Picturing continuity : the beginnings of the portrait gallery of Cracow bishops in the cloisters of the Franciscan friary in Cracow

journal article
dc.abstract.enImportant type of "group” portraits are likenesses of people connected by blood, holding the same position or representing the same office, shown next to one another, in chronological order. Such portrait galleries, which usually displayed a high degree of uniformity and disregarded the chronological and spatial accuracy, are examples of commemorative paintings. Their primary purpose was to emphasise the lineage and create a picture of unity by simultaneously showing, as a “family” and “house” people who lived in various times, but were united by heredity or succession. In the case of portraits of Catholic clergy, a key role is played by the notion of the Apostolic succession which has guaranteed the continuity in the Church since the times of Christ. The paper deals with (partially surviving) group of likenesses of bishops, in the east and south wings of the cloister of the Franciscan friary in Cracow, initiated in the 1430s by Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki, then ordinary bishop of Cracow, 1323-1455. The Franciscan collection likely showed all of Oleśnicki’s predecessors seated next to one another on stone benches, dressed in pontifical garb and identified by means of coats of arms. The founder of the gallery decided that his predecessors be depicted seated, a pose that was considered to be a privileged one, signified the authority of bishops and their role as teachers. The figures of enthroned bishops form a timeless, “ideal” congregation of hierarchs of the local ecclesiastical community. This particular, and fairly rare, arrangement of the representation may have been influenced by the fact that the portraits were painted on walls of cloister walks where, according to the monastic tradition, stone benches were often present. Zbigniew Oleśnicki was well-versed in history and there can be no doubt that he considered himself to be the heir to the accomplishments of all his predecessors and treated their group representation not only as an illustration of the lineage of diocesan bishops, but also as an eternal synod in session deliberating over the problems of the Cracow Church. If we consider the paintings in the light of the article of faith on the communion of saints, they may be seen as depicting not only symbolically the fellowship of the living head of the Cracow Church with all the bishops that preceded him on the way to Salvation. Oleśnicki, who instituted Eucharistic processions held in the walks of the Franciscan cloister, by participating in them together with the clergy and lay people became part of the pilgrimaging Church, whereas the saints depicted on walls and the bishops seated in their company represented the Church triumphant. Of key importance is the fact that the cloister walks were traditionally used as burial place. On All Souls’ Day they were visited by processions of the faithful during which prayers were said for the salvation of those whose souls were still in Purgatory, i.e. for the suffering Church. The paintings can also be understood as a kind of apotheosis of the Cracow Church. We have tried to show the cycle of portraits of local Bishops in the Franciscan monastery in Cracow, as a part of the long tradition which reaches back to late antiquity. Although the placement of these images on the walls of the cloister has no antecedents, they were presented as a timeless family. Agreeing with the opinion of Truus van Bueren and Otto Gerhard Oexle, also for Cracow cycle the notions: Tradition, Sukzession, and Memoria are fundamental.pl
dc.affiliationWydział Historyczny : Instytut Historii Sztukipl
dc.contributor.authorCzyżewski, Krzysztof J.pl
dc.contributor.authorWalczak, Marek - 132516 pl
dc.description.accesstimew momencie opublikowania
dc.description.additionalNa s. 1-13 tekst, na s. 1-9 ilustracje (dostępne w osobnym pliku)pl
dc.description.physical1-13 ; 1-9pl
dc.description.versionostateczna wersja wydawcy
dc.identifier.projectROD UJ / Ppl
dc.participationWalczak, Marek: 50%;pl
dc.rightsUdzielam licencji. Uznanie autorstwa - Użycie niekomercyjne 4.0 Międzynarodowa*
dc.share.typeotwarte czasopismo
dc.titlePicturing continuity : the beginnings of the portrait gallery of Cracow bishops in the cloisters of the Franciscan friary in Cracowpl
dc.title.alternativeObrazując ciągłość : początki galerii portretów biskupów krakowskich w krużgankach klasztoru Franciszkanów w Krakowiepl
dc.title.journalJournal of Art Historiographypl

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