The Gallery of Foreign Painting
At present one of the richest and most homogeneous collections of European art in Poland, it was the germ of the National Museum holdings when the institution was set up in 1862.The exhibition presents the main trends and school in their stylistic development.
14th-18th-century Italian and French Painting
Early Italian painting, remaining under the influence of Byzantine art, and works illustrating the development of the Renaissance, with Sandro Botticelli's important painting The Virgin and Child with St. John and Angels, open the gallery of the southern schools.
S. Botticelli, The Virgin and Child, St. John and Angels
Venetian painting is represented by an important set works, with masterpieces like Christ among the Doctors by Cima da Conegliano, Venus and Amor by Paris Bordone and Admiral's Portrait by Jacopo Tintoretto in the lead. The last room of the left-hand side suite contains a set of paintings from the Circle of Caravaggio, with Niccolo Renieri's Carnival Scene and Bernardo Cavallino's intimate scene of Joseph's Dream.
On display in the southern suite of rooms are various painting types practised at the developed stage of the Baroque; storia or mythological and Biblical subjects (Luca Giordano, Bernardo Strozzi); portraiture (Gioacchino Assereto, Elisabetta Sirani); decorative still-life (Giuseppe Recco); and landscape, richli represented in the next room (by, e.g. Pieter Mulier called Tempesta, and Marco Ricci), with the peculiar Venetian townscapes called vedute (Michele Marieschi). The last room illustrates 18th-century French painting (Nattier, Oudry, Watteau, Greuze, Coypel).
15th-16th-century Netherlandish and German Painting.
17th-century Dutch and Flemish Painting
The exhibition embraces painting, sculpture and handicraft presented in chronological order. Especially noteworthy among the early-Netherlandish works are Aert van den Bossche's narrative painting The Martyrdom of St. Crispin and Crispinian and the painted quarters of the altar of St. Reinold, a signed work by the Antwerp master Joos van Cleve, the most valuable monument of the Northern Renaissance in the Warsaw collection. German painting, represented by several works by Cranach and an interesting portrait of a man by Hans Schsymbol 228 \f "Times New Roman CE"-uefein, is displayed in an enclave between early-Netherlandish religious painting and a set of works created under the influence of Italian art (Ecce Homo triptych by Maerten van Heemskerk and the bronze sculpture of the Flagellation of Christ by Adriaen de Vries).
A. van de Bossche, Martyrdom of St. Crispin and St. Crispinian
The southern suite closes with Pieter Aertsen's precious paintinging Deeds of Christian Charity .In the "Rembrandtian" rooms, besides M. Soolmans's portrait signed by the Master, we can see a set of paintings by Rembrandt's pupils with Carel Fabritius' very important work Lazarus Rising from the Dead. The Flemish Room shows the wealth of decorative art in the Southern Netherlands with the Virgin and Child from Rubens's workshop and The Holy Family with St. John, His Parents and Angels by Jacob Jordaens.
J. Jordaens, The Holy Family with St. John, His Parents and Angels
The northern suite opens with the phenomenon of Northern Caravaggionism, with Hendrik Ter Brughen's masterpiece David Playing the Harp, followed by court, burgher and group portraits. The rest of the exhibition space is allotted to autonomous painting genres practised in the Protestant Holland of burghers, often conveying a hidden instruction or a moralizing message. The highlights of the gallery include architectural painting represented by Pieter Saenredam's Interior of St. Bavon's Church in Harlem, still-life represented by Willem Claesz Heda's refined monochromatic composition, Salomon Ruysdael's landscape, and Jan Steen's and Philips Wouwerman's genre paintings.
Temporarily displayed in a second floor passageway, the exhibition is reduced to a small selection of works, among which Paul Serusier's paintings, purchased from Gabriela Zapolska's collection, are especially worthy of note.
(1st and 2nd floor)
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