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2004 | 17 | 91-104

Article title

Willem and Abraham van den Blocke and problem of attribution of the Konopacki Tombstones


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Preserved examples of sepulchral sculpture from the turn of the 16th century in Royal Prussia include several epitaphs and tombstones of members of the Konopacki family. The article discusses the epitaph of Achacy Konopacki (d. 1599) in Grzywno near Chelmza, an epitaph of Jan Konopacki (d. 1594) in the church of St. Nicholas in Gdansk, the tombstone of Jerzy Oleski and Zofia née Konopacka in Pieniazkowo (1598), an epitaph of Piotr Konopacki (d. 1589) in the church of St. John in Malbork and a tombstone of Stanislaw Konopacki (d. 1608) in the post-Bernardine church in Nowe. Particular attention has been paid to the epitaph in Grzywno - one of the first Pomeranian depictions of a kneeling figure in modern sepulchral art with, in addition, novel contents. The discussed works which, with few exceptions, have not been studied, are distinctly associated with the two most outstanding sculptors in Gdansk of the period: Willem and Abraham van den Blocke. The epitaphs of Achacy and Jan Konopacki, and the Oleski tombstone, executed by a single author, are so closely linked with the Gdansk works by Abraham (the main altar in the church of St. John, an epitaph of Marquis d'Oria in the church of the Holy Trinity, the decoration of the Alms Table in the church of the Holy Virgin Mary) that they should be regarded as his own. The Piotr Konopacki epitaph, in turn, must be connected with Willem (identical elements occur in, i. a. the epitaph of Edward Blemke in the church of the Holy Virgin Mary in Gdansk and the Stroband family epitaph in the church of the Holy Virgin Mary in Torun). The tombstone of Stanisław Konopacki is damaged to such an extent that it is impossible to associate it with a given author. A survey of the extant tombstone monuments discloses, therefore, heretofore unknown works by Willem and Abraham van den Blocke, and proves the existence of permanent contacts between the masters of Gdansk and one of the most prominent families in Royal Prussia of the period.







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  • M. Smolinski, address not given, contact the journal editor


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Publication order reference


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