Graficzne tezy z wizerunkami św. Ignacego Loyoli i św. Franciszka Ksawerego w Muzeum Archidiecezji Przemyskiej
Thesis posters with images of St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier in the Archdiocesan Museum in Przemyśl
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The Archdiocesan Museum in Przemyśl holds two large-format thesis posters commemorating public viva voce examinations of 18th-century doctoral dissertations of Antoni Bielecki of the Jelita coat of arms (no. V/354) and Michał Łoś of the Dąbrowa coat of arms (no. V/355). Nearly identical in size (176 × 102 cm) and bearing appropriate dedications, the two posters are mezzotints on paper pasted in three parts on canvas. Their condition is poor. They come from the parish church in Nizhankovice (formerly Krasnopol, near Staryi Sambir in Ukraine), as evidenced by the entry in the inventory register of the museum. Interpretation of the various elements of the compositions with its complex symbolism is hampered by the poor condition of the posters. The allegorical-symbolic compositions represent a hitherto unknown iconography of the apotheosis of the Jesuit patriarchs – St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. In the first of them St. Ignatius of Loyola, surrounded by four allegorical figures, holding a lance plunged into a dragon’s head and wearing a chasuble with the Jesuit monogram IHS, is depicted as a victor over evil (vanquisher of heresy). The second poster features the baptism of the exotic queen Neachile (a personification of Asia?) by St. Francis Xavier surrounded by allegorical figures (e.g. a personification of baptism (?) and Eve the first mother embodying the original sin). The two works were published by Józef Sandurski and Michał Piotrowski, chancellors of the Jesuit Accademia Mariana in Lviv (one of them bears the date of 24 May 1745), to commemorate a public viva voce examination of two dissertations in theology. The posters, not recorded in the literature, were made, as is suggested by their call number, in the Augsburg workshop of Johann Andreas Pfeffel (1674–1748). They testify to the existence of lively contacts between Poles from the Easter Borderlands, especially from the prestigious Jesuit College in Lviv, and German printing workshops, which thrived in the 18th century. They are unique, because very few such printed pieces have been preserved in Poland. Worthy of note are also similar contemporary theses associated with Polish saints – John of Dukla and Stanislaus Kostka. The first, by an unknown author, depicts the Vision of St. John of Dukla (print collection of the National Museum in Cracow) and is dedicated to the Deputy Cup-Bearer and Standard-Bearer of Lithuania, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Hieronim Radziwiłł (1715–1760). Another thesis poster depicting this Bernardine father was made by Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner and Georg Christoph Kilian. Of interest is also a thesis poster dedicated to the Polish Jesuit St. Stanislaus Kostka (Auditus from a series illustrating the five senses) made after a design by Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner in the Klauber brothers’ workshops (National Museum in Cracow, Museum of the Czartoryski Princes). Thesis posters with hagiographic themes are an interesting example of contacts between monasteries and German printing houses. They have not been thoroughly examined so far in Poland and, therefore, require further study.
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