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2006 | 50 | 93-123

Article title

THE ROLE OF PORTRAITS IN STANISLAW SARNICKI'S STATUTES (1594). (Rola przedstawien portretowych w Statutach Stanislawa Sarnickiego, 1594)

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Stanislaw Sarnicki's work 'Statuta i metrika przywilejow koronnych...' (Statutes and records of crown privileges, Cracow 1594) contains a very interesting series of graphic portraits. These portraits are scattered all over the book and are linked to texts devoted to the duties of holders of various offices in Poland. They portray specific individuals. The present author has identified them and has attempted to answer the question why those officials and those individuals from among a great number of people holding power in the 16th century Poland were chosen to be presented in the work. All those portrayed were connected with Jan Zamoyski, grand crown hetman (commander-in-chief) and chancellor at the time, who pursued a very consistent policy aimed at restricting the king's power. Sarnicki's book contains faithful portraits of well-known people. Thus those people were identified with the power they held and were presented as those who in a way personally oversaw the enforcement of the law. The connections with Zamoyski testified to the fact that he was the man who was the guardian of the public order. Zamoyski was a protector of both the author, Stanislaw Sarnicki, and the publisher, Jan Januszowski; he could, therefore, have influenced the book's content. Zamoyski wanted his propaganda message to reach specific groups of the Polish society. He was able to achieve this goal thanks to this high-circulation publication; the fact that it was in the form of a book increased its stature and significance.






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  • Lidia Kwiatkowska-Frejlich, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej w Lublinie, Instytut Kulturoznawstwa, ul. T. Zana 11, 20-601 Lublin, Poland


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Publication order reference


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