The exhibition “Royal Rembrandt. + Polish Rider + from The Frick Collection in New York “, presenting one of the most famous paintings of the Dutch master, opened Thursday at azienki Królewskie in Warsaw.
Rembrandt’s work, once in the King Stanisław August Collection, and now in the Frick Collection in New York, will be on display from May 6 to August 7 at the Picture Gallery at the Palace on the Isle.
“Thanks to Rembrandt’s painting, every military historian in the world knows what a Polish nobleman looked like in the first half of the seventeenth century, and at the same time I think every art historian can see this wonderful painting, different from Rembrandt’s,” Łazienki Museum director at the opening exhibition of Królewskie Zbigniew Wawer. He estimated that this was probably the most valuable painting that had been borrowed and brought to Poland in recent years.
Jaroslav Selin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, noted that the painting was displayed in the Picture Gallery, a place “as art historians assert, it has been hanging for a quarter of a century.” “It appears he worked on Polish soil for nearly 100 years before ending up in the United States in 1910,” Celine added.
The US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, said that for him the photo meant “a meeting and cooperation between Poland and the United States.” He emphasized that “art brings people together, not only physically, but also allows them to share a common history.” “This picture is a symbol of our long-standing friendship. Never in history have Poland and the United States been so close to each other, not only thanks to opportunities, but also because of crises,” Brzezinski noted.
The painting “The Polish Rider” was painted circa 1655. Rembrandt’s authorship was confirmed by research by scholars from the Rembrandt Research Project, no doubt about that. This work is an example of the Dutch painter’s witty and mature style and one of only two famous images of chivalry in his work. To this day, it is not known who the “Polish Knight”, also known as “Lisowczyk”, representing a soldier of a particular formation (Lisowczyk), a literary hero or a particular character. The ambiguity of the painting and its unusual poetic mood, as well as its purely painterly qualities – Rembrandt’s distinct brushstroke style and subtle hues – made the work very popular.
The painting by Dutch painter Stanisław August 1791 by Micha Kazimierz Oginsky, the great Lithuanian Hetman, was shown against the orange trees of the Royal Gardens. King, a huge fan of Rembrandt’s art, had eleven paintings that were considered masterpieces (in fact, there were no more than three original works).
The “Polish Knight” hung in the hall on the first floor of the island palace on azienki Królewskie, the king’s beloved summer residence, where he collected the most valuable works from his collection of paintings. After the king abdicated in 1795 and left the country, the painting remained in azienki. At the end of the 1890s, it hung in the picture gallery on the ground floor of the palace, where it will now be presented to the public.
Since the death of August Stanisław, his heirs have gradually sold off the royal collections, and beginning in 1814 a “Polish Knight” was added to the collections of other art lovers. In 1910, Zdzisław Tarnowski, the owner of the painting at that time, decided to sell the famous Rembrandt painting, which greatly increased its value. The work was purchased by American financier, industrialist, art patron, and antique collector Henry Clay Frick.
The “Polish Knight” hung inside his New York residence on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan—among the works of Bellini, Vermeer, Goya, and Fragonard. After Frick’s death, his family seat was converted into a museum. Today, The Frick Collection is considered one of the most important cultural institutions in New York. The exceptional circumstances related to the relocation of the Frick Collection to a temporary building during the renovation of the historic seat created an opportunity for a “Polish Knight” visit to Łazienki Królewskie, more than two hundred years after the masterpiece left the residence of the last Polish king.
The exhibition “Royal Rembrandt. + Polish Rider + from The Frick Collection in New York” will be accompanied by a publication in Polish and English with articles by the curators. Lectures on Rembrandt art and the Stanisław August collection will also be organized, with the participation of eminent curators of painting, incl. Dr. Xavier Salomon, Deputy Director of The Frick Collection, and Professor. Anthony Zippa. The family drawing area will open in Stara Kordegarda. (PAP)
Author: Katarzyna Krzykowska
ksi / aszw /