September 28, 2012
The Wilanów Palace Museum in Warsaw is the former home of King Jan III Sobieski. Successive owners of the palace, originally constructed and furnished as a royal residence, included not only the most prominent aristocratic families but also another Polish monarch—Augustus II Wettin.
One of the owners throughout the years, Stanisław Kostka Potocki, created a museum in the palace in 1805.
An exhibition now running on at the museum, entitled Wilanów Collection. Continuation 1993-2011, is the result of 19 years of efforts to expand the collection by adding works of art associated with the history of Wilanów Palace and its occupants: paintings, drawings, prints and objects of daily use. The most interesting items added to the collection between 1993 and 2011 include a portrait of Jan III Sobieski in a leopard skin, attributed to one of his court painters, and portraits of his sons Konstanty and Aleksander, painted in France.
Also on display are objects which testify to the legendary renown of King Jan III Sobieski, a legend nurtured by successive owners of the palace. These include a medal commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna, in which anti-Turkish coalition forces led by the Polish monarch in 1683 defeated the Turkish army besieging the capital of the Habsburgs.
Of special interest are items from Potocki’s original collection which were lost but later recovered. Among them is the painting Apollo and Two Muses by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni. Bought by Potocki around 1821, the painting was found after World War II in Pavlovsk, near St. Petersburg, Russia. The painting returned to Wilanów in 1997.
until Feb. 3, 2013
Orangery of the Wilanów Palace Museum; 10/16 Stanisława Kostki Potockiego St.; tel. 22 842 81 01; www.wilanow-palac.pl