Dance with an egg

In the National Museum in Warsaw there is an inconspicuous painting by Cornelis Saftleven entitled Dance with an Egg. At first sight it looks like a boring genre scene. It’s hard to understand what is the game that the characters are playing and what actually drives them. May is the month of spring and the…

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Napoleon & charm of propaganda

This giant canvas is by all means majestic. On over 38 square meters a scene from Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign in 1799 is shown. The General visits his subordinates in a temporary hospital in the Armenian monastery of St. Nicholas in Jaffa, where they were placed after being infected by the plague. A few years later,…

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Portrait of Johann Moritz and a Boy

I have prepared for you the first video post from a new series of art stories. I start with a painting that is very close to me – a portrait of Johann Moritz, Count Nassau-Siegen from the National Museum in Warsaw. Check it for yourselves! If you want to read more about that particular subject,…

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Three Living

Recently I have been reviewing reproductions of small medieval manuscripts in connection with a project to which I was invited. These two cards have particularly caught my eye for longer because of several reasons. First of all, the theme of the scene seems to be very up-to-date in its gruesome way. Here we are witnessing…

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Time

Being in a voluntary quarantine, I feel a little like Ophelia from a painting by John Everett Millais. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about her death. It’s about the condition in which she was shown. I also feel like I’m inertly floating in water of time. I observe what passes me by, especially what…

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Be like Genevieve

I have one particular painting I like to come back to when I need to take my mind off the daily chase. Its theme is generally not important in my exercise in looking, but I will tell you that it is a representation of Saint Genevieve, painted by Hugo van der Goes. When I look…

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Janne Colijns

Janne Colijns was the prioress of the Augustinian Order of Onze Lieve Vrouw ter Rosen gheplant in Jericho, Brussels. She performed this role from 26 June 1482 until her death on 30 April 1491. It is difficult to establish whether she herself commisioned her epitaph or her companions did so. It was probably hung near…

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Sodom

This is a roundel – a small round-shaped stained glass. Unlike a typical one, consisting of many colored pieces of glass connected by a lead frame, this one is painted in two colors on a transparent surface. Its size depended on the technical capabilities of the glazier – making a smooth, uniform round pane of…

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Icarus

Today, not much from me. I wanted to share the words of a poet, who described his perceiving of the paintings of the old masters. Close to mine. As an illustration, I am showing the Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, currently considered a repetition of Pieter Bruegel’s composition. Which means that however there is…

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Calumny

Until recently that painting by Sandro Botticelli has been for me a puzzle difficult to solve. The title, “Calumny of Apelles”, clearly indicates the allegorical meaning of the composition. Where, however, is the personification of the title Calumny? Until now, it seemed to me that she was the woman dressed in black. Ugly, old, looking…

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