Some Comments on the Scene of the Foundation from the Paten of Kalisz
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The collegiate church in Kalisz features a Romanesque paten from the Cistercian monastery in Lad on the Warta. The depicted scene of the foundation shows St. Nicholas, Duke Mieszko the Old, Abbot Szymon, and monk-goldsmith Konrad. In assorted interpretations proposed by researchers only the duke appears as the donor, with the abbot acting as an intermediary between Mieszko and the saint. Meanwhile, it became apparent that the scene in question includes two donors - Duke Mieszko the Old, holding a chalice and a paten (material gifts), and the abbot, who is portrayed as presenting St. Nicholas with his pastoral, a symbol of the accepted obligation (a non-material gift). The discussed scene probably illustrated an initiative involving both the duke and the abbot of Lekno in the wake of the resolutions passed by the Cistercian general chapter, which in 1191 ordered the liquidation of Lad Abbey on the Warta. The material and religious duties accepted by the duke and the abbot, and guaranteeing the further existence of the abbey - symbolically presented in the scene of the foundation - became the reason why in 1193 the general chapter withdrew the earlier decision. The message of the scene and the context of the accompanying events make it possible to date the paten as originating in 1192.
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