commemorate the new glass panelling and the renovation of the galleries. In 1905–1912 Franciszek Mączyński, while restoring the galleries, designed new glass panelling with the use of the 18th century fragments. A reconstruction of the inscription was made after the war (cf. Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. IV: Miasto Kraków. part II: Kościoły i klasztory Śródmieścia, eds. A. Bochnak, J. Samek, Warszwa, 1971, pp.117–118.

[9] Wspomnienia Ambrożego Grabowskiego, vol.II (Biblioteka Krakowska, vol.41), Kraków, 1909, p.114.

[10] L. Siemieński,”O oknach kolorowych i szczątkach okien w Kościołach Krakowskich”, Gazeta Warszawska (1853), no.241, p.5.

[11] Poczet pamiątek zachowanych w Domu Gotyckim w Puławach, Warszawa, 1828, p.30.

[12] Ibid., pp.30, 33, 36, 103.

[13] Z. Żygulski (junior), „Dzieje zbiorów puławskich (Świątynia Sybilli i Dom Gotycki”, Rozprawy i sprawozdania Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie VII (1962), p.137.

[14] M. Nesteruk, Z. Rejman, „Wstęp”, in J. P. Woronicz, Pisma wybrane, (=Biblioteka Narodowa, no. 299), Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków, 2002, pp.XIII–XV.

[15] The Archives of the Krakow Cathedral Charter, Inv.D.197: Inwentarz fundi instructi Pałacu Biskupiego wraz z należącemi dwiema placami za Wiślną Bramą tudzież Jurydyką Biskupią zwaną nie mniey Folwarku Zastawa i Wsi Zarobney Sulechowa w Okręgu Rzeczy pospolitey Krakowa sytuowanych, po wyniesieniu na godność Arcybiskupa i Prymasa Królestwa Polskiego JWbnego Woronicza Biskupa Krakowskiego JWbnemu Xędzu Saryusz Skórkowskiemu teraźniejszemu Biskupowi Krakowskiemu przez Delegowanych Cywilno Duchownych Komisarzy w skutek Reskryptu Senatu Rządzącego z dnia 19. Lipca 1828 r. N° 27420 sporządzony, p.20.

[16] About the reconstruction of the Palace cf. S. Tomkowicz, Pałac biskupi w Krakowie, (=Biblioteka Krakowska, vol. 78), Kraków, 1933, pp.21–28; M. Rożek, ”Architektura i urządzenie wnętrz Pałacu Biskupiego w Krakowie (XIV–XIX w.), Rocznik Krakowski XLV (1974), pp.35–39.

[17] Jan Nepomucen Danielski, Widok z gabinetu historycznego na część oddzieloną kolumnami i na okno…przez które widać kopiec Kościuszki, lithography on the basis of the plaque from 1828, State Archive in Cracow.

[18] J. P. Woronicz, Pałac biskupów krakowskich, in: idem, Pisma rozmaite I. P. Woronicza biegiem lat ułożone. Księga wtóra, Kraków, 1832, p.194. The description of the palace was originally published in: Pszczółka Krakowska. Dziennik liberalny, historyczny i literatury, (January–February–March 1822), vol. I (new issue vol. VII, general collection vol. X), pp.152–175.

The thesis that ‘slides’ were supposed to be a  substitute for stained glass is probable, as attempts to use paintings on thin fabric for this purpose were also made in Western Europe (A. Nagel, H. von Roda, « … der Augenlust und dem Gemüth». Die Glasmalereien in Basel 1830-1930, Basel 1998, p.22) and still in 1863 the Protestant bishop of Vermont, John Henry Hopkins, recommended transparent paintings on linen or muslin as much cheaper and, besides this, providing ‘a very beautiful effect’ (W. B. Clark, “America’s First Stained Glass: William Jay Bolton’s Widows At the Church of the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, New York”, The American Art Journal XI (Autumn 1979), no.4, p.32.

[19] About architecture and the chapel design cf. W. Bałus, “Architektura sakralna w Krakowie i Podgórzu”, in W. Bałus, E. Mikołajska, Rev. Jacek Urban, Joanna Wolańska, Sztuka sakralna Krakowa w wieku XIX , part I, (=Ars Vetus et Nova, vol. XII), Kraków, 2004  pp.95–96.

[20] Inwentarz fundi instructi, pp.25–26.

[21] „Rys historyi sztuki w Polsce. Wyjątek z Przedmów do drugiego tomu Słownika malarzów polskich”, Czas (1851), no.212, p.1. Rastawiecki claimed that the inscriptions placed on the stained glass works pointed to their creation in the 14th century. Helena Małkiewiczówka believes, however, that they were modern works (information gained during a conversation in June 2007).

[22] I. Jakimowicz, Tomasz Zieliński. Kolekcjoner i mecenas, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk, 1973, pp.38, 50.

[23] A detailed analysis of the architecture and decoration of the palace was presented by J. Kaźmierczak, Wart Pac pałaca… Zamek w Dowspudzie – nostalgiczny pomnik dawnej Litwy złączonej z Koroną”, Rocznik Historii Sztuki XIX (1992), pp.221–271.

[24] Ibid., p.243.

[25] A. Ryszkiewicz, ”Ludwika Paca stosunek do sztuki”, Rocznik Białostocki XIII (1976), p.398.

[26]On Wąsowiczowa’s activity in Mokotów: M. Zakrzewska, „Mokotów. Pałacyk i założenie ogrodowe”, Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki VII (1962), no.1, pp.60–67.

[27] J. L. Orański, Mokotów, Warszawa, 1826, pp.11–12.

[28] About the restoration of the Chapel by Lanci: D. Skowron, ”Odnowienie kaplicy Świętej Trójcy w katedrze na Wawelu przez Franciszka Marię Lanciego”, Studia Waweliana III (1994), pp.63–73; J. Urban, Katedra na Wawelu 17951918, Kraków, 2000, pp. 83–87; Bałus, pp.98–100.

[29] Bałus, p.99.

[30] A. Potocka, Voyage d’Italie (18261827), Paris, 1889, pp.198–199.

[31] Ibid., p.199.

[32] ”Vetri colorati a fuoco con figure transparenti”, Biblioteca Italiana ossia Giornale di letteratura scienze ed arti, vol.49, no. gennaio 1828, pp.115–116.

[33] The Archives of the Krakow Cathedral Charter, A.Cath.798: The letter from Anna Dunin-Wąsowiczowa of the Tyszkiewicz family to the Krakow Cathedral Charter from 4.11.1831; it is quoted in Urban 2000, p.83.

[34] Skowron, p.73.

[35] In July 1898 a new window post had already been installed, cf. Urban 2000, p.303.

[36] S. Partsch, “Bertini, Giovanni Battista”, in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, vol.10, München–Leipzig, 1995, pp.98–99; more details about the work of Bertini and Brenta and later of Giovani Bertini himself can be found in S. Silvestri, Vetrate italiane dell’Ottocento. Storia del gusto e relazioni artistiche fra Italia e Francia 18201870, Firenze 2006 (=Italia e Francia. Studi di storia dell’arte, II), passim.

[37] On the basis of Silvestri, passim.

[38] Partsch, p.98.

[39] Silvestri, p.14.

[40] Vaassen, passim.

[41] F. Gatouillat, ”Les vitraux d’Ingres”, Bulletin du Musée Ingres (1980), no.47–48, pp.147–155.

[42] Vaassen, passim.

[43] E. Vaassen, “Glasmalerei des 19. Jahrhunderts“, in Glasmalerei des 19. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland, catologue of the exhibition in Anger Museum, Erfurt (23.09.1993 – 27.02.1994), p.12.

[44] The two first large stained glass workshops in France were established in 1827 (Sèvres, at the porcelain manufacture) and in 1829 (Choisy-le-Roi), while in the German countries the pioneering institution was the Munich royal workshop (1827). All of them produced stained glass mainly in the enamel technique.

[45] Vaassen 1997, pp.79–83;

J. R. Beines, “Materialien  zur Geschichte farbiger Verglasungen von 1780 bis 1814, vorzugsweise für das Gebiet der Bundesrepublik Deutschland“, in W. Haberey, S. Beeh, J. R. Beines, Farbfenster in Bonner Wohnhäusern (=Arbeitshefte/Landeskonservator Rheinland, 24), Köln, 1979, pp.100–111.

[46] Vaassen 1994, p.15.

[47] Beines, pp.108–110.

[48] J. Cheshire, ”Joseph Bell and the revival of glass-painting in the nineteenth century”, The Journal of Stained Glass XXII (1998), p.31.

[49] Ch. Bouchon, C. Brisac, ”Le vitrail”, in Ch. Bouchon, C. Brisac, N.-J. Chaline, J.-M. Leniaud, Ces églises du dix-neuvième siècle, Amiens, 1993, p.145.

[50] Kurier Warszawski (1848), no.254, p.1229; cf. also: Marcin Zaleski (1796–1877), exhibition catalogue, The National Museum in Warsaw, December 1983 – March 1984, catalogue compiled by Z. A. Nowak, p.20, 108. The catalogue also informs (p.91) that in the Iconographic Documentation Section of the National Museum a photograph was preserved of Zaleski’s lost painting representing the interior of the Bernardine church with a visible unfinished decoration of the window over the main altar. If the dating of the painting is correct (before or around 1845) the stained glass must have been made in 1845–1848 and was connected with the restoration of the frescos of the church conducted by Zaleski in 1843–1845. Its further history is unknown. In 1887 stained glass executed by Józef Kosikiewicz was installed in the window over the altar, which at the beginning of the 20th century was replaced by another, designed by Wacław Husarski (cf.: D. Kaczmarczyk, Kościół św. Anny (St. Anne’s Church), Warszawa, 1984, p.205). The executioner of the first stained glass, Patrycy Enderlin, established ‘a factory of covering mirrors’ in Warsaw in 1845, where he traded in glass and made glass works. According to press notices, he studied the mirror making and glass working while visiting foreign workshops in France, Belgium, the Czech lands, Bavaria and Prussia. Perhaps he came across the methods of stained glass production there, cf.: E. Kowecka, Sprzedać! Kupić! Sklepy warszawskie z artykułami domowymi 1830–1870, Warszawa 1998 (=Studia i Materiały z Historii Kultury Materialnej, vol.65), p.69. It is also known that in the 1840s he glazed the windows of the Warsaw Visitation Order’s church (J. A. Chrościcki, Kościół Wizytek, Warszawa, 1973, p.83).

[51] Z. Ostrowska-Kłębowska, Dzieje Kaplicy Królów Polskich czyli Złotej w katedrze poznańskiej, Poznań, 1997, pp.121–122.

[52] R. Plebański, ”Postulat utworzenia katalogu witraży wielkopolskich”, Wielkopolski Biuletyn Konserwatorski 2 (2003), pp.164–165 (I would like to thank Danuta Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska for directing my attention to this publication).

[53] M. I. Kwiatkowska, Katedra św. Jana, Warszawa, 1978, pp.171, 176 (fig. 65).

[54] E. Kowalczykowa, Kościół Św. Krzyża, Warszawa, 1975, p.41.

[55] W. Komorowski, ”Kamienica Józefa Louisa. Epizod z dziejów koncepcji romantycznych w Krakowie”, Rocznik Krakowski LXI (1995), p.64.

[56] Szyby Kolorowe w Kościołach Krakowskich. Zebrał i Odmalował Ludwik Łepkowski w 1864 i 1865 (text by J. Łepkowski), p.4v, Institute of Art History of the Jagiellonian University.

[57] A perfect description of complex restoration of Collegium Maius by Karol Kremer was presented by U. Bęczkowska in the dissertation, now being reviewed, titled: Karol Kremer and building department in Kraków in the years 18371860, (dissertation prepared under the supervision of Professor Wojciech Bałus in the Institute of Art History of the Jagiellonian University). In the State Archive in Kraków there is a plan of the coloured glazing for one of the windows (Plany budynków UJ, 47-2: Okno Sali Obiedzińskiego w Kollegium Jagiellońskim).

[58] Cf. Kalinowski, Małkiewiczówna. The bills related to the maintenance of the Krakow cathedral suggest that since the 1820s Tomasz Rostafiński monopolised glazing work in the Wawel’s Cathedral (Archives of the Krakow Cathedral Charter, A.Cath.123 [from 23.10.1824]; A.Cath.142 [from 15.01.1844]; A.Cath.143 [from 4.01.1845]; A.Cath.146 [from 23.09.1847]; A.Cath.147 [from 22.09.1848]; A.Cath.148 [from 20.09.1849]) and was the author of the enigmatic ‘star-shaped circular window’, made in September 1824 (A.Cath.123).

[59] ”Druga wycieczka do Krzeszowic w roku 1845”, in Pamiątka z Krzeszowic czyli zbiór wszystkich opisów tego ustronia Wierszem i Prozą ze wspomnieniem Artura hrabi Potockiego połączony, Kraków, 1846, p.110.

[60] The Małopolskie Voivodship Monuments Conservator’s Archive, inventory no. 10.621: H. Małkiewiczówna, K. Czepiel, J. Szyller, R. Kisiel, Dokumentacja konserwatorska gotyckich witraży w kościele p.w. Bożego Ciała w Krakowie, Kraków, 1985, p.6.

[61] The fact that stained glass was a topic frequently discussed in the press and historical papers is evidence for the increasing interest in this type of art. The medieval stained glass from Małopolska is discussed by H. Małkiewiczówna, “Stan badań nad średniowiecznym malarstwem witrażowym w Małopolsce”, in Dziedzictwo polskiej sztuki witrażowej, Kraków 2000, pp. 9–10. The first reference to stained glass in the 19th century appeared in the Krakow press during the visit of Bertel Thorwaldsen, who supposedly marveled at ‘ancient windows’ of St. Mary’s Basilica, cf. “Przejazd Kawalera Thorwaldsen”, Pszczółka Krakowska. Dziennik Liberalny, Historyczny i Literatury (October-November-December 1820), vol. IV (vol. V of the general collection), pp.90–91. When it comes to information about the contemporary works, it is worth reading the translation of the article from La Propriété magazine, which discusses the attempts to revive the stained glass technique in France (“Malowanie na szkle”, Pamiętnik Technologiczno-Rolniczy (1834), vol. XII, pp.169–174) and the comments of Sobieszczański about the stained-glass realizations in Western Europe (F. M. Sobieszczański, Wiadomości historyczne o sztukach pięknych w dawnej Polsce, vol. I, Warszawa, 1847, p.296).

[62] Erinnerungen an Pulawy, Leipzig, 1829, pp.42, 45, 87.

[63] W. Bałus, Sztuka sakralna Krakowa w wieku XIX, part II: Matejko and Wyspiański, (=Ars Vetu et Nova, vol. XXVI), Kraków, 2007, p.25.

[64] F. Gatouillat, “Verrières aniconiques en Bourgogne vers 1840”, Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de L’Ouest 93 (1986), no.4, pp.401–403.

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