Z DZIEJÓW ZAINTERESOWAŃ TZW. BABAMI KAMIENNYMI W POLSCE. Część I: TULCZYN I ARKADIA
FROM THE HISTORY OF “STONE BABAS” RESEARCH IN POLAND, PART I: TULCZYN AND ARKADIA
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The article concerns two of the oldest examples of scholarly interest in “stone babas” from Poland — statues found in the famous residence of the Kalinowski and Potocki families in Tulczyn (now Ukraine) and four pagan stone cult statues, brought to Arkadia near Łowicz from the Eastern Borderlands of the Polish Commonwealth by Duchess Alexandra Radziwiłłowa nee Stecka. Tulczyn is the oldest example of the adaptation of anthropomorphic stone figures in the planning of the sur- roundings of a noblemans family seat. The example reach- es back to the Old Polish period and is a forerunner of scholarly interest in the phenomenon (as in all of “national archaeology”) in the first half of the 19th c. The “Nieborów (Arkadian) babas” are an interesting example of a conscious use of stone babas in a modern garden with antiquities. The use of four stone figures identified as local pagan deities in the Arkadian landscape so replete with references to Antiquity is a model example of a gradual replacement in Polish private collections, in conditions of a hostile post-partition political environment, of ancient art with “Slavic” antiquities (also those which were believed to be Slavic, even if they were not).
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