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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » August 29, 2014
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Royal Treasures
August 29, 2014   
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More than 100 paintings from the collection of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last king of Poland who reigned from 1764 to 1795, are now on display at the Baroque Palace on the Isle in the Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw. The palace was once the favorite summer residence of the Polish king.

The exhibition showcases a selection of renovated paintings from Stanisław August’s collection, which is normally housed at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The whole collection contains more than 500 paintings. Of these, 130 have been brought together and arranged in a new way at the Palace on the Isle. They include 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces by foreign masters, such as The Fish Market by Flemish painter Jan Peeter Verdussen, Anton Raphael Mengs’s Portrait of Charles Hanbury Williams, Angelica Kauffmann’s Portrait of Giuliana Pubblicola Santacroce as Lucretia and The Washerwoman by Gabriel Metsu, a painting that was stolen from a Polish museum during World War II and was brought back to the country decades later.

Meanwhile, another exhibition at the Palace on the Isle related to Stanisław August Poniatowski, called The Mysterious Sapphire of Stanisław August Poniatowski, showcases one of the king’s most precious jewels: a brooch with his portrait (see photo). The Ceylonese sapphire locket is one of the few treasures that have survived from a large 18th-century royal collection.

The brooch features the profile of the king with his hair in curls. The masterpiece is unique for its perfect outline and the sculptor’s technique. The king commissioned it from two artists. The portrait was the work of Jan Regulski, a gem engraver and expert on antiquity, and it was framed with jewels with a crown on top of it by Jean Martin, the king’s jeweler. The jewel is now part of the collections of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Until Sept. 28
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